x360a Review: Saints Row 2's Ultor Exposed DLC
Written Thursday, April 23, 2009 By Dan WebbView author's profile
For about the third time in as many years, it’s time to step back on to the streets of Stilwater, and like the Saints Row 2 campaign, it’s time to go toe-to-toe with the evil Ultor Corporation yet again. The Ultor Exposed downloadable content, now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points, has a combination of single player, co-operative and multiplayer elements thrown in, hoping to entice players back into the title.
In the first of three planned DLC packs, you’ll team up with microbiologist Tera Patrick (yes, the porn star) in order to uncover the sinister of actions of the Ultor Corp and bring these issues to the public’s attention. Patrick, an ex-employee of Ultor, enlists your help to gather evidence of the wrongdoings of Ultor and get them on the national news. You’ll partake in 3 missions which have a ton of variety in terms of what you’ll be doing, but the major problem of this campaign add on is that you’ll easily see them off within an hour and then that’s that aspect done and dusted.
The Ultor Exposed content’s co-operative element comes in the form of the “Co-Op Competitive” mode which is a nice distraction at best. The mode pits players against each other in a battle of the scoreboards. Still working as a team to complete the missions, players are rewarded with points for kills and the general mayhem they cause during the missions. This new mode does translate to non downloadable content as well which is nice, but it’s little more than a gimmick as opposed to a new mode to applaud. If anything, you’ll have most of your problems finding a game, so make sure you have a friend lined up if you want to test out this mode.
Other than the aforementioned gameplay elements, the content also throws in a few new vehicles to keep you amused, including and not limited to; the Stallion, an old 60’s style racing car, the three-wheeled Pulse bike, the EDF Scout which is like a mini tank with controllable missiles, and the Vulture attack chopper, fully loaded with a powerful mini gun and homing rockets. In addition, players can take advantage of a whole array of new attire and hairstyles if they so wish to freshen their characters up.
The Ultor Exposed content also adds four new multiplayer maps to the online arena; two for Strong Arm (Downtown and Trailer Park) and two for Gangsta Brawl (Warehouse and Prison Cell). The problem with the new maps is that they fall down where the rest of the Saints Row 2 online does ... everywhere. You’ll be stuck waiting even longer now to test the new maps because of the so few people with the content and you’re still prone to quitters and unevenly matched matches in a generic and seemingly tacked on mode. After a short time online with the new maps, I can honestly say that I’ll never use these maps ever again ... or in fact, the online mode full stop.
As far as the achievements go, they’re pretty simple, 5 achievements in all, 125 points available. You simply get one achievement for doing the short campaign, one for calling Tera as a homie for back up, one for playing the co-op mission, one for winning 5 co-op missions, and one for hosting/playing in a party match on Live. Simple, easy and a distinct lack of innovation. Like the rest of the content in fact.
The value of the downloadable content is surely the pack’s questionable aspect. Adding multiplayer maps to a pretty poor online mode won’t please the vast majority of fans of the title that have no love for its multiplayer gangsta’ stylings. Those that love Saints Row 2 for its wide open, co-op enabled world will ultimately come away disappointed having spent 800 points on what ultimately is a few extra vehicles and an hour’s worth of gameplay. It hardly screams good value and is easily the shortest piece of “premium” downloadable content we’ve yet to experience. Volition have failed to play to the game’s strengths and as a result, the downloadable content isn’t even worth a second look. Save your money here and hope that the next two instalments are better value for money.