Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
  1. Arguably, it doesn’t do as much to propel the genre forward (in terms of story-telling, etc) as some of its peers. But the game is also wickedly fun. In terms of pure, unadulterated fun, Saints Row 2 is in a league of its own.
  2. There are lots of games out this holiday season, and Saints Row 2 should be one of the games that you play, as there’s nothing at present that can rival its madcap adrenaline fueled flamboyance.
  3. The game makes a lot of headway in terms of story quality, and the customization is beyond what we’ve seen in any sandbox title to date. While Saints Row 2 doesn’t reinvent the genre by any means, it brings more than enough big pimpin’ gameplay to keep me busy for a while.
  4. This game really packs in the action and does a great job of integrating the activities and respect system in order to unlock story missions. And the multiplayer for Saints Row 2 is far more engaging and addictive than Liberty City.
  5. Ultimately, Zombie Uprising is a perfect metaphor for Saints Row 2 itself. Like the mini-game, everything in Saints Row 2 is over-the-top. There are quite possibly no other games that can come close to the sheer number of explosions, bullets, murder, and vulgarity on tap here. And you know what? We wouldn't have it any other way.
  6. 92
    Saints Row 2 is the type of game soccer Moms will scream about. Why, I'm sure I don't know because it is clearly not for kids. Silly, Outrageous, Profane, Excessively Violent, Very Naughty, and Unapologetically so. And it is a hell of a lot of fun.
  7. Saints Row 2 isn't going to be the next Godfather, but it's not trying to be. If you want class and moral dilemmas with your gang warfare, then look elsewhere. But if you want explosions, revenge, sex, money, drugs and rock and roll, then a trip to Stilwater is just what the doctor ordered.
  8. It doesn't have the polish that GTA IV has, but at the same time I just felt like I was having more fun here than I ever did in Liberty City. The sheer amount of freedom in how you do your missions (and the lack of scripted set-ups) is one of my favorite aspects in a sandbox environment, and right now, Saints Row 2 honestly serves up the best experience when it comes to just having some fun in a big city with no rules for a few hours.
  9. The game's engaging story line, great voice acting and mix of humor and mayhem kept me coming back whether it was to spend some more time stealing ho's, or participating in Fight Club or simply chipping away at the gangs that took over my fair city while I was away. Add on an engaging multiplayer mode and seamless co-op and you have sandbox game that can proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with the GTA's of the world.
  10. Ironically, these rough edges seem almost at home in the messy, funny, in-your-face world of Saints Row 2. Stilwater isn’t pretty; it’s a dark, dangerous place. But as it turns out, there’re lots of big thrills here, and it’s well worth the $60 to live here for a while — whether you’re a lawful citizen or a would-be gangster.
  11. Saints Row 2 retains everything that made the original a great addition to the sandbox-city crime genre, and tweaks it even further.
  12. It does lack GTA4’s overall polish and sense of parody, but it at least doesn’t it take itself too seriously and there’s something to be said for absurd levels of comic violence. Crucially, what the game sets out to do best it does do better than the GTA series, and that’s depth of customisation, structure of missions and online co-op.
  13. My main issue with the game is that while the element of ‘fun’ makes the game quirky and amusing to play, underneath I can’t find the defining factor as to why I don’t enjoy it as much. Whether it is because a certain unnamed open-world action title has already been released this year and showed us what the potential of the console can do; then perhaps that is why.
  14. 90
    There is so much crammed into Saint’s Row 2 (if you have a juvenile, slightly insane creative side to you) that you will seldom be at a loss for something to do.
  15. Saints Row 2 is a huge improvement over its prequel in every manner, and has successfully carved its own niche in the sandbox crime genre. The co-operative play is almost certainly one of the best such experiences available on consoles, and the sheer variety of things to do in Stilwater is so deliciously satisfying that the technical hitches can be overlooked. It’s so fun, it’s almost criminal.
  16. The only people I wouldn't recommend this game to are people who fly into a homicidal rage over video game glitches.
  17. 90
    Saints Row 2 offers up a shooting and driving experience that is plenty of fun. Its story isn't as engrossing as that of Grand Theft Auto IV, but it's not that kind of game. It's self-consciously funny in its irreverence, and its low-brow humor will definitely appeal to much of its audience.
  18. After the first mission (introduction to the story), you are able to experience the full freedom and options of the game. As an alternative to the main story, there are a lot of entertaining mini games and other catchy features.
  19. While – both graphically and in gameplay – Saints Row feels behind the standards set by GTA IV, it has an ace up its sleeve in the online arena: true online co-op. And it works.
  20. Overall, Saints Row 2 is like a perfect movie sequel; give ‘em more of the same, but it’s got to be bigger, better, faster, and louder.
  21. In the end, the biggest draw for Saints Row 2 is the smooth online cooperative play that lets people experience the full story, cutscenes, free-roaming the whole city and all, while playing together.
  22. Saints Row 2 is an excellent alternative that has stepped out of the shadow of Grand Theft Auto making it perfect replacement for all the gamers who want to unload the madness like the GTA games did in the past.
  23. Creatively, it’s all good. And you couldn’t have asked for more things to do in a game. It’s like a ginormous buffet of junk food. So bad but so good. I think I’ve found this year’s ultimate guilty pleasure. Funny thing is, I’m not feeling that guilty about it.
  24. And while the graphics may not be the best around and the game may be a little rough around the edges, when you factor in the great cooperative play and the ridiculously frantic multiplayer, Saint's Row 2 is a criminally good game.
  25. Once again, from every angle, Saints Row 2 is golden (shiny like the box). You’ll drive around and conquer Stilwater for many hours to come.
  26. Returning to Stilwater may not be the prettiest experience in life, but the sheer level of mayhem contained in the game makes it noticeable for different reasons.
  27. 85
    Blithely chaotic and exuberantly sadistic, developer Volition’s gang-banging spree supposes players have the attention span of a nervous chihuahua, distracting with zany to-dos that fire like a tennis ball machine loaded with Ritalin.
  28. 85
    An absolute blast to play through alone or with a mate, Saints Row 2 is quite simply a must purchase for anybody that is looking for a bloody good time. And isn't that what we're all really looking for?
  29. One of the purest videogames we've played in yonks and an absolute riot. Buy! [Dec 2008, p.80]
  30. So, turns out there's room in this world for both GTA IV and Saints Row 2, then. Truly, they are utterly opposite sides of the same sandbox coin. If you were in any way disappointed with Rockstar's return with Liberty City then we have absolutely no hesitation in recommending you buy this.
  31. The single player story is absolutely engaging in Saints Row 2, with a great cast to boot. It’s great to know that a good story with a soul can make the same old city a lot more entertaining. The online co-op will attract a lot of attention and rightly so, but the multiplayer mode doesn’t really have much substance.
  32. A real challenge to... you know, that other sandbox game... Saints Row 2 expands on the original with a dizzying level of complexity. Stilwater is back and bigger than ever - there's so much to see and do you'll be entertained for hours.
  33. The amount of customization alone in this game is definitely worth it, but if that weren’t enough, there’s a ton of activities and missions to keep you hooked for quite some time. There’s a wealth of options here and really the only thing that will totally put some people off the game is the lack of serious content, as the game goes out of its way to prove just how ridiculous it can be. For fans of low-brow humour though, this game has it in spades.
  34. At the end of the day, Saints Row 2 manages to be a mostly satisfying sequel with a few key issues holding it from true greatness.
  35. Saints Row 2 is a extremely entertaining action title that will win over tons of new fans with its craziness.
  36. 82
    The technical shortcomings are the only truly bad part of Saints Row 2, but the core gameplay experience is extremely enjoyable.
  37. Saint' s Row 2 is ridiculous in the best sense of the word. It´s funny and wild, and its sense of humor and scope makes it too far from GTA IV, wich is more solemn and occasionally even sentimental. This is a title that could have been unforgettable if it would have achieved a more solid sense in its irregular sections, despite of that is still very recommendable for the fans of the Sand-Box genre.
  38. Saint's Row 2 is as every bit as good as the first game despite its glaring technical faults.
  39. For sheer, adrenaline-fuelled entertainment, this game is hard to beat. So, whether you love or hate GTA IV, whether you previously dismissed Saints Row as a tired wannabe, or if you simply long for the “glory days” of Vice City, Saints Row 2 is well worth your entertainment dollar.
  40. Saints Row 2 is not without its flaws, but the game is so deep, and has so much content that any fan of the previous game or GTA games will have a lot to look forward to in Saints Row 2.
  41. This is a truly entertaining game. There's no pretension - just enjoyable mayhem. It doesn't claim to be the Messiah, but it is a very naughty boy. Volition has tapped into nearly every wanton act we'd want to commit in an open world and more besides. [Nov 2008, p.67]
  42. We loved it, but if you're someone who takes games very seriously and are looking for a nigh-on carbon copy of GTA 4 this won't be for you. If the idea of childishly laughing every time your character speaks in a completely inappropriate voice sounds fun, or you just want a game that positively encourages you to mess around, we can't recommend Saints Row 2 enough.
  43. A very pleasant surprise. Accomplished way beyond our expectations and some of the best fun we’ve had inside a videogame this year, Saints Row 2 says nay to the naysayers.
  44. Saints Row 2, despite looking awful, is a guilty pleasure that'll entertain you for hours as you streak across town, blow up cars and slice gang members with a samurai sword.
  45. A rough diamond, only a few strides behind the best games on the PS3 and 360, Saints Row 2 is a bit like the kid with the best trainers who still hasn’t learned to tie their laces. It’s all over the place, and frequently opts to cram more in where it should be refining what it already has, but overall you’d have to be a complete snob to not get a kick out of playing through it. And to play through everything on offer would take a very long time indeed.
  46. Saint's Row isn't a very original game. It's a tweaked version of the previous game that offers a lot of fun, especially with a friend in the coöperative mode. Everyone who missed the useless violence in GTAIV will be very satisfied with Saint's Row 2, since that game basically is about just that.
  47. Saints Row 2 feels like Volition stole the code from a GTA game, dumbed it down by 10%, then let a bunch of 12 year olds decide what kind of stuff you can do in it. I mean this in a good way, and honestly, I wish more games would take this approach.
  48. At full price it’s definitely a case of try before you buy but if you’re like me and you like a game to offer plenty of content and longevity then you might find what you’re looking for, particularly if you liked the original Saints Row.
  49. Think Grand Theft Auto 4, then replace all traces of realism with over the top exaggerated content and finally toss in a co-op mode online and you'll have an idea of what you can expect in Saint's Row 2. It's a great sandbox experience that puts emphasis on having fun while playing rather than looking slick. The major complaint is that because of the playful nature of the game there isn't much you'll take seriously in this game. If you're looking to play around, this is the game for you.
  50. Saints Row 2 is crass, immature, and really fun.
  51. Saints Row 2 has more than its share of technical problems throughout that hurt the experience, but when the over-the-top nature of the gameplay is firing on all cylinders, then it’s a blast.
  52. Saints Row 2 is undeniably rough around the edges, blatant with its recycling, and exhilarating in its craziness. It's a game that your brain knows has problems, but your heart doesn't care.
  53. Saints Row 2 manages to hold its place as one of the best GTA clones, but it clearly lacks the production values from the Rockstar blockbuster.
  54. Though it does have its flaws, Saints 2 still manages to feel like a Van Damme action movie - a very, very guilty pleasure. Sure, the production values aren’t up to scratch, and the over-the-top action scenes are a bit seedy - but it can make up for most of these shortcomings by being chock full of big dopey fun.
  55. 80
    It's big dumb fun, Saints Row 2 isn't going to redefine any aspects of game design - but in doing so it does deliver on Volition's biggest promise: Saints Row 2 isn't Grand Theft Auto.
  56. Saints Row 2, we repeat, is no GTA IV. It is a whole lot more of a relaxed and loose experience.
  57. 80
    Saints Row 2 is to GTA IV what egg and chips is to a Michelin-starred meal - no substitute, but still a salivating prospect. Worth your time and money.
  58. Assuming the crashing issues that I observed on my system were isolated (I didn’t hear many reports of this happening to others) then Saints Row 2 gets a highly recommended grade from this reviewer.
  59. There's no question that GTA IV is a better game than Saints Row 2, but in some ways, Saints Row 2 is more fun. Saints Row 2 doesn't look nearly as good, and there aren't any heavy moral choices or resonant melodrama, but the cars handle more easily, cops are less of a concern, enemies are easier to kill, and the activities are generally crazier and more over-the-top. If GTA IV got too serious for you, Saints Row 2 might just be what you're looking for.
  60. Regardless, Saints Row 2 is a solid game that is full of lots of missions and activities that will keep gamers busy for quite sometime.
  61. This game is little more than a lowbrow, yet humorous, thug-life simulator.
  62. Still, Saints 2 evolves the genre with its character creator and the ability to play the entire game cooperatively online. [Dec 2008, p.74]
  63. 75
    Ultimately it’s difficult to see, really, what it adds to the original Saints Row, or indeed, the GTA-formula and the macho posturing and po-faced moral bankruptcy is likely to infuriate as many people as it enthrals.
  64. 75
    Saint's 2's main deficiency, however, isn't the graphics, gameplay, or anything technical -- it just doesn't hold a candle to GTA's signature style. Not one character in the entire cast stands out as anything other than generic. The city, too, is an uninspired, washed-out metropolis.
  65. In the end, flaws like repetitive missions, dumb enemy AI, in addition to generally poor graphics, prevent Saints Row 2 from joining this year's list of top releases. Mind you, it doesn't stop this from being good clean fun.
  66. 70
    Trashy, vulgar and complete with a set of morals that are thin at best, Saints Row 2 is a fantastically stupid game that infuriates as much as it entertains.
  67. This sequel has built upon Saints Row’s foundations no end and created an experience that stands alone despite the competition. [Christmas 2008, p.118]
  68. As it stands, there's not much to recommend it when a nearly-identical (and in some ways, better) experience can be had by picking up a copy of the first game instead.
  69. We live in a complicated age for all sandbox games, after "GTA IV". Saints Row 2 is a victim of that comparison, because while it has some elements that are better than the Rockstar game, it can’t satisfy in the technical aspect. In fact, it has some huge technical issues, which not even the co-op, the good customization tools or the mindless fun allow to be overlooked. [Oct 2008]
  70. Saints Row 2 is as unremarkable as it is entertaining, but if you’re willing to forgive it for its myriad of flaws and technical vulgarities, there’s a fairly meaty game at the heart of it all that should, if nothing more, satisfy your criminal cravings until Rockstar's first wave of downloadable content.
  71. 70
    Saint's Row 2 deserves props for its phenomenal customization and inventive multiplayer modes-including drop in and out cooperative play-but it's derivative design lacks polish and panache. It's entertaining, but it's also outclassed by its competitors.
  72. 60
    There is no comparison to Grand Theft Auto IV in terms of gunplay, presentation, story, ambient city life, or driving. Rockstar has this beat by a country mile. But while Row’s lack of polish and rough exterior make it the less attractive choice from a technical standpoint, for those who felt shortchanged by GTA IV's scaled-back features (especially when compared to San Andreas), Saints Row 2 will help fill the void.
  73. This is by no means a sophomore jinx, but without fully keeping stride with its GTA role model, and without fully stepping out on its own from under that shadow, Saints Row has found itself stuck in an awkward, uncertain tween stage of the series’ life.
  74. It’s not necessarily badly constructed, but in many ways it is badly intentioned, failing not just because of its conga-line of racial and sexual clichés, but because of the way it makes it a little bit easier to criticise videogaming as a hollow and sadistic pursuit. [Dec 2008, p.91]
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 273 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 55
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 55
  3. Negative: 6 out of 55
  1. LJH
    May 17, 2011
    10
    Ever thought gta is boring and sluggish well this is the cure. With dozens of side missions and a story that easily rivals gta and just cause for emotion. Full Review »
  2. Feb 22, 2011
    10
    This game is amazing. It's a step up from Saints Row and GTA IV, in it's shear playability. There is so much random fun things to do in this game. I could spend hours on it and never get bored. Great work Volition. Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2011
    10
    One of my favorites of all time. Have a bad day at work? Come home and throw people off a bridge for as long as you want (without fear of being arrested). No, I'm not talking about real life (obviously), but this is one of the many unruly things a player can do in Saints Row 2. The object of this game is to be politically incorrect and have fun. Remember fun? Great game. Full Review »