Saints Row 2: Ultor Exposed

Saints Row 2: Ultor Exposed

What we liked:

+ New story missions
+ Co-op mode is a blast
+ Tons of new stuff

What we didn't like:

- Story arc is short
- Customization options are disappointing

DEVELOPER: Volition   |   PUBLISHER: THQ   |   RELEASE: 04/23/2009

More is definitely better in this case.

The days of DLC becoming commonplace are here. With open world games this has always been something that fans have been clamoring for as the environments lend themselves to new experiences daily. Volition and THQ have certainly realized this as their first batch of DLC for the popular Saints Row 2 has just arrived via Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network. This new content includes new story missions, vehicles, outfits, customization options and even a bevy of new multi-player content. For ten bucks (800 MS space bucks) you get quite a heaping helping of new fun to add to the massive amount already contained within the disc. If you are a fan of the game and are looking for another reason to venture back to the streets of Stilwater; your chariot has arrived.

First and foremost there are a series of new story missions, hence the title of the pack. These star porn star Tera Patrick, for better or worse. There are a total of three missions, and much like the original game are completely over-the-top and brimming with entertainment. One missions has you scouring the city and digging up corpses, that you in turn load into a pickup truck and tote around the city. Another mission has you defending your turf by taking down a flurry of helicopters on the edge of a cliff. All of the missions are accompanied by cut scenes featuring the likeness and voice of Tera Patrick interacting with your own custom made gangster.

The three new missions won’t take you long to complete and the final cut-scene certainly leaves it open for a follow-up, but the new stuff is appreciated. It is also worth noting that all of them can be complete in co-op mode. The story itself feels ridiculous, but then again what in the original game didn’t. Basically it is a conspiracy arc that has Tera Patrick (a porn star mind you) playing the role of an ex Ultor scientist that is trying to expose the company because the product she was testing was killing its subjects. It is hard to take this serious as she is constantly plastered in attire that would get grandpa Herbert’s pace maker pumping at full capacity, granted he is into polygonal women with creepy facial expressions.

In addition to the story mode Volition has also added a brand new way to enjoy the co-op experience. Akin to the competitive facet of Halo 3’s co-op campaign you can now activate a metagame within each mission of Saints Row 2. This is as simple as starting up a co-op game and selecting a few items on the options menu. Once activated each mission becomes a challenge between you and your buddy for the most points. There are a variety of ways to earn these points including body-specific shots (headshots, nutshots, melee, etc.), taking down lieutenants, destroying specific vehicles and reviving fallen homies. At the end of the level a scoreboard comes up and tallies up all of your points. The player with the most points earns a bit of extra money, and it also creates some cool scenarios of watching everyone scramble to do the most damage. This adds to the experience and is a welcome addition to the core game.

It also would not be DLC without a plethora of new items to toy around with. Ultor Exposed comes packed with new vehicles, clothing options and even some new customization options. For the latter you get a ton of new hair styles that can be applied at the start of a new game, or by simply visiting the plastic surgeon and altering your current character. Personally I recommend sporting the balding mullet for maximum hilarity. There is also a nice selection of new sideburns for all the Elvis wannabes out there. The clothing options are also in abundance bringing in some traditional attire and even a couple of insane costumes. There are some new t-shirts (including a Freckle Bitches one) and some helmets taken from the in-game swat team and even from THQs other title Red Faction: Guerilla. The best attire can be found at the Let’s Pretend shop in the mall and include a Gray Alien costume, a Beat Cop and even an Astronaut. Dressing up as an alien and mowing down civilians on the freeway in a semi truck is nearly unbeatable in fun factor.

The new vehicles also change up the game thanks to their unique properties. There are some traditional modes of transportation that don’t feel much different such as the sports car and the funny car, but some of the others are downright a blast to drive. The most notable is the cross-promotion vehicle from Red Faction Guerilla. Not only does this massive tank take a pounding, it also has a cannon mounted on top of for maximum good times. There is also a new version of the original attack helicopter that can hold up to four people. Rounding out the package are two vehicles that are just fun to maneuver around Stilwater. The three-wheeled motorcycle is great for launching yourself into oncoming traffic, while the Ultor jet is great for cruising the not-so-friendly skies. As a final bonus the team has also included four new maps for various multi-player game modes lifted from areas of the game. Overall the amount of new items is more than worth the price of admission.

In the day and age where DLC is sometimes criticized because it could actually have been included in the retail disc, it is nice to see some substantial content for a game that already came packed with so much. Ultor Exposed is an excellent addition to the game, and will bring back a lot of fans (myself included) into the mix. If you enjoyed the original game and only left because of nothing left to do, the co-op metagame and new story arc is more than worth the ten dollar price tag. I highly recommend picking this up if you still have Saints Row 2 in your collection.

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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