Saints Row 2 shipped for Windows PC Tuesday, THQ announced.

Play control will be the essential difference in the PC gaming experience with the game looking and sounding nearly the same on the PC as it does on consoles, a THQ spokesperson said. The difference would be using a keyboard and mouse instead of a console controller.

Some gamers prefer using their PC to a console, said Craig Mitchell, a spokesman for THQ. “We want to reach gamers where they play.”

Offering these types of advanced games on the PC sometimes proves to be problematic. Different PC gamers use different hardware depending on the machine they use. Some gamers could simply run the game on a home computer. Other gamers might run Saints Row 2 on a machine custom made for gaming. Such machines could give a crisp look to the graphics, Mitchell said.

Saints Row 2 allows players to roam free in a city environment. The main character in the game is in a street gang called the Saints. The title references the street where the gang lives. Players can interact with this environment as they choose.

“Saints Row 2 is the first title to offer PC gamers an open-world experience,” Mike Kulas, vice president, product development and general manager of Volition Inc., said in a THQ press release. “We’ve spent a great deal of time optimizing system specs for Windows PC to ensure gamers the same high quality experience no matter what system they choose.”

Volition Inc. internally developed the game, for THQ, to include an open-world action environment similar to the original Saints Row, with a few improvements. The sequel features customizable character design, but ads customization options to the gang and your crib, or place of residence.

Gameplay centers on the actions of shooting, fighting and driving. Some of these elements were designed in the same way as the original Saints Row. Others have changed.

Shooting works in the standard third person style. Weapons have been added, but this element is essentially the same as the first game.

Fighting has become a combo system with four distinct styles. The player starts with a brawler style. Depending on which gangs the player interacts wit the fighting style evolves to include a grappling style, a Kung Fu style, or a Caribbean style.

Driving changed in Saints Row 2, because of the addition of new vehicles including motorcycles, boats, helicopters and planes.

The story centers on the Saints taking back the city from a corrupt corporation. The corporation is attempting to gentrify the city and eliminate the gangs, including the Saints. “They have their own private security force to fight you, particularly when you go on company property,” Mitchell said.

Boston retailers should have the game on shelves this week. It will retail for around $40.

About The Author

Christopher Pineo is a Blast Magazine correspondent

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