Saints Row 2 is a nonlinear third-person shooter video game developed by Volition, Inc. and published by THQ for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 systems. It is the second title in the Saints Row series, after the release of its predecessor Saints Row in 2006, and has a sequel currently in development. It was released in North America, Australia and Europe in October 2008 for video game consoles and ported to Windows in January 2009. Before the game's original release, it was ported by G5 Entertainment to mobile phone. Three downloadable content packages were developed for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360; Ultor Exposed, Corporate Warfare, which both featured extra clothing, vehicles and missions, and The Unkut Pack, which only featured new clothes. Corporate Warfare and Ultor Exposed each cost USD.99 on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, while The Unkut Pack was free on both PSN and XBLA.
Set in the fictional city of Stilwater, the game is centered around the player-controlled nameless protagonist, who is the leader of the 3rd Street Saints gang. The protagonist attempts to rebuild the gang after it disbanded during the five-year period between Saints Row and Saints Row 2. The game is a third-person shooter in an open world, consisting of action-adventure and driving gameplay. Much like Crackdown, the game can be played in its entirety in either single-player or online co-operative play. The game also has online competitive multiplayer modes.
The console versions of the game gained generally positive acclaim. The PlayStation 3 port received an aggregated score of 83% and 82% from GameRankings and Metacritic respectively. However, the Windows port of the game gained mixed reviews, receiving an aggregated score of 70% and 72% from Game Rankings and Metacritic respectively. The game was praised for its fastpaced, "over-the-top" gameplay and for the amount of freedom presented to the player in the game world, but criticized for technical issues and poor artificial intelligence. The game sold 400,000 out of two million units shipped within its first month, shipping a further 600,000 by January 2009. To date, the game has sold 3.4 million units.
The gameplay of Saints Row 2 is structured similarly to that of its predecessor, Saints Row. The core gameplay comprises elements of third-person shooting and driving in a nonlinear environment, affording the player an open world in which to move around. The player's character is capable of maneuvering through the environment, utilizing weaponry and engaging in melee combat. After successfully completing the first game mission, the player is able to explore the environment and choose how they wish to play the game. Missions are unlocked by earning 'respect' points from minigame and side-missions and although completing missions is necessary for game progression, players can complete them at their own leisure. The player is granted the option of instantly retrying the missions should they fail an attempt. Numerous checkpoints save progress in each mission, and missions can be replayed from locations within the environment. Aside from attempting missions, the player can explore the environment, purchase items at shops and participate in the aforementioned mini-games and side-missions. The player can also wreak havoc upon the environment which can provoke potentially fatal attention from authoritative forces. The player can recruit members from a friendly gang and use a mobile phone to contact friends and/or businesses, as well as to input cheat codes. It should be noted that entering cheats will disable Xbox 360 achievements.
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