I haven’t played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, so I can’t be sure that the series didn’t take an over-the-top, curse-filled turn. But I just started playing Saint’s Row for Xbox 360 today, and it’s way crazier than GTA: Vice City. The first cut scene has gang members shooting each other at point blank range; the n-word tossed around; cursing everywhere. Locations in the game have terrible double entendres: Sloppy Seconds Clothing Shop, Rim Job car repair, etc. If the cultural watchdogs don’t go nuts over this game, I’ll be very surprised.
Also, I think it’s going to be a huge hit.
Seriously, it’s so much like Grand Theft Auto (extremeness aside) that I can’t believe Rockstar won’t sue THQ for copyright infringement. But that’s also great news for THQ: since they probably won’t be sued, and GTA: IV isn’t coming out for more than a year, Saints Row is effectively the only next-gen Grand Theft Auto.
I’ll have more thoughts as I play further into Saints Row.
— September 1, 2006