Saint's Row 2 was fun for the week I played it. I mostly just drove around and played side missions and built up my character. This is what I enjoy doing in sandbox games anyway so I was content. The side missions are genuinely enjoyable though fairly generic: racing, combat, step and fetch missions. One particular side mission: The Septic Avenger was particularly appealing. In this mission you drive around in a sewage truck spraying shit on buildings and people in order to destroy property value.
I dipped my toe into the actual story missions: one involved escaping from prison, one involved driving from point A to point B, and one involved busting into the courthouse and rescuing a character from the first game. I look forward to continuing the story when I pick the game up again but am not expecting any real surprises.
The most impressive feature of Saint's Row 2 is the level of character customization available. You can choose: race, sex, body type, tweak all the levels of body type, age, voice, insults and compliments the character uses, hair, etc., etc., etc. My first character was an extremely over weight and heavily muscled older guy with an English accent - basically a bigger, meaner Bob Hoskins. I got sick of him and created a female character - this time basically a bigger, meaner Margaret Cho with a really kick-ass red and black pompadour Morrissey would be jealous of.
One side note about character customization - attn: all games featuring character customization - add scars. Yes, Mass Effect had some scarification but only The Godfather has allowed me to make a truly horrific, scarred monster of a character. My guy looked like Marv. It was awesome. My Margaret Cho knock off would be awesome covered in scars. Designers take note. Add it to the list.
As far as graphics and game play goes Saint's Row 2 looks and plays perfectly reasonable. It's not the most gorgeous game I've ever seen but I was having too much fun to piss and moan about the graphics. If you played any sandbox game then you will be familiar with the controls. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
Saint's Row 2 is a perfectly reasonable way to spend time gaming. It's just unfortunate that it came out while I am saving money for Fallout 3.