Saints Row Multiplayer Hands-On: Live and Die in the Lobby

THQ's Saints Row multiplayer demo

What was so amusing at last night’s first-ever, hands-on multiplayer demo of THQ’s upcoming Saints Row in the penthouse suite of the Royalton Hotel here in NYC, was how I and seven fellow journalists who jumped in and immediately started running around and popping and pistol-whipping one another thought we were playing the actual game. We weren’t. Asking for our attention please, our THQ guy informed us, “Hey, guys, you’re not really playing the game – this is only the lobby.”

We all cracked up. Holy hell, a(n Xbox 360)  lobby that lets you wander through a warehouse and practice your moves before the real action begins! THQ says Saints Row’s live (and live-and-let-die) lobby is a world’s-first, and from all I can tell, they’re right.

Unlike what you’re used to in Quake 4 or Call of Duty 2 or Burnout Revenge, which show simple rosters of gamertags that allow idle chit-chatter as you wait for the game to start, this lobby gives you the option of lounging or letting-rip on your peers until all eight slots to fill up so the real game can begin.

And begin it did, after a brief primer on our first game, Big Ass Chains. The object: plug the other players to collect the most bling-bling gold chains, redeemable at pawn shops indicated on the map. Our showdown took place in a multi-leveled parking garage outfitted with vehicles and a nice assortment of weaponry, including a shot gun, machine gun, moltov cocktails, and a rocket launcher.

The next game, Protect the Pimp, finds your team protecting your designated pimp from the opposing team chartered with taking him out. Favorite touch: The crazy purple top hat your pimp dons to distinguish him as the teams top dog.

Now that Saints Row’s live-and-die-while-you-wait lobby sets a new standard in the multiplayer-waiting-game, it shouldn’t be long before other titles follow its innovative lead and offer similarly lively lobbies too. Goodbye to the lazy-daze of lackluster lobbies.


3 Responses to “Saints Row Multiplayer Hands-On: Live and Die in the Lobby”

  1.   1 techTroll

    Fact-check! Actually there are other games that incorporate a live pre-game lobby including a few incarnations of the aforementioned quake series. If you’re speaking solely about xbox live games, then you should specify that.

    Happy Blogging

  2. 2 joeygadget

    Thanks for the comment, techTroll.

  3.   3 Saints Row Fan

    i play this game now that its been out for over a year and i still dont find it any less boring then when i first started… so im guessing this is pretty old and you probably wont see this entry but i love the game and cant wait until the second one comes out in 08, it should be one of the best multiplayer games ever made. and just in case anyone sees this, my gamertag on xbox live is Lil Saint92, so add me if you want to play a few matches with me
    ~~~~~Saints Row Fan~~~~~

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