To get it out of the way now, yes, this game begs borrows and steals as much as it can from Grand Theft Auto. The first real sandbox title for next-gen, Saint's Row is trying to get a head start into a lucrative genre. However, as nice looking as it is, Saint's Row falls flat, providing lots of flash and no cash.
You've probably got a good idea as to how this sort of game is played. Go anywhere and do anything with little consequences. To improve the genre as a whole, Saint's Row features a great map, directing you to any of the scripted gameplay elements, a waypoint mode that doesn't work all that well, and buildings interiors that are integrated with the outside environment, letting you move from one to another without a loading screen. What it doesn't do is handle the parts that matter. Sliding backwards, in my opinion, there's no gunplay targeting system, leaving you to struggle with auto-aiming. This means that using pistols and SMGs isn't really that fun, the shotgun is your best friend, and the RPG, why' what else do we need to say about the RPG? I sleep with one now. Seriously, this game can be explosive, and if you want to see what it does well, cheat up an RPG with infinite ammo and take on the police.
The gameplay has two serious flaws in my opinion. First, it is so easy to die in this game that you may not notice you're dead until after you realize you've been shot at. Second, sandbox games have traditionally had a strong emphasis on vehicles, so having good controls is a must. Saint's Row might offer you a wide variety of vehicles to pilot, but they're all pretty similar, differing only a little bit in terms of suspension and acceleration. Each car can handle turns the same, brake the same, and basically suck the same.
While the city is very close packed, something that I'm not sure I like very much, it does look pretty. Especially when something explodes. My one and only complaint, and this was a big one, is that the character faces in this game look terrible. I'm not sure if it's the choice of face structure, how the lips moved, but man, they were creepin' me out. As one last dignity, I couldn't really get into the soundtrack choices in this game. In particular, older games like GTA really succeeded in that they didn't take themselves too seriously, what with the outrageous comedy of the various radio stations in the game. In short, they sold the city, something that doesn't happen in Saint's Row. Bad talk radio does not a classic game make.
My attitude? It isn't complete crap, so you might get some decent gameplay out of it. You just won't find me paying full price, however.
Download Saint's Row
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Being the first next-gen, Grand Theft Auto-stye open-world game swings the spotlight on the soon-to-be-released Saints Row. From a technical standpoint, the game features a healthy heaping of technospeak effects, such as dynamic lighting, normal mapping (which allows for greater detail), and a streaming world (that is, no loads when going from outdoor to indoor environments). All this sounds great, but more significant is the online multiplayer. "Hating an extensive multiplayer component is the next step in expanding the user base of open-world games," says Lead Multiplayer Designer Anoop Shekar. "It's one area that really hasn't been explored due to the size of this style of games."
The modes feature such inspired names as Gangster Brawl, Big A$$ Chains, and Protect Tha Pimp, and some off a- familiar death-match- and protection-based objectives for up to 12 players. And while that sounds entertaining, Shekar says the city-stretching Blinged Out Ride mode--in which each team has to bling up its car and deliver it to a drop-off location--is an office favorite. "There is nothing like filling your car with a group of teammates and rolling down the street blasting enemies (and running them over) left and right," he says.
Maybe not, but when you want to change things up and play nice (you know, when an opportunistic politician loafs by), co-op lets you team with a friend to tackle two levels (Shekar says more may be available for download postrelease). And beyond just having a fellow Rambo in arms by your side, teamwork actually proves vital. For example, me level has you delivering boxes of stolen goods to a safe house...but whoever is carrying said box can't sprint or fire weapons, meaning his buddy's gotta watch his back.