The Saints Come Marching In
I want to preface this blog by telling you my stance on video game violence: video games are not real. I wanted to get that out of the way before you read about all of my depraved shenanigans while playing the new Saints Row 2. I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea about me and think I might come stalking into your place of business with a rifle...I may do that anyway but it’ll have nothing to do with a video game.
First let’s get the inevitable comparison between Saints Row 2 and GTA4 out of the way. Both games are very similar in many ways. Open city games where you can do any number of criminal activities ranging from random punchings to blowing up police helicopters all of which are forgiven by making use of a magical drive-thru that causes everyone to forget you’ve just burnt down the orphanage. While GTA4 tries for realism, Saints Row 2 just likes to blow stuff up. The developers seem to have listened to the criticism thrown at GTA4. Your friends won’t constantly bug you to take them out on the town like some needy high school girlfriend while you are busy trying to rebuild your gangland empire. (You can, however, tap some of your gang members to help you with your dirty work.)
So, over the last day I’ve been having issues with my former employer so I decided to take my aggressions out on the poor citizens of Stilwater. The first thing I did was to run through the Fight Club challenge in the Arena. it consisted of a series of six fistfights against an increasing number of opponents. Completing the challenges I was rewarded with a 30% boost to my melee damage. Next I headed out to ravage the city in a simulated ‘roid rage. I caused havoc by throwing trash bags at passing pedestrians (and killing them!) and hurling newspaper boxes at cars. I made my way to a bridge overlooking a highway and proceeded to toss pedestrians off of it until the cops came. Then when the cops came I tossed them over too. I must have sat there for almost an hour tossing people to their doom and cackling with glee as I did it.
When I imagined pile of virtual bodies on the highway below was high enough I wandered off to see what other trouble I could get in to. I discovered that I had my own roach-infested pad. One of the options I was given when I entered was to play ‘Zombie Uprising’ on the TV. I was thinking that the only thing that would make this game better were zombies and I got my wish! Playing the game takes you to a small area where you and a small number of mostly useless survivors must hold out against increasingly larger waves of zombies with limited ammo. There are a few varieties of zombie such as really tall ones that soak up a lot of bullets, exploding zombies and zombies engulfed in flames. Its a great addition because I love zombies...well, not literally because that’s dangerous and illegal.
That only scratches the surface of the things you can do in Saints Row 2. So far this has been a great purchase and anyone who liked the first one or anyone who likes games in the GTA style should not pass this one up.