Pumping out the goods quicker than a steroid-fuelled chicken lays eggs, Volition are swiftly reinforcing their catalogue of DLC for stellar title Saint's Row 2 by adding the second instalment, Corporate Warfare. Saint's Row has always been the crazed, demented stepson of the forefather of sandbox crime games, Grand Theft Auto, and the opportunity for wacky antics has not been ignored in this short yet satisfying add on.
With the DLC being released episodically, Volition are avoiding making gamers shell out for the whole set by having the plots connected, but not chronologically bound. As such, the missions offered by the pack, costing 560 MSP, can be played at any time throughout the game. The Corporate Warfare story arc follows a war between two of Ultor's powers that be and even includes reappearances from individuals making up the history of the Saints, reintroducing the elusive Dex.
As with the last instalment, there are three missions in which Corporate Warfare has the player starring as a soldier in the battle between two sides of a company. There is a wide spread on the table here, with a helicopter mission, an on rails shooting section and the obligatory explosive run-and-gun mega-battle. While Ultor Exposed left many with a sour taste over its lack of bang for buck, Corporate Warfare seems a much more rounded package during gameplay and with the reduced price over the last pack, there is certainly much more value for money to be seen here.
The story in Corporate Warfare sees the player trying to track down and get to ex Saints lieutenant, Dex, who is now a high-flying Ultor exec. Departing from realism, the disjointed and apparently irrelevant missions see you murdering mimes, slicing ninjas, exploding helicopters and ruining Ultor's family fun day, but that's all in a day's work for a ruthless mobster, I guess.
Following on from Ultor Exposed, this episode adds further clothing items and vehicles, but these are for the true fans only, as these highly superficial additions to Saint's Row 2's arsenal of fun are barely even worth typing about. The vehicles that have been placed in the garage are no better than those in the first pack and will barely see any use over some of the better, faster cars. They do, however, come with a strangely vintage style which makes for an odd picture when blazing rampant down the street, cops in tail, in your 1920's automobile.
It's a curious thing that Volition have released two such short expansions in an equally describable span of time, if the two packs had been released together, as one, then they would have felt much more substantial, as it is, Corporate Warfare's very short story arc feels like it's just starting to get going and then the achievement pops up and you know you've got nothing else to show for your spent cash than an achievement or two and just over an hour of extra gameplay.
With the additional apparel comes the option to have your cockney-accented and ridiculously dressed spoof of a gangster prance around with a bandana over his or her face - and apparently this was one of the features demanded by players! Considering this, it can be infuriating that Volition didn't put more time and work into providing more story content rather than ineffectual, superficial modifications.
When a review is made difficult to write because of the lack of content to write about, there is something seriously wrong with said game's lifespan. As with the Ultor Exposed DLC before it, Saint's Row 2: Corporate Warfare is an extremely bare-bones take on an expansion, a scantily-clad stripper at a black-tie dinner party. The missions are amusing, but short lived, the clothing pointless and the extra cars would be useful if you hadn't stocked your garage with motors from Ultor Exposed, but once you've got one good car, having ten makes no difference.
I wish I could justify the purchase with this content, as I love Saint's Row and I enjoyed the three missions on offer, but I've spent more time playing with a McDonald's Happy Meal toy than I have finishing Corporate Warfare. At 560MSP, if you're a big fan of Saint's and you've got a few quid spare, it might be worth a pop, but be prepared to be underwhelmed when you've finished it all after about an hour.
Sam has been unable to peel his bloodshot eyes and RSI-ridden wrists from the world of gaming since he was first introduced to it, like all good junkies, by his Grandad. From those early days of MegaDrive sweetness, bashing through the throngs of enemies on Shining Force II, his love of all things games has extended upwards and outwards onto a variety of platforms. You can either believe that spiel, or get the real scoop and know that his spaceship actually crashed here some years ago and he is currently incognito as a games writer for Console Monster.