Saints Row - single/multiplayer hands-on

Let's get one thing out of the way first: Saints Row is almost exactly like Grand Theft Auto in every way. However, lacking any other game like it on the platform, this seemingly cookie-cutter version lights up the 360 with combustible mayhem on an order not yet reached by other titles

After mere seconds of play, the controls display a simple elegance that is instantly recognizable if not totally easy to get the hang of. Once you've scored a gat, you can shoot anything you like simply by centering it on the screen and pulling the right trigger, and you're going to be asked to do this on a blindingly frequent basis. Driving from place to place was accomplished alarmingly like we expected it to be (steer with the left analog, accelerate with the A button), except that you maintain the use of your firearm while driving... a feature that we delightedly abused while cackling like madmen.

Saints Row uses a mission system similar to any number of games - check out the map, hit a location and do whatever the pimp/gangleader/other-random-person tells you to do. Illicit activities range from clearing out a rival gang's stronghold to fetching hos for your gang-approved pimp to gunning down opposing gangleaders in cold blood. Extraordinarily familiar if you've any played video games at all, and yet it's not boring for some strange reason. With a game genre as overworked as the free-roaming third-person carjacker, Saints Row feels more like a refinement, and you'll want to savor that deliciously familiar flavor for hours.