Saints Row 2 producer Greg Donavan has expressed confidence in his game going up against Rockstar's flagship title, the anticipated and sure-to-be controversial Grand Theft Auto IV. The two games are very similar, both being sandbox crime spree titles, with the original Saints Row sometimes coming off as a cack-handed and even desperate attempt at capturing GTA's feel, though admittedly adding a few refinements along the way and improving the combat.
Similarity and the GTA series' headstart do not worry Donavan, however. "Frankly we wouldn't be releasing this year if we didn't think we could be competitive," stated the Saints Row producer. "I think co-op is a huge distinguishing factor. Unless they're really holding something - I don't think they are - I think that's a big plus for us."
Co-op has become a bigger selling point of late, so it's true that Saints Row 2 has a chance to compete if its co-op system is superior. However, until they change the awful Respect system (I don't want to engage in childish pimp missions constantly to get to real ones) and hire script writers that weren't turned down by Rockstar for trying too hard to be edgy, then I'll remain suspicious of the game becoming a GTA beater.
That said, plenty of others still see Saints Row as a superior improvement over Rockstar's titan franchise, so who knows? We can only wait until both games are on the shelf before measuring which is the greater.