With the sequel to Saint’s Row slated for a release soon after GTA IV, you’d think THQ Games would be a little nervous. Perhaps it is this anxiety that has prompted them to throw in a few key features to give them a little edge in the territory that is well and truly owned by Rockstar. Taken together, these features indeed provide hope for Saints Row 2 to provide a refreshing alternative world to Liberty City.
Hit the jump for a full rundown
Saint’s Row 2’s city will be 45% larger than the original Stilwater, and will open itself up to some degree of interactivity: You’ll be able to rip things out of the environment and use them as melee weapons, and windows can be smashed to create novel entry/escape routes. Dual wielding of weapons is possible, and NPC’s can also be grabbed and used as human shields.
Along with a barrage of ground vehicles such as motorbikes, jet-skis and speedboats, you’ll be able to fly planes and helicopters. Word on the grapevine is that you can even smash these aircraft into buildings, but the extent to which the buildings’ destructibility is yet to be revealed.
There is said to be a healthy amount of character customization, with male, female and even transsexual characters possible.
But the feature that will set this apart from the entire GTA franchise is co-op mode, which will allow your friend, who would normally be on the couch waiting for their turn, to team up in playing through the campaign together.
Maybe it’s my tendency to favor the underdog, but I’ve got plenty of optimism for Saint’s Row 2. It’s predecessor managed to break through the label of “GTA-ripoff”, so it would be interesting to see where the franchise can go from here.