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of each move.
In Saints Row, the combat system is fairly basic. All non-melee weapons, apart from the McManus, can be aimed by lining up the crosshairs on the screen over an enemy and pressing the Right Trigger. Because the McManus is a sniper rifle, it has the unique ability of allowing the player to zoom in on targets by pressing the Left Trigger. The player can zoom in three times by pressing the Zoom button multiple times. The fourth time the button is pressed, the sniper rifle zooms back out.
Hand to hand combat is accessible by selecting the Fists, and consists of pulling the Left and Right Triggers to swing the left and right fists respectively, and holding both triggers down at the same time will allow the player to defend. Pressing the Left Bumper will allow the player to kick, which can break through an opponent's defense. Successfully pulling two punches in a row without the target blocking will cause The Protagonist to utilise a special third throw which will immediately knock down and kill the target. Pressing the Left Trigger with any non-melee weapon but the McManus equipped will cause the player to hit an enemy with the butt of the gun.
Saints Row 2Edit
Whereas in the previous game, the player was limited to one style of fighting, in Saints Row 2, they have access to a wider range of fighting styles, including:
- Brawling (Default)
- Professional Wrestling (Brotherhood)
- Tae Kwon Do (Ronin)
- Capoeira (Sons of Samedi)
However, in the beginning, the player will only be able to select the basic Brawler style; each of the three antagonist gangs however have a style which is unlocked after completing the sixth mission in each gang's arc. Techniques vary in speed and power, as well as individual finishing moves.
Although the player previously have the ability to land a much more powerful attack with their Fists and Samurai Sword if they landed three hits in a row, Saints Row 2 now also gives the player more unique attacks, activated by landing specific combinations of attacks. There may also be finishing moves for grounded opponents. These moves include:
- Superman Punch - a sucker punch (holding the victim's head forward by their shirt, jumping up and holding your hand backwards as if to chargeup and punching them in the face)
- Kick to the Groin (give females the feeling of giving birth and males the feeling of a hernia)
- Knee to the Face (holding the victim's head, pulling it down and colliding it with your rapidly rising knee)
- Backhand Slap - a Pimp Slap (swinging your hand backwards into the victim's face and doing a little flick at the end)
- Lifting Side Slam (The Rock Bottom)
- Side Slam Backbreaker
- Three Headbutts the face (Holding the victims head, pulling it down and colliding it with your rapidly rising knee)
- Death Valley Driver - (Fireman's Carry)
- One Middle Kick Spinning Jump-Kick (kicking them in the low torso to weaken them, and finishing them with a classic Chuck Norris roundkick)
- Two Middle Punches Spinning Jump-Kick (two punches to the torso to weaken them, finishing them with a classic Chuck Norris roundkick)
- Two Middle Kicks, and a Body Slam
- Two High Spinning Kicks to the Head (The Boss spins around while kicking the oponent in the head, stunning them, and then knocks them down with a stronger follow-up spin kick)
Sons of Samedi
- Sweep Reverse Hurricanrana
- Spinning Handstand
- Mounted Punches
- Stab Through the Jaw (the Katana goes through the bottom of the jaw and winding up in either their forehead, mid face, or into their cranium and out, depending on the face shape)
- Stab Through the Chest (fast) (uppercut-like stab into their stomach or chest)
- Stab Through the Chest (slow) (the same Jyunichi uses to injure Johnny Gat, only shorter)
- Slash Across the Chest then Kick Away
Grabs, Throws & ExecutionsEdit
The player is now able to grab an NPC, and use them as a Human Shield. From this position, the player may fire freely with any firearm selected, even two-handed weapons such as rifles and shotguns.
In addition to this, the player also has the option to throw their hostage or execute them. It is also possible to Throw your victim into the air in a specific direction, which can be used tactically, as a flying NPC can do some damage to others. (Throwing them in particular into certain destructible objects will be necessary for the Crowd Control Activity and for destroying shanties in some missions.) Executions are instant-kill moves, either with or without a gun. When using a firearm or the Stun Gun the player fires a single shot directly into the hostage's head. If unarmed, or wielding a thrown weapon, they simply snap their victim's neck.
This last ability can be very useful in the Hitman Activity, where the target is often heavily armed and very tough, but rarely attacks the player on sight. If they can get their target in a human shield, they can often eliminate any guards with ease, then instantly kill their intended victim.
When the player is caught in a fist or melee fight, they can use certain blocks with their weapons/fists. These can be used by pressing and holding the Primary and Second Attack buttons at the same time.
- The Sword is held out in front of The Protagonist, and blocks any attacks.
- Arms are held up in front of face and part of the torso and blocks attacks.
- Improvised Weapons - Although at first limited in what the player can actually buy and take from other NPCs, many ambient items around Stilwater are now usable as weapons, although their effectiveness is still debatable.
The player is now able to use small arms, pistols, SMGS, or Dual Katanas in both hands, doubling firepower, but dropping accuracy. Reload times don't seem too affected by making use of two guns, but this may just be a shortcut in multiplayer.
If the player needs cover in an open firefight, or just wants to grab hold of someone, they can grab an NPC from behind, even an ally, and move freely. However, this is not guaranteed to work, as after a certain level of notoriety, both gangs and police will shoot at you, regardless of who you're using as your shield. Weapons that the player is able to use whilst human shielding are:
- Melee (Geiger Counter and Stun Gun only)
- Assault Rifles (Excluding the Mini-gun)
- Special Weapons
- Thrown Weapons
In Saints Row, the only weapon with any degree of zoom is the McManus sniper rifle. The Zoom Control zooms in three times before returning to normal view. In Saints Row 2, the McManus 2010 has updated Controls for zooming in and out.
In Saints Row 2, Fine Aim mode allows zooming in to a moderate degree with most weapons; even while dual-wielding weapons or holding a Human Shield. This mechanic is integral to some diversion-based bonuses, such as shooting enemies in the groin or head, providing you with more added respect for these trick shots. It is also useful for Mugging and Store Hold-Ups as they require the use of this mechanic.
Saints Row: The ThirdEdit
In Saints Row: The Third, the gameplay mechanics have been updated and now features different gameplay controls than in the previous games depending on what platform you play the game on. Human Shields and Fine Aim both make a return but have been updated to a degree that the player can now grab a human shield while sprinting and rather than executing victims with the current weapon they have, players can simply snap the victim's neck by clicking the Right Stick regardless of the weapon they use. Also, players can simply hold the new fine aim button (LT on Xbox 360 or L1 on PlayStation 3) to aim more accurately with any weapon. In Saints Row: The Third, the McManus 2015 once again has updated Controls for zooming in and out, also the fully upgraded AR-55 and the TOGO-13 use the same zooming controls as the McManus 2015.
The new Hand-to-Hand Combat system allows players to perform simple punches with the Primary Attack button while pressing the Secondary Attack button will initiate a scenario in which the player has to press the corresponding attack buttons on screen to perform one of the following attacks:
- Two punches to the abdomen, finishing punch to the face
- Over the shoulder flip, finishing kick to the back of the head
- Elbow to the stomach, neck, followed by a finishing head stomp
- Low sweep kick, four punches, finishing punch to the face
Also, players can dodge incoming Brute attacks by pressing the corresponding button on screen and failure to do so results in taking a lot of damage while being flung to the air, dealing more damage; should the player be grappled and strangled by the brute, they can be released as The Protagonist pulls out and fires a 45 Shepherd into the Brute's face on which the player must press the fire button to deal damage, not doing so results in the player taking a lot of damage until released. Note that click the Right Stick performs a Nut Shot on an enemy when near one regardless of the weapon you're using or while unarmed. While sprinting, pressing any attack button will perform a takedown if a target is nearby. Those takedowns result in the following:
- Shoulder launch, Elbow neck slam
- Jumping in the air and performing a mid-air head grab, takedown and pose
- Jumping on the target's back, sliding on the ground and dismounting
- Neck grab, Ground slam
- Jumping drop kick
- Rodeo-style takedown
- "Talk to the hand" takedown
Blocking attacks like in the previous games don't make a return, but thanks to the newly enhanced combat mechanics, players can simply kill any enemy (excluding Brutes) by pulling off a Secondary Attack combo. Note that if done perfectly, a fair amount of Respect can be earned for a 'Beatdown'.-
The Fine Aim mechanics have been improved and updated that you can shoot any enemy from an average distance depending on what weapon you use. Accuracy has been improved even while dual-wielding any Pistol or SMG, and if the player has an upgraded assault rifle (not including the TOGO-13 as it can't be upgraded) the Reticle will slightly change its appearance so the player is now even more accurate than normal with an assault rifle. Hip-fired weapons like the Grave Digger or Bling Shotgun are more accurate if the player uses the Fine Aim key while attacking. This is helpful if the player tries to earn respect for headshots or nutshots while using a particularly less accurate weapon. The upgraded Annihilator uses laser-guided rockets that can be controlled on where you move the reticle with the fine aim button held like in Saints Row 2. Fine aim can't be used while throwing grenades, so it'll be a challenge to aim your thrown projectiles. Only the upgraded K-8 Krukov has grenade-launching capabilities but can launch only normal Hand Grenades, so Molotov Cocktails, Electric Grenades, and Flashbangs/Farts in Jars can't be launched through the K-8's grenade launcher. Note that the M2 Grenade Launcher and the GL G20 are the only usable grenade launchers in the game despite that they have their own projectiles rather than using up some of your grenades.
- Saints Row 2 is the only game you can change your fighting style.