Mark Sachs (ksleet) wrote,
Mark Sachs

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Repo Man.

In this journal entry I suggested that in Grand Theft Auto, they should add a) some mechanism to allow you to keep a car permanently, even if it's destroyed, and b) tow trucks. And today, I discover that they actually added those things... to Saints' Row 2.

Coincidence?!! Well, obviously, yes. Still, I was pleased to see that they both work out quite well in practice. In SR2, once you bring a vehicle to your garage you can stash it there permanently, and withdraw it as many times as you want. Needless to say that makes it actually useful to customize your favorite car and have your own personalized ride. The tow truck is an unrelated gameplay mechanism where if you happen to come across one you can activate a mini-game in which your job is to seize vehicles and tow them to an impound lot. Which is also pretty fun, especially considering the game's loopy physics simulation and the amusing effects of trying to tow some of the larger vehicles.

Other things I like about SR2:

  • NPC henchmen are actually useful. I always make sure to bring a few of them along on stronghold missions, and the game generally lets you bring henchmen any time you want.
  • Plentiful mid-mission checkpoints. I wouldn't say I've never died and then had to drive an enormous distance back to the gameplay, but it's unusual.
  • The newspaper feature lets you replay missions. Neat! Admittedly I haven't had any desire to do that, but it's nice to know that feature is there. It might be handy for collecting rare vehicles.
  • The game keeps careful track of what side missions you've done and not done, and lets you know what rewards are associated with missions you beat.
  • Your elaborate character customization can be tweaked even after the game starts by going to a plastic surgeon.

Basically they made a big effort to tilt the game design away from hard-wired "you must play this way" design towards playability and fun, and I approve of that.
Tags: games
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