Any advice for me on getting going in Saints Row 2?

As a big fan of the GTA series I found myself disappointed by GTA4 and I have seen many recommendations for Saints Row 2. So I found it on sale and decided to try it out.

It’s fun. It’s a lot like GTA minus a lot of bullshit and with some features I really wish GTA had (like meters for everything- how long you can run, how much credit you’re racking up for stupid stunts while you’re doing them, et cetera). However, the game is very closed at the beginning. I’ve done two missions so far, which consisted of breaking out of jail and breaking my fellow Saint out of court. So it left me with an empty safehouse, a few guns and some cash. But there are no options to really do anything yet. There are no bosses to take work for. I’ve gone around beating people up and causing mayhem until the cops came after me but I don’t really seem to be getting anywhere. None of the missions or diversions or activities are open yet.

Also, for anyone who has played this game for a while, how do you actually get away from the cops? I’m good at fighting with them but I like to cut and run after a while. GTA had the police bribes, paint shops and cooldown periods (as of GTA 4) but I have no idea what the Saints Row equivalent is. So thus far I just get chased until I get killed.

I have a feeling this game is insane fun once the mission tree starts opening up but I don’t know how to make that happen just yet. Any advice is appreciated!

Both cop and the gang aggression decays over time, but I think above a certain point it doesn’t go away on its own. Instead of paint shops, there are drive-through Church of Philosotology places that let you bribe your way out of trouble. Starting any mission also resets your aggression to a set amount, unfortunately.

I found the fun of the sandbox game to have a distinct bell curve. You need to get the nice stuff, but every mission you do against one of the other gangs gives you control of a piece of their territory. This sounds like a good thing, but it means there’s one less suburb where you can find gangers to torment. When you finish the game, there’s nobody but you, pimps and the cops.

Do you have the church safehouse? If you do, I’d just go do random fun stuff, and not do more than half a dozen of the turf war missions.

I played it through about a year ago–it seems to me that I recall that there are a few plot missions you absolutely have to chain to get out of the way at first, and once you do you’ll open up the underground gang headquarters–you should have missions to go and roust bums out of it somewhere.

Then you’ll get a series of missions to recruit a few more lieutenants.

Then you’ll see the world open up with the random missions and the various anti-gang storyline series.

Your mileage may vary but I found that beating the hell out of pimps and Ultor guards NEVER got old.

Like others have said, do the first few mission, up until you rescue the four lieutenants. They are the mission starting "mobs bosses’ that initiate the gang missions. After that you have action to pretty much any of the areas. It’s more freeform and open than GTA, so you can do pretty much anything, but I would recommend running all the way through some of the side missions. They tend to open up some nice rewards that might have made the middle part of the game more fun.

I only found out later on that you could roll with bunch of homies, even through the main story missions and just into rival gang headquarters in general and it’s one of the best parts of the game. It can be funny to dress your guy in moon boots, a flasher coat and the 'skeeter head (or whatever) and watch him go through the cutscenes as well.

I’m guessing there are some cheats to give yourself more money, but I just conquered about half of the gangs territory first and left the rest for after I was done with the main storylines, but I still had plenty of cash for just about everything I could have wanted.

Running from cops is pretty much like GTA, I think there’s a little semicircle in the corner somewhere. It counts down and drops stars slowly, or you can always do the drivethroughs.

I would advise calling an ambulance as well. It’s fun to start running around in a hospital gown or surgeon’s scrubs with a defibrillator shocking people.

It’s a good game, I would personally like to see GTA get the save points in mid-mission and regenerating health. It just makes the game play a lot faster.

Word has it a Saint’s Row 3 is in production, but I don’t really have any idea when it’s supposed to come out. I bought 2 hoping it would be more entertaining than GTA and I’d definitely pick up the third one sooner rather than later.

I did find it got old, actually, since I was used to beating the hell out of pimps, Ultor guards and gangers.

Also, Bear APC + gold rims + metallic purple paint job = fun.

If you can manage to beat all 6 levels of the Insurance Fraud in the factories area, you get unlimited sprint as a bonus. The best way to do this is try to find a busy interstate and jump in front of cars. With a little practice, you should be able to bounce from car to car and rack up big multipliers.

You might want to tackle the destruction derby missions early on too. They’re fairly easy and will reward you with the derby vehicles in your garage when you complete them all.

If you can find a helicopter, fly up and bail out of it. Parachute down and try to land in a convertible. (I think that it will be marked on your map. You might have to press a button to start the challenge. It’s been months since I played.) Pull it off successfully and you’ll no longer take any fall damage. This is kind of hard and took me several tries to get it right.

Other than that, go nuts. SR2 is all about sheer over the top lunacy. I spent about 30 minutes one evening trying to do a backflip on an ATV by launching off the escalators in the mall.

If you have any friends you can co-op with, do that for sure. Co-op in SR2 is so much fun that it ought to be illegal.

I finished the game too soon and never did the drive-by missions, and by now the idea of going back to an old save doesn’t seem very appealing. I think it would have been a lot better if they had kept gang members spawning in some areas, like the ones where their former headquarters were.

If you have trouble getting a high enough score, you can get a head-start by starting the diversion but not going straight to the right suburb. Instead you head down to the airport, choose a plane you like, fly it over the suburb and bail out. At the lower levels just hitting the ground is enough to get the score you need.

Also fun: gender-changing your character’s appearance multiple times during the storyline and making up little vignettes about why no one seems to notice you went from being a burly guy with a bad accent in a football jersey and jeans to a mini-skirted tiny redhead in heels. With the same voice.

Ok, I’ve got the hideout now. I had to do a rampage mission where I had unlimited ammo and I just had to destroy lots of stuff. That was pretty fun although I kept getting set on fire by the cars I was trashing. So once my respect meter was filled up I was able to start the mission. I guess this is how the game goes in general but there’s still a lot of things I can do on the map. I also figured out how to use the map filters so I can concentrate on just the things I want to do.

I was looking all over in the safehouse for an actual save point but as it turns out you can just save from anywhere in the game… oops. Is there going to be an option at some point to deck the place out a little more nicely?

I’ve also discovered tagging, which is annoyingly difficult compared to GTA:SA. In GTA:SA all you had to do was aim the spraycan in the general direction of the gang tag and paint over it. If you were off you just wasted paint. In this one you have to stay within the lines and gangs will attack you quickly if you mess around for too long. Not only that, you have to shake the spray can so it will keep working! A little too realistic if you ask me but overall I’m having fun.

IIRC, the church safehouse gets improved as the campaign progresses. Other safehouses you can improve by spending cash.

Yeah, you’re gonna have to get used to that. What I ended up doing was running a few fun diversions (the attack helicopter one is really hilarious) to high levels–I want to say that five races, two helicopter things, and maybe three destruction things ran from start to finish gave me enough respect to finish the game.

At least there’s a variety of options for how to gain respect as opposed to GTA: SA in which you had to have the same fight fifty times over to gain territories.

How about guns? The gun selection so far is pretty limited. My arsenal consists of a pistol, a police shotgun, a beating stick and a Tec-9. I’d love to get myself a nice MP5 for close-in work and an M16 or similar for long-range stuff. Are these to be found anywhere or do I just have to play through until I’m given one as part of a mission?

Also, any recommended settings for graphics? I’m not sure what I have it set to right now but driving is very choppy. I’m playing this on a GForce 9800 GT. The resolution is IIRC same as desktop, 1920x1080 which might be a little excessive… I’d rather be able to drive smoothly than have ultra-high detail.

One thing I liked about this game (among a million other things) is once you save a car it’ll be forever in your garage. You can take it out and crash it and go back and it’ll still be there.

On my Radeon 4870 I had to set it to medium with no FSAA or anistropic filtering at 1920x1080 to get a consistent framerate. The biggest problem with the game is the fact it’s a complete performance dog on PC.

As for guns, there’s a pretty wide selection–find a gun store, you can get most of them there, and once you’ve found a gun (similarly to cars) you can always get one from your hideout or safehouses.

I’m a big fan of Saints’ Row 2. My second playthrough (and first full) was a lot more fun than the first because I focused on side-missions early in the game. A little bit of focus early on, and you can easily have sweet perks for the mid- and late-game, such as: unlimited ammo for various weapons, faster health and fatigue recovery rates, faster removal of wanted status with gangs and/or police. Combine that with a little strategic real estate acquisition and improvement (best investment in early game, IMO), and you can just have fun in the later stages of the game.

I’m going to start over and do the side missions so that I can have lots of guns and ammo, which will make this game a lot easier. Septic avenger was a lot of fun. Heli assault is a little tougher though because it’s hard to fly the helicopter using WASD. I might have to look into using a controller for those parts.

I’m currently stuck on the Japanese boss who comes at me with two swords. I can slice and dice his lackeys no problem. But I can’t hit him at all. If I block, he grabs me and tosses me. If I strike, he grabs me and tosses me. From what I’ve read it’s all just a matter of timing and patience but he’s too tough for me right now.

I loved the heli missions the most, I didn’t find 'em too hard with keyboard and mouse but I had more fun with a joystick of all things.

He was a stone-cold bear. I ended up having to wait for him to rear back, hit him once, and run the hell away–although if you’re ballsy you can stab him a few times if you knock him off his feet.
He also tends to get confused a bit if you get tables or the bar between you.

Ah, I was waiting too long before hitting him. I did once manage to lay a good chop to his noggin that had him almost down to nothing but he just kept tossing me around until I was dead. It’s annoying that I can’t slice and dice him like I can easily do to his men. I was taking his lackeys out by thrusting my sword through their chins and up out the top of their heads. No one survives a hit like that but apparently I’m not allowed to do it to this guy. I’ll try hiding amongst the tables and chairs though; good to know NPCs still can’t do pathfinding worth a damn in video games.

From what I’ve read in a walkthru there’s another pissed off sword boss coming up but this fight is a lot easier: walk into fire, walk up to enemy, run away and eat health restoring food. Blaze, rinse, repeat. I wish I could do that to this guy!

For that matter what happened to all my guns? There’s a GTA: SA mission where you’re supposed to have a one-on-one sword duel with a guy but there’s nothing stopping you from whipping out a shotgun and executing the fool if you don’t feel like fighting fair.