In this world, everyone has a very dark fantasy. Whether it be killing 100 people for a dollar or ruling the world, Saints Row 2makes sure that you stay right in the middle of all of the hilarious, gang-banging mayhem in the world.
As you begin, you'll create your character through one of the deepest character creators I've seen. Your character wakes up from a coma caused by an explosion by the boat at the end of the first game. You'll then escape the prison hospital through an excellent prison break scene that shows off the games marvelous gun play. At the end of this sequence you'll enter a boat which is a fun part, but the framerate takes dramatic dips during the 60 second segment. After getting off the boat, you can explore the gang-ruled city of Stilwater. Yes, the entire city. And what a wonderful city it is.
To bring back the Saints and rule Stilwater once again, you'll have to earn respect. You earn respect by doing almost anything illegal, but the best sources are the activities. You can snatch hos, protect a drug dealer on his run, commit insurance fraud, spew liquid crap over buildings, and much more. Every three levels of any activity gives you a perk, which changes the gameplay up in fun ways. (infinite ammo, a machine pistol, etc.) After you earn an entire bar of respect, you can do one mission or one stronghold. each one of these gets you one more section of the city and money which accompanies the games large amount of customization.
The graphics are great for an open world action game, though they don't meet the standards of GTA IV. Still, it looks impressive and colorful. The audio department is great as well, with excellent voice acting and a decent soundtrack. The weapon effects are anything to be ashamed of either. Such a nice little package.
Multiplayer is great part of the game, as well. You got the typical deathmatch (dubbed Gangsta Brawl), Pimped Out Ride (get your car to look pimpin' before the other team), Big Ass Chains (kill each other and grab the most chains to win), and an excellent co-op component among others. This really adds some replayability to the game as it's just fun to kill and friends and customize your online character.
Of course, some negatives appear. Some activities are a little bit too challenging and the action gets a bit framey at times but that's about it. If you can deal with the framerate (we all can) and a little bit of a challenge, you should find that Stilwater is an excellent city to wreak havoc on, whether with a buddy or not.