Saints Row Review
I can just about hear the meeting with must have gone on in the offices of
Manager 1: “Hey, lets make a game for the Xbox 360.”
Manager 2: “Yeah, sounds good. But let's not do anything too original.”
Manager 1: “Nooo, nothing like that. Hmm, how about we make an exact copy of Charlie's Angles?”
Manager 2: “Dude are you insane? That game was horrible! Let's at least rip off a good game.”
Manager 1: “Yeah. The heck with it, let's just make a GTA clone like everyone else is.”
Manager 2: “Brilliant!!”
Well I suppose if you are going to go and copy a game you might as well copy one of the most successful game franchises from the past several years, Grand Theft Auto. And that's pretty much what THQ has done with the game Saints Row for the Xbox 360. But what makes this interesting is that they made a copy that is better than the source material in several ways, and it's those new improvements that make Saints Row a game worthy of your time...at least until GTA 4 comes along.
|The mean streets of Saints Row.|
One of the ways Saints Row sets its self apart from GTA is they way it handles progressing the story. Instead of having a main mission with some optional side quests, Saints Row makes the side missions much more important. Really the only way to continue the main story is to finish side missions and earn respect. The side missions include the familiar ones from the GTA crowd and a few new ones like “insurance fraud” where you “take one for the team” by tossing yourself in front of a moving car...and what isn't more respectful than a man who will jump in front of a truck just to earn some extra cash. As the game moves along you acquire more and more of rival gangs turf but of course the old gangs will keep trying to reclaim what was once theirs, so you can expect a few cell phone calls alerting you to some action. But say that the heat gets a little too much for you? Like repainting your car in GTA will get the police and others off your back, Saints Row has a drive-thru confessional and even a plastic surgeon that will let you change your entire look.