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Saints Row XBOX 360 Review

Saints Row is a shameless Grand Theft Auto clone…luckily it’s shamelessly good too. While originality points should be taken away from Volition (Red Faction 1+2, Descent Freespace), they have definitely proven themselves as superior developers. The Red Factions were both very good and introduced the ability to completely change the environment and blow holes in nearly anything. Someone please copy this! As it is a must for nearly any FPS game. Anyway getting back to Saints Row…in many respects it is better than GTA and my brother and I constantly found ourselves saying, “Wow that’s way better than GTA…Sweet!” so if you like GTA this is for you. If you hated GTA’s controls and thought it was overrated (That’s me) then this game is for you. If you are a diehard GTA fan…then you may find Saints Row’s copycatting too much to stomach. Saints Row has better graphics, controls, about the same story, better lasting appeal and multiplayer modes, and only suffers from a much worse sound and radio selection. This game is big and I’m not going to be able to get into every aspect, but nearly everything that worked in GTA is in this game and everything that didn’t has been fixed or dropped.

Gameplay: 9/10
Pros: GTA take notice and for Grand Theft 4 please introduce a free aiming system like the one in Saints Row. How frustrating was the lock-on firing system in GTA? How many times did you beat a mission by luck or die because of awful controls? Too many, luckily Saints Row gives you full control of where to shoot with a free aim system on the right stick. It makes all the urban mayhem that much more fun. You also have to mention Saints Row’s excellent story progression where you have to earn respect in order to take on missions. How do you earn respect? Drug Trafficking, Insurance Fraud, Hostages, Stealing and Pawning merchandise, Being a hitman, Demolition Derbies, Escort missions, Snatching up Hoes, etc. (I’m sure I’m missing a few). Some of these modes are incredibly fun and as you progress up the story missions, the respect levels get harder as well.
Cons: Gameplay is a shameless copy of GTA and lacks some of the features that Rockstar developed over their 3 games: No Motorcycles, No Parachuting, Flying, etc. The story is also more focused on Gangs and City life so the city of Stillwater is not nearly as diverse as the world of San Andreas, which is a shame since the rural countryside and different cities really made Andreas shine.

Graphics: 8.5/10
Pros: The graphics really shame GTA and show that Rockstar will have no excuses for detail when the next-gen GTA is released- graffiti adorns the building which are a far cry from generic boxes and skyscrapers. There’s also no load time when you enter a building or store…just kick the door in and go! The carjacking animations are very fluid (and can be brutal- cap to the head anyone?). Oh and I forgot to mention that when you boot up the game and start up, you’ll design your criminal in a fully customizable create-a-character mode…really awesome idea and a very extensive feature.
Cons: Though the draw distance puts GTA to shame, there still is some fade-in with buildings. The game lacks the graphical prowess of many Xbox 360 games…though more detailed than GTA, it is less detailed than most of the other games I’ve played for the 360.

Sound/Music: 7/10
Pros: You can rip music to a customizable MP3 player in the menus. All the explosions and gunplay sounds great. Story voice work is very solid.
Cons: The soundtrack is just not up to snuff and offers no familiar artists. The radio commercials and talk DJs are just not as good or as funny as GTA.

Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Pros: 1-Player missions should take you 30-40 hours to complete and that doesn’t include all the other things that you are always welcome to do in a free-roaming game like this. Multiplayer! Though the co-op missions are weak, the versus modes are a lot of fun and these additional modes are a welcome commodity.
Cons: Better Co-op missions or the ability for a friend to jump in the world online/locally to help in the main campaign would have been incredible.

Average: 83.75%
Tilt: -1.75%

You have to take off points for the lack of originality. If you didn’t notice, GTA was mentioned quite a few times in the review. Saints Row is a total rip-off of Grand Theft Auto and although it focuses, hones, and improves on many aspects of Grand Theft, it has to lose points for originality.

Verdict: 82%


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