Can there be a new favourite after all this time?
Like most fans of the series, including writers on this very blog, I’m a fan of Saints Row 2. Developer Volition figured that it couldn’t keep taking things further and further away from its roots, like that whole “trapped in The Matrix” plot of Saints Row IV, so they’ve gone back to basics for the reboot Saints Row.
Saints Row 2 sees you rebuilding the 3rd Street Saints after a brief sabbatical of multiple years in a prison hospital. You’re joined by fellow Saint Johnny Gat, and have to get some new lieutenants and gather some gangbangers. Taking the fight to the gangs controlling your hometown of Stilwater, you have plenty to do and more than enough people to kill. Standing in your way are the petrolheads known as The Brotherhood, the mystical Sons of Samedi, and yakuza offshoot The Ronin.
Stilwater is also full of side activities to keep you busy! Spray human waste over rich people from a truck, pretend to be a cop in a reality TV show, fraudulently make health insurance claims… It’s a varied list to be sure, and I’ve replayed the game just to get to do them over and over again.
Now onto Saints Row, which sees you building a gang from nothing with your three best friends. Of course, there is some opposition to this with the post-commerce commune The Idols, the petrolhead (yes again) Los Panteros, and the private military corporation Marshall Defense Industries.
The city of Santo Ileso is full of opportunities for a budding criminal, with people needing toxic waste disposed of, fronts for fraudulently making health insurance claims, and cars stolen amongst many others. My personal favourite is the repossession venture, and who doesn't like dragging a large safe through city streets? There's plenty of variety in the side activities and some suitably over-the-top main missions as you rise to the top.
It’s easy to see why people will draw parallels between the two games, and not just because they’re in the same series from the same developer. As for whether it will be seen as the new favourite in the series, I have to say at first glance I believe it will be.