The Games Of Christmas: December 14th

By RPS on December 14th, 2009 at 6:43 pm.

Talk to the hand.

As we reach the pivotal 7/12ths point of the seasonally festive advent-o-calendar, our fingers perhaps beginning to develop the first sign of blisters from prising open cardboard doors to reveal gaming goodies behind, our stamina remains strong. But equally our minds turn to crime. Crimes involving poo and machine guns. But to whatever could that refer? Only obeying the firm instruction of the one true leader of the Autobots can unravel such a mystery.

Saints Row 2!

John: No, it is a 2009 game. In fact, it wasn’t released for PC until January 30th on European soil due to reasons beyond our understanding. And what a way to start the year it was. Saints Row 2 is absolutely bloody splendid.

Comparisons with GTA IV are as inevitable as rain on Christmas day, but there’s a reason why. It’s a whopping great unabashed bare-faced brazened copy of the GTA games. It’s not just a bit like them. It IS them, but then scribbled on by an ADD-afflicted child menace, doodling pictures of trucks spraying shit on buildings and blowing up old ladies.

This means you lose Rockstar’s maturity, deft storytelling, and depth of characterisation. You also lose the significance of the city, that amazing sense of place that GTA can evoke with its meticulous crafting. What replaces it is Volition’s immaturity, daft storytelling, and depth of childish nonsense. And it turns out to be a very reasonable exchange. Saints Row 2 is a playground for idiots and idiocy, far more of a genuine sandbox than the various rivals, and yet packed with three separate main plots.

If you played the first game and are staring in confusion, Saints Row 2 is an Olympic gold medal winning leap ahead of the console-only original. Where that was a genuinely nasty thing, an unpleasant and downright stupid game, the sequel abandons some of the more mindlessly offensive elements. Some. It’s still packed with offensive references (women’s clothing shops called “On The Rag” for instance), but they’re more in the background, as if the game is far less proud of them this time around. I suspect that should there be a Saints Row 3 they’ll be all but gone. They discovered a real skill for fantastic cutscenes and decent writing despite themselves, and it would be great to see this embellished in a future game.

It’s a proper shame that more care wasn’t taken with the PC port. It’s pretty insulting really. There’s some real problems with sluggish framerates and dodgy driving that should never have been in there, solved by reducing the graphics down to a sub-360 grade, which isn’t acceptable. You learn to work around these issues, and it’s testament to how much fun the game is to play that these significant issues can be put up with. And the game helps, but making driving a less important aspect than your traditional GTA game. Because, equally untraditionally, the on-foot sections are really good.

I said this when I reviewed it before, but I can’t resist repeating myself. This is a game that aims to be what the Daily Mail mistakenly thinks GTA is. It’s brutal, gross, astonishingly violent, and there’s almost no consequences for your terrible actions. But it does all this with infectious glee. It’s not smug or pious about its bad behaviour, it’s joyful. It’s a very peculiar way to be, but it’s one that somehow works.

Alec: One of those games that makes people who haven’t played it pull a face when you mention it. That face looks a little something like this:

Which I find odd and frustrating, because when I play Saint’s Row 2 I’m generally pulling a face that looks like this:

So right now, as I think of how this game came and went, I’m making a face like this:

Why do people sneer at Saint’s Row? Why didn’t it manage the success GTA IV did, given how much more of a playground it offered? Yeah, the plot’s forgettable gang war nastiness (I’m surprised John was so taken with the cutscenes, to be honest), the humour’s beyond crass, the voice acting and dialogue negatively stereotypes every minority group going and the PC port was a technical embarrassment. Less so than GTA IV PC, of course. And I managed to play the thing for hour after hour, so I take the more strident of no-no-nos about it with a large pinch of sodium chloride.

But! It’s the brakes-off, logic-out-the-window, zero consequences mayhem we forever pray for in these open world shooting/driving games, and are forever denied. Just Cause 2 is, hopefully, gearing up to do the same thing – just go play, don’t worry about rules or punishment or conveniently closed down bridges. Take this world and be massively unpleasant to it. No-one will mind. It’s just a cartoon.

My journeys of destruction were incredible run-on things, rarely interrupted by an overwhelming police presence or a high-speed target I couldn’t catch up with in time. They just rolled on and on, packed with ludicrous near-death experiences, my grotesque, bespoke avatar an indestructible hulk of slackjawed, overweight transvestite fury:

At one point, I had that… thing wearing a thong. The over-the-shoulder image of… its essentially nude lower half sat astride a motorcycle is something I’ve had to forever scrub from my mind.

SR2′s a game in which I can glance at the screen at any point and be at least 70% likely to burst out laughing. It’s so nonchalant about everything that its incidental humour becomes effortless – a far cry from the try-hard writing, but infinitely more important.

, .

70 Comments »

  1. Rohit says:

    I want to play this but apparently the PC port…really is that bad, I guess.

  2. TheBlackBandit says:

    Okay Alec, I think I’ve got you: Google imaging ‘happy dog’ gets us that collie, and ‘confused chimp’ gets us the… chimp. Two out of three ain’t bad, but from whence cometh the cat?

    And what does the Collective RPS Search History look like?

  3. Clovis says:

    One day I was playing and was hanging out in front of an old building with two “homies”. There was a pimp there so I smacked him and then ran around like a moron to see if my followers could kill him. He used his awesome pimp strength to just throw them around.

    He started chasing me so I ran circles around him. All of a sudden about 20 pimps appeared in the corner and started chasing me! Twenty pimps wearing crazy blue, orange, hot pink, and yellow pimp outfits. I totally freaked out and started running away. I finally realized that I owned guns and created a big pile of bloody pimps. This was one of the more enteraining, random things I’ve ever seen in a game.

    Then there are the performance problems …

    • Funky Badger says:

      That only gets better when the pimps are set upon by your clan of idenitkit ninjas patrolling the streets looking for heads to bust.

      Most of the best end-game fun is seeing your gang – of ninjas – teeing off on all the cops in whatever the citiy’s called.

      Marvelllous.

  4. Heliosicle says:

    I would agree its a good game, I tried the PC version and it was a horrible port, at first at least.

    In the end I borrowed a friends PS3 copy, I actually enjoyed it more than GTAIV despite its massive number of rough edges..

  5. Choca says:

    That last picture is glorious. Too bad I don’t have time to play this game, ah maybe next year (who am I kidding).

  6. FP says:

    Anybody who is on Windows 7 might want to avoid this as it’s broken there (though some people seem not to have the problem):

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=929488

    Also on my machine GTA4 PC runs silky smooth whereas SR2 is stuttery. So for me at least Alec’s comparison isn’t true, I guess it depends on your specs.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      It seems the fix for this is v-sync?

    • Pod says:

      It runs fine on my windows 7.

      Well, I say fine, I have to turn the draw distance down otherwise racing becomes impossible as CACHING the game CACHING likes to CACHING cache the background CACHING everytime you want to turn the corner.

  7. Jesse says:

    John, thanks for mentioning the decent writing and excellent cut scenes. I would say the writing is more than decent if you consider the genre they’re aiming for is not realism but macho action movie coolness. Doubters behold! The Ronin storyline ending mission, with accompanying cutscenes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI8Juef5nr8

    Especially watch the ending cutscene. Damn Johnny Gat, that’s cold!

    Alec, may I submit that you may have been less taken with the cutscenes because you created the stupidest looking avatar you could think of? My favorite playthrough was completed with a butch latina and I thought the cut scenes were pretty spectacular. I don’t know the voice actress who does the latina voice, but I wish she was in every game. The devs deserve so much credit for allowing the player to choose between six different voices at the start of the game, have every cutscene be fully voices, and having the scenes work out perfectly, as if the game was meant to be played through with that character. This is the best implementation of the user-created avatar I’ve ever seen, and I’m surprised so many people wasted it, in my opinion, by playing through the game with British-accented fat guys in thong underwear (the ‘wacky’ avatar that every ‘wacky’ player creates).

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Agreed 100%, I made a “butch latina” type as well… subconscious must be telling me something. That VA had some pretty damned believeable acting, as did many others in the game. Also agreed, what the devs shot for, they achieved. Nothing profound, but surprisingly good in its field – macho over-the-top action. Sod the port though, they really buggered up the performance in the PC version, and now I’m on Win7 it’s not playable. What a mess!

    • Stromko says:

      Hey, *I* made a British-accented fat guy (albeit in a nice formal suit and Mime makeup), and it still felt entirely compelling. He seemed to fit well enough into the world and its cut scenes.

      Seriously I’m glad he was at least a little jarring– I found all of the major characters to be (in their own varied ways) asshole sociopaths that I could care less about, but with my own character looking like some kind of maniacal mastermind at least I could root for him on some level. He was still a bastard but he seemed more the magnificent sort.

  8. Javier-de-Ass says:

    the PC port is fine. the mouse/keyboard controls however are not very good. stick with a gamepad and it’s a much better experience than on consoles.

    • John Walker says:

      No, the PC port isn’t fine. Your not having had a problem with it doesn’t mean it wasn’t horribly broken for many other people.

    • qrter says:

      It was not fine at all, it was pretty horrible. I had to stop playing about 2/3rds through, couldn’t play a missions because everything turned into a slideshow.

      Still, had great fun up to that point. Like mr. Meer says, I couldn’t stop laughing, most of the time.

    • archonsod says:

      I get the odd stutter between cities which I guess is it loading in the next area, but beyond that it works fine. In fact, GTA IV is the same, pauses and stutters when transitioning areas but smooth otherwise.

      Can’t say I noticed any issue with the controls. Driving is annoying because of the aforementioned stutter, but while GTA kills you for the inevitable high speed collision, SR2 gives you points and achievements for windowscreen catapulting.

  9. Blather Blob says:

    The coop deserves a mention. Everything in the game has been designed to be able to be done two-player, and be fun two-player. From making sure that players can ride around in cars together, to altering some of the “activities” to make sure two can play (e.g. two-spouted sewage trucks, or splitting of helicopter duties into pilot and gunner). Even some of the missions are different from their single-player mode. There’s one where one player goes and steals a helicopter while another wheels a patient on a gurney out of a hospital. You know how developers always say adding coop isn’t just a matter of adding another player? This is what they mean, and it’s obvious that it was designed to be a coop game from the beginning.

    The porting does suck, especially the streaming stutters when you try to drive at high speeds, an activity that the keyboard controls already make painful. But as the article says, the game doesn’t require that to happen very often, and it’s a game that you’ll just work around it for. The fact that it’s often available at the $5-$10 mark helps forgive it, admittedly.

    • Clovis says:

      Are all activities two player? What about the “hookin’” missions or whatever they are called. You know, the ones where you entere a bathroom and have to use the control sticks to ummm… pleasure someone. I imagine two guys playing that together would be great fun.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @Clovis: Those are, I believe, single-player, as is shopping, and, disappointingly, choosing what’s on the radio (why do devs not understand that inflicting your choice of music on other players should be a part of all multiplayer games?!). The escort missions, however, divide duties into driving and… dealing with the client, with brief interludes to help shoot the chasing TV vans. Oh, and getting spray paint tags is single-player with the list of completed tags shared, but it does try to make it a bit competitive by pointing out to the other player that you just got a tag that they had missed. Hitting your friend with a taser in order to try to steal a tag they’re working on rarely ends well.

    • Wilson says:

      Blather Blob: Yes, it does. If you have someone to play with (ideally over a LAN) and you’re lucky enough to be able to run it ok and deal with the port, coop is excellent. Most fun I’ve had in a long time, and a lot of laugh out loud moments. And the fact you can play the entire campaign coop is incredible. The devs deserve serious kudos for bothering to do coop properly. If it ran completely smoothly for me, I think this would easily enter into my top five most unexpectedly brilliant games.

  10. James G says:

    I actually own this. It came in the pack of THQ games, but I’m still like your kitten, and can’t bring myself to install this. Then again, I don’t even much care for the 3D incarnations of GTA, and it doesn’t help that Saints Row seems to be everything that rubs me up the wrong way about the GTA games.

    • qrter says:

      SR2 has one huge plus over GTA – it doesn’t take itself seriously. At all. Ever.

      Take it from someone who strongly dislikes all this gangsta bullshit – SR2 is much more fun than GTA.

    • MajorManiac says:

      I bought this when it was £3 on some crazy steam sale just because it was so cheap.

      I was pleasantly surprised to find it a really good game. I found it much more fun than the GTA games. Its actually worth a shot as its probably the funnest open-world game made to date.

  11. Paul says:

    Volition commited a crime with the PC version. Constantly stuttering, looks worse than San Andreas, it really is a shit.I could not stand playing it longer than 20 minutes.

  12. Daniel Klein says:

    I got the PC version as part of the THQ pack. I gave up after 20 minutes or so. The driving is beyond frustrating, with any movement of the mouse punished by having you look at a 90 degrees angle from where you’re going. I didn’t find any sluggishness, but the controls were beyond frustrating. Real shame, that.

  13. Petethegoat says:

    Got this as part of the THQ pack. Haven’t played much else in it since I got it. Indeed, looking at the stats, it appears I’ve spent 30 hours in it. Hours well spent. Make sure you play coop, as it is about a million times better with a friend.

    Also, I personally thought the graphics were great, even if the netcode wasn’t, almost as good as GTA IV. The HDR does make it look a lot more vibrant, and isn’t overused in the slightest.

  14. Chris D says:

    This was a really good game buried under a mass of technical difficulties. If only they’d done a better job with the port it could have been truly great. On my PC I had to choose between basically unplayable or ugly enough to make you want to poke your eyes out witha fork. I eventually uninstalled it to make room for Borderlands but given how truly appalling it was from a technical perspective it still held my attention for a surprisingly long time.

  15. Vinraith says:

    Despite a mild interest in both, I’ve passed on this primarily because of the horrible port and on GTA Iv due to past experience with GTA titles. You keep making me want to reconsider the former, but a half unplayable game that’s $5 is still a half unplayable game, and I’m not sure I have the patience for that sort of thing anymore.

  16. Legionary says:

    It’s a fantastic game. It’s as though Rockstar looked at San Andreas and thought “how can we make this grittier and more realistic?” whereas Volition looked at San Andreas and thought “how can we make this more fun?” Yes there are performance issues, but if you’ve a beefy gaming PC you’ll be able to play through with only the impossible to avoid lags when driving fast between ‘chunks’ of the city.

    Saints Row now carries the torch of the earlier GTA games.

  17. SirKicksalot says:

    The dialogue was brilliant. Especially with that awesome British voice. Every game needs that voice actor! I was laughing my ass out almost every time he said something.

    And the cutscenes were so, so good… When I got the game, I started doing side missions for a few hours and ignored the main plot. I thought it was just the usual lame open-world stuff. Then I realised how great the cutscenes and the dialogue are and played like a madman ’till the end, with little diversions to get the rewards from levels 3 and 6 of every side activity.

    I actually cared for the characters of this game…

  18. Dysplastic says:

    I completely agree with Daniel – absolutely godawful driving controls. I also tried using my 360 controller to see if it helped – no dice. The slightest nudge of the analog stick would swerve the car a full 30 degrees. I uninstalled very, very quickly. Do not recommend.

  19. Dave says:

    I really couldn’t stand SR2. I hated the main character from the first scene. I was disappointed that I couldn’t kill them off and/or land them back in prison and do the world a favor.

    At least playing the PC port, controlling vehicles sucked, combat sucked, and navigating menus sucked. The character customization was rich and amusing, but the UI for them also sucked.

    I had about 4 minutes of fun causing mayhem and getting SWAT vehicles and helicopters with rocket launchers and god knows what else to come after me, despite everything else. But that was an expensive 4 minutes that didn’t justify the discounted price of the game.

    Except for character customization, Red Faction: Guerrilla did everything better.

  20. Toby says:

    Hasn’t it been patched up to a better state now? I’d consider trying it if the problems had been at least alleviated…

  21. Dominic White says:

    @Dave – “I really couldn’t stand SR2. I hated the main character from the first scene.”

    My main character was Saxton Hale from the TF2 comics. Tiny denim shorts, hat, cockney-masquerading-as-aussie accent and all. It took the game from merely funny to gut-bustingly hilarious. Picking up people and bodily hurling them head-first into busy traffic will never, EVER get old. And my character agrees. In fact, he said “This will NEVER get old” several times.

    And he’s right.

  22. SirKicksalot says:

    The first patch tightened the car controls a bit and vastly increased performance. The controls are designed for super-fast speeds, since almost every car acts like it has a rocket engine. It’s very easy to get used to it if you just put a little effort in understanding them. You can have insane races on the lamest backstreets…

    By the way, it was ported by CD Projekt…

  23. Tom says:

    I’m still in doubt if I should buy it. I still play GTA San Andreas today, even though I’ve finished it completely. I just love racing around on motorbikes and blowing stuff up. So SR2 sounds like a game for me. However, my PC can barely play GTA IV and the lowest settings make SR2 look really awful.

    Should I buy it and, if yes, at what price?

  24. rocketman71 says:

    The PC port destroyed it.

  25. EthZee says:

    I liked the cutscenes too. Maybe not so much for the plot, but for the way that whatever your custom freakshow looked like, they just worked. (I had a cockney jafar in a snappy suit. Swish!)

    Yeah, but fantastic game.

  26. Larington says:

    Funnily enough I just completed this a few minutes ago (Now installing The Sabotuer) and I really rather enjoyed it. I did however have problems with it myself, technical ones of course.

    Firstly, as others have encountered. The stuttering. Its a real pain, you’re driving along, you’ve tapped the left or right keys to adjust your steering ever so slightly and at that split second the game has a miniature fit doesn’t realise you’ve let go of the steering key and a minor adjustment turns into an “oh god, oh god, I’m in oncomming traffic” disaster.

    The other issue is of course use of gamepads/joysticks for which we can blame Windows Live not getting on very well with DirectX technology or something. So basically, if you aren’t using a 360 style gamepad to play this game chances are you’ll start the game up and a false input causes you to scroll down through the menu options non-stop. Some have been able to fix it with some sorta patch, I eventually had to give up and just remove the gamepad – A nuisance because I bought the gamepad for this game. Oh well, hopefully it won’t be a problem for the Sabotuer but I’m not holding my breath just yet.

  27. Larington says:

    Oh yes, and I love the way the player characters will sing along to certain songs, take for example this youtube video where all the voices are brought together for one massive singalong:

    • Funky Badger says:

      I’d fogotten about The Final Countdown – with the male cockerney accent, gloriously out of tune it was…

    • Willy359 says:

      Okay, now I’ve got to buy it. Some stupid decisions cannot be denied.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Why did no one tell me about this? Sold.

  28. malkav11 says:

    Saints Row 2 is one of the best open world games ever made. If they were to add superpowers or Red Faction-style omnidestruction, I think I would die of sheer joy.

    That is, it’s that good on consoles. The PC port is rubbish. And where GTA IV’s port was a disaster to begin with but a few patches later runs like butter on my machine, SR2′s been patched a time or three and remains a disaster.

  29. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Oh, I’m sure the game’s at the very least decent. I just don’t like its premise.

  30. Riotpoll says:

    More fun than GTA4.

  31. Mighty Florist says:

    @heliosicle

    I’ve been running Saints Row 2 on Win7 retail at both home and work, and haven’t had a single issue of note. At least, not fast forward-ish. It’s still not that great of a port.

  32. Moot says:

    *pulls Milky Disgustkitten face*

    Alex: “why do people sneer at Saint’s Row 2?”

    Followed by:

    Aex: “Yeah, the plot’s forgettable gang war nastiness (I’m surprised John was so taken with the cutscenes, to be honest), the humour’s beyond crass, the voice acting and dialogue negatively stereotypes every minority group going and the PC port was a technical embarrassment.”

    Well – all those things are surely a start no?

    When the peripheral elements to the game-play itself are as face-punchingly bad/cringe-worthy as they are in SR2, they can detract quite heavily from being able to enjoy the actual play – no matter how good.

    Imagine if every time you played Portal you also had to endure a nude, shit-smeared, 30 stone red-neck bellowing incomprehensibly in your face until you put the controller down?

    I picked it up and played through the introduction and first few missions and then…just walked away. Never went back. Probably never will. I recall doing the same thing with the first game too. Still, let it not be said, that didn’t attempt the sequel with a relatively open mind.

    There may be a good game in there, but it didn’t feel like it to me. Play Crackdown instead.

    Odd really, this is so far the one Game Of Christmas that has left me utterly cold and indeed somewhat baffled by the RPS love.

    Still – keep em coming!

    • Vinraith says:

      That’s the second time Crackdown’s come up in discussing this game. I’m correct that there’s no PC version of Crackdown, aren’t I?

    • qrter says:

      You are correct.

    • Moot (at work) says:

      WTF?

      Well that was supposed to be a nested reply to my earlier post.

      How I then managed to post twice in quick succession, once with avatar and once without, I don’t know…

  33. MadTinkerer says:

    Hey, I love SR2. It’s crass, glorious, over-the-top attitude to crime and gang culture and urban decay is absolutely wonderful.

    For those of you who don’t like it or think you might not like it, I would ask you to compare it thusly: Saint’s Row 2 is to Grand Theft Auto IV what Duke Nukem 3D was to Doom II. It’s not making fun of it’s cousin directly, but rather taking a “serious” franchise and looking at it through funhouse mirrors.

    It might not be to everyone’s taste, but I love it.

  34. Glove says:

    I just deleted the 12GB game files from my Steam list last night (THQ Pack for ~50AUD, ridiculous)! Gah! Now I want to give the revolting thing a second chance, damn you!

  35. Moot (logged in at work) says:

    You are indeed correct. I do sometimes get confused and tend to forget to distinguish between my formats…

    Still, spending 150 quid on an Xbox 360 and buying Crackdown for 10 quid would probably still be a better option than buying SR2.

  36. Moot (at work) says:

    You are indeed correct. I do sometimes get confused and tend to forget to distinguish between my formats…

    Still, spending 150 quid on an Xbox 360 and buying Crackdown for 10 quid would probably still be a better option than buying SR2.

  37. Moot (at work) says:

    You are indeed correct. I do sometimes get confused and tend to forget to distinguish between my formats…

    Still, spending 150 quid on an Xbox 360 and buying Crackdown for 10 quid would probably still be a better option than buying SR2.

  38. Vinraith says:

    @Moot

    No problem, I just wanted to make sure I couldn’t get hold of a copy, since it seems very well regarded. Unfortunately it’ll be quite awhile before I pick up a next gen console, and it’s far from guaranteed it’ll be a 360 when I finally get around to it.

    • Moot (at work) says:

      @ Vinraith…

      In which case, the sequel will likely be out anyway!

      If Crackdown 2 retains the sheer joy of movement in the original (Leap Tall Buildings In a Single Bound!) and genuinely improves on the depth and breadth of game-play, it will be a winner.

      Anyway – PC Gaming!

      *slaps self*

      Did you play Prototype? That has a PC release…I enjoyed the first half of it very much, but it got a little too baddie-spammy in the latter stages, which left one very little opportunity to really relish in the running/jumping/flying/random carnage without being constantly harassed by 7000000 tanks.

      Still – worth a look if you haven’t done so.

  39. ColdSpiral says:

    I loved SR2.
    I was lucky enough that it ran smoothly, and as I had recently played San Andreas – rather than GTAIV (which I haven’t gotten arount to yet) – it didn’t feel as much of a lazy port as it could’ve. I mean, clothing previews in real-time, none of that dressing room nonsense!

    My only gripe is that Volition never bothered releasing the DLC for the PC market, leaving me with the feeling of an incomplete game. There are vehicles I haven’t modded, missions I haven’t played, a pornstar’s attempt at voice acting I haven’t mocked… and all for the simple fact that I prefer to use a mouse. I feel cheated.

    Lately I’ve been trying to persuade my housemate to pick up a cheap copy so we can LAN it when we tire of Borderlands… No such luck.

    Yet.

  40. ChaK_ says:

    I just couldn’t handle the car driving, which totally ruined the game in 2 hours.

    next

  41. Rodafowa says:

    I played the first one briefly, and was put off partly by the sneering nastiness of it, but mostly by the cars’ terrible handling. There was no feel to driving at all, it felt like your vehicle was stuck to the road and went round corners like a Scalextric car. Did anyone else have the same issue, and any idea if it improved for the sequel?

  42. Al says:

    I started playing this at the start of last week, when I was holed up at home with a chest infection. Finished the story five days and forty hours of play time later. Still got about a third of the game “not completed” apparently.

    So, yeah, whilst ill, good enough for me to put in a working week’s work into it. Lots of control switching- mouse and keyboard for on foot and for driving combat, but joypad for fast driving and for flying.

  43. Dante says:

    “Yeah, the plot’s forgettable gang war nastiness (I’m surprised John was so taken with the cutscenes, to be honest), the humour’s beyond crass, the voice acting and dialogue negatively stereotypes every minority group going and the PC port was a technical embarrassment”

    To be honest I thought all those things about GTA 4, at least Saints Row doesn’t take itself seriously while doing it.

    Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that it also has seamless drop in drop out co-op, which amplifies the silly fun beyond measure.

    • malkav11 says:

      Well, it’s pretty seamless on console. Unfortunately, in yet another horrible decision, the PC version of Saints Row 2 uses Gamespy for matchmaking, which is clunky and broken and awful. This, mind you, despite being inextricably tied to Steam, which does anything Gamespy could offer, multiplayer-wise, and better.

  44. FP says:

    @Casimir’s Blake

    No, some people claim v-sync fixes the problem but for most it doesn’t.

  45. Cooper says:

    I seem to be among the lucky minority who had no issues with running it full whack n PC, and I hardly have a beast of a machine, more like a slightly angry tabby of a machine.

    In any case, this was one of my favourites for the year (and, really, was it this year? I got it super-cheap in a deal one day and assumed it was a couple of years old at least, given that the graphics were hardly a step up from San Andreas). The combat was actually the weakest part of the game – but it was so crammed with puns, piss taking, irreverence and obscure pop culture references that I couldn’t help but love it.

    I think they use a similar engine as the basis for RF: Guerilla (at least, it has a very similar feel during combat and driving) for which I am having painful slowdown issues.

    • Wisq says:

      @Cooper: Yeah, I think it must have been specific incompatibility with certain hardware. Some people run it fine, some can’t seem to run it at all.

      I played it a few months ago with what might possibly be considered a “beast of a machine” as of over a year ago, with a three year old video card (which has since died and gone to lifetime warranty RMA heaven), and the worst problem I had was a bit of loading stutter which made extremely high-speed driving a bit dicey.

  46. phuzz says:

    hmm, I’ve jsut been playing through Mass Effect, and my buying of SR2 is based on one simple question.

    Is the car handling in SR2 better than the bloody ***************************** Mako in Mass Effect?

  47. Dutchman says:

    I have the same issues, it even crashed for me sometimes.. a very good game though