Saints Row 2 - Retrospective Review

Older games for low-end PCs

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When you find it at last - maybe it was the wide-brimmed hat, or the skin-tight trousers or stylish shades. The colors blend or clash, the posture swaggers. The character is perfect; the attitude, presentation - everything has been distilled to what it should be. That’s the moment - when you should stop playing Saints Row 2.

You don’t want them to find out the grim reality behind the cute façade of explosions and wacky cartoon violence. You don’t want to hurt them like that, to show that despite their flamboyance and style, they are doomed to a life of tedium and inertia. And I don’t just mean the car physics. You’ve made your character stand out, be special and interesting in this world, but it’s not going to catch up. That first mission you played - shooting down endless low-level goons and a helicopter or two for variety - get ready to play it again, and again. That’s what you’re here for.

I don’t know if helicopters have ever been a welcome addition to a game, unless you get to be the one who gets inside and ruin other people’s day. But either way, it’s time you tell them the score - this is their life. Strip away the set dressing and you’re playing the game of an office bureaucrat, sorting out problems like shredding documents or filing a form or two. Maybe trade in the leather fetish gear for a sensible suit, while you’re at it. Might as well look the part.

Saints Row 2 is available on Steam for about $10, give or take. Make a character, dress them up, cause a bit of chaos, then get massively disappointed by the actual content of most of the game.

Written on June 1, 2015