Saints Row 2

aka: SR2
Xbox 360 Specs [ all ]

Description official descriptions

At the end of Saints Row the city of Stilwater was in the hands of the 3rd Street Saints. But the main protagonist also got blown up on Mayor Alderman's yacht, putting him in a coma. So things went down from there.

Five years have passed now and the main protagonist finally wakes up from their sleep only to find themself in prison and the city of Stilwater controlled by several rival gangs, with Johnny Gat about to be put on the electric chair. With the help of Carlos, a fellow inmate, the protagonist escapes, rescues Johnny Gat and once again begins to reform the gang and move the 3rd Street Saints back up to number 1.

Before the player can enter the open and non-linear environment of the city, they need to define who the main protagonist is by using an extensive character creator which allows for changing everything from gender to the size of the characters ears and the voice acting. But that's not the limit of customization in Saints Row 2. In shops scattered all around the city the player can buy additional clothing from underwear to hats to not only change their appearance but also the gang's. These clothes are then also available in the up to six cribs the player can unlock and buy during the course of the game. Besides changing their appearance, the player can also stash weapons and cash there, withdraw the daily earnings, rewatch cutscenes and more. They can also change the overall style of the crib and buy new stuff like a TV-set which grants them additional style points.

Style and Respect are the most important currencies besides money in the city. While respect is used to unlock missions and progress through the storyline, the player's style affects the overall respect modifier increasing the amount of respect earned. As stated, style points are earned by upgrading the characters look, home or car. Respect points are instead earned through the many activities and diversions available in the city.

Activities are mini-games that are started at a one of two specific points in the game world and span out over six difficulty levels. After completing three levels, the player gains unlockables like a 5% discount on clothes. Besides activities already known from Saints Row, Saints Row 2 includes six new ones including "Crowd Control" in which the player needs to protect a VIP from intrusive fans and "FUZZ", a parody of COPS in which the player is followed by a camera crew and has to deal with criminals in a very creative manner to gain points. Diversions on the other hand include the simple driving on the wrong side of the road, doing stunts, playing poker in a casino, hijacking a car with more than one person in it and taking the passengers hostage and doing the job side-missions like driving the tow-truck or playing taxi.

The game also features several multiplayer modes ranging from a two-person coop-mode to twelve player deathmatch ("Gangsta Brawl") and team-deathmatch ("Team Gangsta Brawl") and a mode called "Strong Arm" in which the team wins that manages to earn $100,000 first. This is accomplished by winning events based on single player activities like racing. Each activity has a time limit and at the end the winner goes home with $10,000.


  • 黑街聖徒2 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Xbox 360 version)

1,377 People (1,366 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Project Art Director
Associate Project Art Director
Technical Art Director
Animation Coordinator
Character Art Coordinators
Cinematics Coordinator
Environment Art Coordinators
Interface Coordinator
Vehicle Art Coordinator
Character Artists
Cinematic Artists
Concept Artists
[ full credits ]



Average score: 82% (based on 112 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 54 ratings with 2 reviews)

Vice City-a-like, that happens to be somewhat better than Vice City.

The Good
I'll come right out and say that - as of the time of writing - I've never played the first game in this series (not having a Playstation 3 or X-Box 360 sort of helps in this regard). In fact, I never had an inclination to play this game either, except that the third game with all the expansion content was sold on the cheap via Steam some time ago, so I bought that along with a hard copy of the second as a "what the heck, why not" kind of thing.

Some time ago I played be honest, I think everyone has by this point. And much fun was had. After a while the game did get boring, especially once I wrapped up the main plot and had more money than Carlos Slim to play around with, mainly on ammo for the occasional random rampage. So it was filed away and boxed, possibly lost. Since then sandbox crime games have been unable to take me quite like that one, and I really didn't think you could do much to top that experience as a result. But the discount on Steam changed things substantially, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a post-Descent game by Volition that wasn't horrifyingly boring and unprofessional (see my Red Faction review).

The easiest way to describe SR2 is that it's very similar to Vice City (which in turn means it by-and-large shares similarities with GTA3 era titles in general), but calling it a clone really doesn't do the game justice. Because while many of the gameplay elements are certainly at least familiar, in comparison to that older title they are refined here. You have your assortment of scavenger hunts and "big air" jumps to find of course, but also other activities in the form of side missions and (more distinctively) environmental activities like crowd flashing and "car surfing". You can complete a storyline mission and then spend several hours on specific (but non-plot related) tasks rather than running around and shooting people at random or going hunting for unlockable stuff (though you can do either of those here as well, if you wish); as a result its much harder to get bored, especially after the main game is completed. The controls are easy to get use to after an hour or two of play, and the experience either on foot or in a vehicle is generally superior to the GTA3-era games.

The most noteworthy thing about this game is the outstanding storyline. While on the surface it's similar to the mix of humor and seriousness that we would expect from older Rockstar titles, on the whole the story coming from Volition is by and large quite a bit on the darker end in comparison to the GTA3-era games (GTA4, of course, could be a different story). Combined with strong writing and voice acting, even if you missed out on the first game you quickly grow attached to Gat and Aisha, as well as the newcomers like Pierce and Shaundi. Many of the villains stand out as well, in particular Micheal Dorn (Worf from the Star Trek IP) as the intelligent monster Maero. As a result, most character deaths in the game feel significant; at times it can feel like anyone can die. This dark edge is enhanced by the role of the protagonist, who here is especially vicious and does some pretty cringe-worthy things over the course of the game. That's not to say that there isn't plenty of humor here to be had as well, but there's a certain degree of whiplash that can occur between "funny", "not funny", and "wow that was uncomfortable" in this game. For some it can be distracting, but to me it has a realistic "stuff gets real" feel that I appreciate. Outstanding little touches abound, like your character singing along (usually badly) to music playing on the radio occasionally.

The character design aspect of the program is also quite sound. Aside from having a wide range of skeletal or other appearance adjustments that you can make, you can decorate you character in uniforms ranging from the stylish, to the outrageous (or nothing at all). And you adjust your core appearance on the fly if you find something unsatisfactory with the look (or ethnicity, or gender) of your character later in the game.

The music here is very competently selected, with a variety of contemporary, older and classical tunes that you will invariably tune in to as you carjack across Stillwater. Another positive feature is that you can immediately can compose your own playlist from the in-game tracks, so you can avoid the default radio stations (and some of their less interesting tunes) if you wish. Another "kudos" to the plot here as well in the form of the radio stations, since I am on that topic; as the game progresses, some radio stations change DJ's and even formats as in-game events unfold, and you can listen to the latest reports on the in-game story via the radio.

The AI here is competent, with good path-finding and potentially dangerous combat behavior. A mid-range gang or police alert can pose a threat if you are not careful. However, unlike earlier AI efforts from this company via Red Faction, the enemies here are not obviously psychic nor do they all have Expert Marksmanship badges on 10km sniper pistol shooting. The AI puts up a "fair" challenge in that it is possible to die, but if you do die it's because you have made a mistake at some point.

I haven't gotten to the graphics yet, but that's not because they are horrible. I suppose that (in general) they are somewhat dated in comparison to some other 2009 offerings, but nevertheless the art direction is excellent, combined with the professional audio production they very effectively create the illusion of a living city.

The Bad
That being said, I do think that the character models are comparatively "low polygon" when measured against contemporary releases, and are the weakest point of the graphics. Where as the artwork and scenery composition are outstanding this is one area that was somewhat overlooked and it hurts the game's efforts in this area.

One thing I did not like was the fact that I still had to download most of the game from Steam after I had installed it. To be fair, I don't mind buying "non-hardcopy" games at all. But going through the process of getting a disk for a permanent hardcopy and finding that it only contains the barest vestige of the game, just enough to get a connection with Steam going, is very irritating to say the least. While I guess current license laws make it difficult for gamers to actually OWN the games they play in this modern era, it is bizarre and unworldly to have to download the majority of a game off of an internet gaming service when media is already included.

Despite all the strong things I have to say about the storyline, I do feel that the ending was a bit of a letdown, having sort of a rushed feeling. However I saved the secret mission for after the main story, and I am glad I did as it was such a wonderful bookend to the game. The shame of it though is that the mission is not only hidden (naturally) but also potentially playable earlier in the game before you complete the main story; while its sure to affect players of the first game fairly significantly, it's full force is really felt after you've completed all your other major tasks, and it should have been treated as a finale or post-credits activity.

There are also some things that I did not enjoy in the side missions, particularly the later bodyguard missions which are almost luck based, and those portions the "Heli Assault" where you have to transport gang members from one place to another while they hang on to the landing assembly of your chopper (only problem is that if you go over 5 MPH they fall off, so you have to go REAL slow and close to the ground so they don't die from fall damage).

Another irritation is that, despite some compromises to graphics quality, this game runs unusually slow for its age in some areas. My current machine is not a toaster by any stretch of the imagination but there are many instances where the game drops below 30FPS and there doesn't seem to be any explainable reason as to why that occurs. Having played Saint's Row 3 and 4 later on, which are both certainly more graphically intense than this release and by also the same developer, I've yet to run into any unexplained slowdowns those titles which leaves the hiccups in performance a very strange occurrence. The game is still very playable even this issue but it does take some control away from you (very irritating if during a high-speed chase).

The Bottom Line
I really did not expect that I would play a game of such quality from the same guys who did Red Faction. Saints Row 2 was a VERY pleasant and addicting surprise that really showed how much Volition had evolved since that release and the late 2000s. I strongly recommend this game, regardless if you are into crime-related titles or not.

Windows · by Longwalker (723) · 2015

Crass & Offensive, but undoubtedly one of the most entertaining games ever made.

The Good
Saints Row first appeared at the beginning of the current generation, and while it garnered a following, it was not much more than a rip off of GTA San Andreas and didn't really do enough to really gain much attention. It was a mere snack to tide sandbox crime fans over until Rockstar released a true next gen GTA game. Saints Row 2 then found itself in an awkward position, GTA IV was looming on the horizon and so not many people payed attention to Volition's work, so Volition quickly buckled down and shoveled in as much content as possible, gave the game as loud a voice as possible, and unceremoniously threw it into the fray. It was so loud that people couldn't help but take a gander, and one of those people was my wife, who a day after bringing it home didn't emerge from the gaming room until 3 days later.

SR2 is no GTA IV, and I think it understands that. It doesn't try to be GTA IV so much as a lighter toned version of San Andreas, perfecting the concept of taking over gang territory and having a posse of gangbangers follow you. San Andreas was a great game, but it was experimental and had flaws, but the concept is nearly perfect here in Saints Row 2. Each area of the map is owned by various gangs, and you have to take over that territory through missions and wars. It works great and tackling each gang brings a unique string of missions that all stand out. My favourite gang was by far the Sons of Samedi, both fighting them as well as observing them. Not only was their leader awesome with an awesome suit, any gang modeled after Baron Samedi gets props from me. They also put up the most interesting fight, bringing some supernatural elements into the mix deep into their mission line. Its fun to run around with mush brained lackeys and gang wars are always intense and fun, and its satisfying to take chunks of land.

The controls are also perfected from the GTA formula. Cars control great, you can pull off just about any maneuver with ease, style, and grace, and you will rarely get into an accident unless the AI or yourself intended it to happen. Using weapons in cars is a second nature, with a crosshair always on screen and the ability to shoot while still driving straight is a great thing. The on foot controls are just as good, weapons, motion, everything just feels right. Even flying in planes and helicopters controls damn near perfectly, something that games simply can't seem to do. The controls become second nature and sometimes you'll forget you have a controller in your hands.

Character customization is awesome. You can create just about any character you imagine, from a cool Sean Connery-esque pimp in a pinstripe suit to a fat transvestite with big breasts and a Mexican accent wearing nothing but a garter belt. The various clothes, tattoos, accessories and highly varied character customization tool gives you several different options to create any character you like. I had fun with it because I always love churning out mutants with these things.

"Variety" is the key word in Saints Row 2. From the lengthy and fun missions to various oddjobs (Emphasis on the word "Odd") and side missions to the high amount of interactivity with the world means that you will have plenty to do. There are tons of different weapons, vehicles, and mini-games that all are fun to use and do, and the game rewards you by unlocking new missions and items for doing them, but unlike most games where doing side missions to unlock something feels like a chore, in SR2 you WANT to do these minigames because they are fun. Even if they weren't rewarding you with cash and respect, the amount of fun one can have with them is reward enough. This means the game has nigh on infinite replay value too, there are so many misadventures to have in Stilwater even outside the script, which is truly what a sandbox game should have. The game world may not be as immersive as a GTA game or some other sandbox games and it definitely feels like a game at all times, but that's the beauty of it, the game knows its a game and doesn't take it seriously. It just says "Have a lot of fun with me."

Co-op mode is awesome. Me & My wife had a ball meeting up on Xbox live (Though it is annoying that so few games use splitscreen! The only reason we have two xboxes is to overcome this since we love playing games together but so few support splitscreen these days) and jumping into Stilwater and causing individual mayhem, tackling missions, and finding new ways to kill each other. I still remember the time she was having a rampage with a bazooka, and I decided it was time to save the residents of Stilwater from her mayhem, so I barreled out of a plane and killed her... by crushing her with my body. We also had a blast doing the "Insurance Fraud" minigame together, where we pretend to get in accidents to get cash. One time we both jumped in front of the same truck and the game glitched out and our ragdolls got stuck together. It was hilarious.

The Bad
The graphics are... meh. While the player clothes often have nice details, and the game is quite colourful which is a pleasure to see after so many dark and gray coloured games, but the detail is poor and special effects aren't exactly "special." The game looks awful and has some annoying draw distance problems and car damage modeling is embarrassing, especially when compared to GTA III. Yes, I mean GTA III, not IV. The only visuals that really work here are some nice shadowing and lighting effects, and the aforementioned colours. The framerate also takes a dive at times, particularly in boat chases or missions with frequent and massive explosions.

While you will often laugh at the misadventures you have and the havoc you start, the game itself and the writing simply isn't funny. In fact, it's offensive. Maybe this is just the feminist in me talking, but when only 3 female characters have names and the rest are just "B**ch" and "Ho" and are often just used as props giving sexual favours or dressed like hookers even when they aren't, is somewhat offensive and the way characters talk is annoying. I may swear up a storm at times but the language here is ridiculous and the characters try so hard to be "Gangsta" they end up being more annoying than entertaining.

The music is sparse, while I suppose its not bad, I'm not really into rap and the only good rock station is mostly 80's stuff and there are only a couple good tracks. There's a station that plays classical music, and I love me some classical but it doesn't really fit the mood of the game, but all inall the classical they picked is good. You can buy more tracks in music stores, but I honestly couldn't find more than maybe 2 or 3 that were any good.

The game world is relatively small compared to other sandbox games, but I suppose in the end it makes up for it by having so much stuffed into it.

Having a Japanese wife, studying their ancient culture and religion, as well as living there for a short period has taught me a lot about them and the Ronin gang in the game is downright offensive in how stereotypical they are. Every Japanese stereotype ever uttered finds its way in there and having had a brief encounter with a Yakuza member, I know that the Japanese mafia aren't a bunch of yellow Jumpsuit clad gits with Katana's going on about "Honor honor honor" all day. If anything, the real Japanese mafia is somewhat like the Russian mafia; ruthless and unashamed of their brutality. While the Yakuza and other gangs in Japan do rely on Respect, its respect in the same mannerism as the rest of the gangs in this game or street gangs, respect just gets you a higher place on the ladder but lack of respect or 'honor' doesn't get you booted out or make you have to sacrifice anything. Maybe I'm biased, but I found it somewhat offensive to the degree of stereotyping here of the Japanese, and in some ways, Mexicans as well.

The Bottom Line
Saints Row 2 isn't a masterpiece in the artistic sense, but when it comes down to 'having a good time' Saints Row 2 delivers. Big time. It may be annoying, loud, and offensive but if you can tape its mouth shut you'll find a lot of fun to be had. That's all there is to it, its just "Fun" and it has nigh on infinite replay value. One can only wonder where Volition can take us next, but one can only hope that their next Saints Row game is just as plentiful in content, because if that's the truth than we will have a sandbox game that can last a lifetime and never get old.

Xbox 360 · by Kaddy B. (777) · 2009


1001 Video Games

Saints Row 2 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

German version

There are a number of changes in the German version. The Windows version requires a Steam verification and is region locked, i.e. an uncut version can't be activated when the player has a German IP address. * The cutscenes were heavily cut, e.g. violent scenes, attacks on unarmed people and drug use. The screen goes to black with the text "Wir bitten um Verzeihung - sehr böse Dinge passieren hinter diesem schwarzen Bildschirm!" ("Many apologies - very bad things happen behind this black screen!"). The audio and subtitles are still there. * All blood effects (except when shooting meat and in cutscenes) were removed. * Ragdoll effects on people (except after explosions and when they are hit by a car) and corpses were removed. * Killed enemies disappear almost instantly. This means the possibility to revive killed people with the defibrillator is also gone. * There are no flames on burning people; only black smoke. They also don't scream. * People only leave money behind if completely killed. * The option to take a human shield was removed both for the player and for the AI. This affects some missions. * During the fight club sequences, the finishing move quicktime events when an enemy reaches the bottom of his health were removed. Players have to finish off all enemies the hard way. * Likewise the finishing moves with the katana were removed. * The respect growth for performing combat moves like headshots was removed. * Some activities were removed: the amok drive with a burning vehicle, Fuzz (wreak chaos for a TV reality show), vandalism (earning money by destroying property) and being the bodyguard of a celebrity. Because of this, some of the unlockables are not reachable for German players. * The mini games Zombie Uprising (arcade) and drive-by were removed. During the pimping mini game, the screams of lust were removed. * During the first main mission, the player has to kill a prison doctor to progress. This was removed in the German version. * The cheats for getting the flame thrower, chainsaw and explosive charge were removed. * The "Zombie Carlos" companion was removed. * The texts in the German version differ from the German texts in the regular version, e.g. the game avoids the words "töten" ("kill") or "Nutte" ("hooker"). * Various "number of killed x" statistics were removed. * Xbox 360 version: a few achievements, mostly related to missing game content, were removed and the gamerscore divided between other achievements.

A detailed list of changes can be found on (German).

The Freezer

An infamous game-breaking bug is reported, but not entirely confirmed to exist, at least in the Xbox 360 and Windows releases of the game. It manifests as a large human silhouette (dubbed by fans as "The Freezer") appearing in unexpected places, which freezes the game and, in the case of the retail Xbox 360 release, reportedly permanently damages the game disc. This bug is most commonly seen when glitching out of the map while in the Zombie Uprising mini-game and then returning to the streets while the mini-game is still active. A fan named mrsaintsgodzilla21 explored the issue the most in this video, and while using a damaged Xbox 360 disc, he deduced in another video that the issue might be caused by distant pedestrian models spawning unnaturally.

Windows release

The Windows release of the game was ported by CD Projekt's then-localization branch, internally referred to as CD Projekt Black, and the result was a notoriously buggy experience. Fan projects have managed to fix some of the issues, chief among them being the Gentlemen of the Row mod by Mike "IdolNinja" Watson, who would later become Volition's community manager in 2014. The source code for the Windows version was lost in the THQ bankruptcy (since THQ supervised the port with little input from Volition) and Volition's attempts to reclaim the code from CD Projekt have so far failed.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sicarius.

Xbox One added by Plok. OnLive added by firefang9212. PlayStation Now added by Sciere. Linux added by lights out party.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Paulus18950, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Plok, Victor Vance, FatherJack.

Game added February 3rd, 2009. Last modified August 27th, 2023.