"Saints Row" Guide: Introduction

Navigation: Saints Row Guide > Introduction

As I write this (near the end of 2008), Saints Row has been out for about 2
years now. I would have gotten it earlier, but I only just recently got an Xbox
360, so I've come a bit late to this party. That begs the question, however, of
"do we need a new guide for it"? Obviously, I think the answer is yes. And here
is why.

I'm a completionist. That is to say, when I play a game, I want to see and
experience everything the designers put into the game to be seen and
experienced. If there comes a point in a game where I find out (that for
whatever reason) I cannot see some aspect of the game, that's generally around
the time I lose interest, and the game gets shelved. What can I say, it's an
affliction. However, I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who has this
particular disease (just based on the emails I get on my past guides, there are
quite a few of you out there!).

A game like Saints Row has an enormous number of things to do and see. So many,
in fact, that unless you use some form of a guide, you are unlikely to
encounter all of them. If you only play through the story missions (the
missions the game points you to), you've only played half the game (or less),
and arguably not even the most interesting half.

Saints Row is what is known as a sandbox game. It is meant to be played in a
freeform manner, in that you should go out and do whatever you want and have
fun while doing it. A guide like mine is somewhat contrary to this purpose,
because it takes away the freeform aspect of it (you will be following a set
plan). I would highly suggest you spend some time playing the game in the
manner it was intended to be played in. Do missions, run activities, perhaps
even finish off the storyline if you like. And when you are serious and ready
to get to that 100% number, start up a new game, come back here, and only then
get started.

There are already a couple of game FAQs available for Saints Row. However,
those guides just didn't work for me. This is not a diss of those authors or
their documents (which are just fine for what they do, in fact I used them as
references in the writing of this guide), they just aren't in a format that is
conductive to what I want, which is to see the entire game.

For those of you who want to see and do it all, this guide is written for you.
Read on, and enjoy yourself. One word of warning, there may be spoilers
contained within this guide. If you don't want to read the spoilers, why are
you reading a guide in the first place? But I'll try not to give away anything
that you wouldn't already see at that point in the game anyway. For that
matter, I'll try not to give anything away at all. I'm deliberately going to be
terse in describing the story missions, and the focus will be on strategies for
beating the mission rather than describing what happens. But I'm not going to
make any promises; there may be the occasional slip of a plot line here and

As I was writing this guide, I did each part in sections (all the CDs, all the
tags, all the missions, etc.) in order to get an idea of their completion
percentages and rewards. However, once I had finished that, I erased the game,
started a new profile (to reset the Xbox 360 achievements) and ran through the
game in very nearly the exact order I describe. What you see below is exactly
how I ran my own game. So I know it's entirely possible to complete the game
using my order. However, don't feel like you're bound to the exact same order I
went in. If you want to change things up, be my guest! If you want to grab all
60 CDs at once, feel free (it'll give you the bonus songs earlier than you
would get them otherwise). Just don't skip over something and forget to come
back to it! Inevitably, someone is going to ask "Why did you do X before Y?" or
"Doing this before that is better because...". The order I've put stuff in is
the order I did them in; there's no better reason I can give. I tried to strike
a balance between keeping the story missions moving forward, collecting the
collectables (CDs and Tagging), and doing the optional stuff (Activities,
Achievements). I make no promises or presumptions that my order is the
best possible way to complete the game, it's just one way to do it.

I'm not going to talk about cheat codes. They don't interest me, and therefore
I don't know anything about them. To me, there's little point in playing with a
cheat code on. The only time I consider them valid to use is if you are stuck
on something so frustrating that the alternative is to delete the game from
your system (and I've never had this happen in this game). Otherwise, I fail to
see the point. I'm also not going to use anything I consider exploit-ish. These
are things in the game that are legal, but were not intended (in my opinion) to
be used by the designers in quite the way they are being used (Titan armored
car anyone?). Sometimes it's a bit of a grey area. Use your own judgment on
that stuff and do it however you like (it is, after all, your game), but I
won't be describing them here.

One last thing before we get to the interesting stuff. Before I get a lot of
emails about this, let's get it out of the way. Saint's versus Saints. I'm
going to use "Saints" in this guide rather than the more correct "Saint's",
just because that's what's on the front of the game box. It hurts me to do
that, because I'm a grammar snob, but that's the way Volition set it up, so I'm
going to respect that.

Okay, enough exposition from me, let's get to the good stuff.