Saints Row Review: Watch Out Grand Theft Auto Fans

When I first heard of this game, I thought of it the same way I think of all GTA clones, but then I started looking into the game, and reading some articles about it, and it turned out that the game actually had potential. Because of this, I decided to purchase it. That was the best game decision I have EVER made for my Xbox 360. First, let me say that this game is an EXACT clone of GTA. The controls are the same, the interface is the same, EVERYTING is just a carbon copy from GTA. But in addition, this game adds some awesome features, and fixes almost all of GTA’s problems.

Graphics: 10/10
GTA wasn’t known for awesome graphics, however this game not only beats GTA, but it beats almost every other Xbox 360 game out there. Shadowing is in real time with great resolution (you can even see the shadow of the spinners on your car spinning), the cars reflect, the car damage models are amazingly detailed, and the character models rock. The game pulls off a steady framerate. Everything in the graphics department is perfect except some minor screen tearing, however it is barley noticible.

Gameplay: 10/10
This game picks up on every GTA feature (good or bad), and makes it ROCK. They got rid of taxi and police missions, and added a TON of awesome side activities such as insurance fraud, where you must get hit by passing cars to earn a set amount of money, and you receive bonuses if there are witnesses. There are also about 10 other activities, all which are extremely fun and addicting. You will be able to complete this game rather quickly compared to GTA: SAs’ missions, however I prefer these missions quite a bit, they are a great mix of driving, killing, sneaking, just like GTA’s but better. And the aiming interface is EXCELLENT. It is great fun to try and get all the acheivments (many of them are 10 or 20 points each, so there are TONS of them to get). Another problem solved from GTA is the money problem. In this game, money actialy means something… and you don’t lose it when you die (only a few hundred dollars). Its hard to come by, and all guns you use must be purchased (or taken off people you kill)

Sound: 8/10
Of course this game stole the radio from GTA, and I must say, while all the songs will be songs you have never heard before, many of them are great. Also, the talk radio is hilarious, and the commercials are even better than GTA’s. My complaint here is that the game just uses the f-bomb way too much, and tries to add some nasty humor. For a while its funny, but enough is enough.

Multiplayer: 8/10
I will appluad that this game did multiplayer. Its the first of this genre to do so. And for the most part it is pretty solid. But don’t be expecting like I was, which was for thousands of people to able to go into the city and cause total mayham with each other, because that isn’t in there. Instead, there are a bunch of semi-fun games in a bunch of terribly rendered stadiums. Don’t get me wrong, this multiplayer is very fun and will be addicting for a long while, but I think it could have been done better. The optimatch system rocks though, it is much like Halo 2’s macthmaking system, choosing your teamates and opponets for you, based upon the level.

So adding up all my scores, it turns out to be 36/40, which is an even 9. I’d say overall impression you will get from this game is around a 9. Although it is huge, and hugely fun, it is not quite perfect. It still has a FEW of GTA’s flaws, and the nasty humor and constant f-bombs will leave some disgusted. This game is really pushing it for an M rated game. As for the partial nudity that is listed on the box, all that is is a ladies butt, nothing to hide from your parents. I’d highly recommend that you purchase this game instead of rent… the multiplayer will keep you going for a long time after you beat the campaign. And even if you decide not to get this game, you should deeply cherish it, because trust me, Rockstar is going to learn a LOT from this game and it will probably show in their next GTA game due October 2007.

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