According to the in-game timer, I spent about 42 hours playing through Saints Row 2 in its entirety, completing every mission, activity, and having an absolute blast doing so. It was so much fun in fact, that I can’t believe I actually spent 42 hours on it!
I was a huge fan of Saints Row when it came out, I underestimated it, and it was an awesome surprise. The folks at THQ and Volition refreshed the sandbox style shooter, updated it, and made it better. Most importantly – they kept the fun.
They don’t pull any punches in Saints Row 2. To call it an orgasm of violence would be an understatement. Many of the activities and plot points in this game would get anyone a free trip to the needle. While that’s nothing new in this genre, SR2 does it so… perfectly that it completely absorbs the player.
Whether you’re following the major plot points, recovering from your “death” in the last game and slowly regaining the city you once dominated by torturing, killing, and just plain decimating everything in your path… or running through activities like Mayhem, Insurance Fraud, Hitman, Snatch, etc… The game never slows down for a moment.
In short, this game is sandbox perfection. It is what GTA was. I managed to avoid mentioning the other major player in this genre until now because IMHO, SR2 holds its own and is the pinnacle of what can be done in this type of game. GTA IV was counting on an established fan base, media hype, and the fact they spent far too much time replicating NYC to remember that IT IS A GAME. THQ/Volition is still hungry, it’s still obvious that they care more about the in game experience than any other developer/studio out there, and that hunger paid off with SR2.
Now… SR3? 🙂