There’s something about an open-world game that can keep you hooked for weeks at a time until you feel completely woven into the digital world you entered. And, while fantasy RPGs seem to dominate the genre, crime-sims hold just as much prestige and there’s almost none more prestigious than Saints Row 2.
THQ’s runaway success shocked the world more than a decade ago by creating one of the most entertaining and chaotic open-worlds at the time while still keeping the action in a semi-realistic realm. Add in the ability to finally choose a Hardcore difficulty for the game and you’ve got one of the most immersive and challenging experiences around.
But when you start off with no money, barely any weapons, and no cheats, it can seem like a daunting task trying to make it through the entire game in one piece but, with these simple tips, you’ll be conquering the streets of Stilwater with ease. To the point where you might question whether or not you’re playing on Hardcore mode, to begin with.
At least, that’s how it felt for me but it was still a way more satisfying way to play the game and I highly recommend you play on this difficulty from the start. In case you do, I’ve got just what you need to help guide you through. So, without further ado, here’s how to beat Saints Row 2‘s Hardcore mode.
HOW TO BEAT
SAINTS ROW 2
Make Money Fast
In order to beat Hardcore mode as effortlessly as possible, you need to get your hands on a few essential items but it’s going to be pretty hard to do that without a lot of cash at your disposal. You’re fresh out of prison with barely a penny to your name and most activities won’t reward you with a lot of cash until you get to a very high level.
So which activity can you do fast from the very beginning? The Chop Shop of course. Unlike the first game, there are five chop shop locations instead of just three and each will provide you with an easy list of cars to find that doesn’t require any specific modifications to be accepted.
Simply select the car you want to target, preferably the one that will give you the biggest reward but anyone will do, and drive around in the mentioned area until you see the car spawn on the map. It’s a lot easier with the cheaper vehicles but getting lucky on an expensive vehicle will set you up pretty well.
The best part is, you don’t have to return to a specific Chop Shop to turn in a vehicle. The GPS will automatically direct you to the closest Chop Shop to drop off the vehicles. In no time at all, you’ll have more than enough cash for all those good gangster essentials.
Food Is Your Friend
From the start of every game, health regeneration is available to the player and can easily get you back to full health if you take cover and stop taking damage. But when you’re taking on more enemies that hit harder and are far more accurate, it helps to have some quick healing to rely on.
There are many restaurants, drive thru’s, and shops for you to visit that sell various food items which give you different levels of health regeneration. Simply open the weapon selection menu and quickly select any of your food items using the D-pad instead of the analog stick.
Once you get to boss fights and the more intense shootouts that come from level 5 gang notoriety. Even in the Drug Trafficking activity, I found myself constantly using the quick health option to make sure I didn’t have to come back and do it again. Who knew doughnuts were so healthy.
Infinite SMG Ammo
By far, the most useful weapon class in all of Saints Row 2 has to be the SMG. It has the furthest range without the need for ADS and can mow down a ton of enemies with ease. But one thing that frustrated me was how much of my hard-earned money was being spent on SMG ammo.
So how do you stay replenished on ammo without spending any money or using cheats? Well, a number of activities around the city give you unlockable perks and one of those perks just so happens to be infinite SMG ammo. So now you can keep spraying your Dual SMGs without a care in the world.
Simply head to the Snatch activity located in the Downtown area, complete all 6 levels of the activity and you’ll have an endless supply of ammo to carry you throughout the entire game and let you steamroll over any of the gang bosses that you face.
Taxies Are Faster
As fun as it is to drive around in Saints Row 2, it’s definitely not the fastest way to get around the city even if you get the quickest car around. Turns out there is actually a way to fast-travel anywhere in the city. All you have to do is pull out the cellphone and call a taxi for yourself.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the phone number. Next time you see a taxi pass you on the street, have a look at the text written on the side of the car. It will have the phone number for the taxi that can be called at any time as long as you are on a proper driving road.
Of course, you will have to pay for the trip but if you’ve already been making money fast like in the first tip then it shouldn’t be a problem. You don’t even need to finish the call, as soon as the operator picks up on the other end, hang up and they’ll send a taxi to your location.
While there are many different strategies and approaches to take that will make the Hardcore mode a breeze, these are by the easiest to use and remember when you need it. In fact, you’ll probably forget you’re playing on a higher difficulty and question whether or not you’re that good.
Do you play Saints Row 2? What are some tips and tricks that you’ve learned along the way? Let me know in the comments section below.