past five years, Rockstar North (once known as DMA) has created -- and set -- the standard for games in a genre that, for lack of a better term, are "Grand Theft Auto" or "GTA" games. Some might call the genre "urban mayhem, " but whatever you call it, Grand Theft Auto III created a genre, the same way Castle Wolfenstein 3-D and Doom did with first-person shooters. Thus, at least right now, every game that competes in this genre competes directly with any one of the GTA games, all of which have raised the bar in videogame production, theme maturity and language, open-world design, and lastly, production cost (they're expensive games to make). That is, until another developer does it better than Rockstar. Volition's Saints Row is the newest contender on GTA grounds, following all three GTAs, Activision's True Crime, Sony's The Getaway, EA's The Godfather, etc., and it's both a ballsy, brave, fun game while simultaneously being guilty of the heaviest degree of copy cat-ism, me-too derivation, and just-plain over-doing it.
Saints Row, however, portrays Volition (The Punisher, Red Faction 1 & 2, Descent: Free Space) as an erudite student of the genre. This next-gen, open-world action-shooting-racing game solves numerous problems born in GTA, and the Champaign, Ill.-based studio has whittled away at the concept, forming a highly polished design that plays well, feels good, and that functions smoothly and with great ease of use. Saints Row is not only a 30-40 hour single-player game with a smart progression system, a breadth of engaging missions, and tons of car and character customization, it's the first game in this genre to successfully negotiate online and multiplayer waters, including online and SystemLink co-op functionality.
It is good for all those people who Like Violence Blood and Gore, And alot of Language.