Saints Row 2 is Going Streaking

A trailer has appeared on the internet sporting a naked woman--blurred in sensitive areas--running around the world of Volition's Saints Row 2 (PC, 360, PS3) and generally causing mayhem.

The trailer isn't a modification or a hack. It's a streaking feature.

"In terms of backlash from the game's content, we are not too concerned," said Craig Mitchell of publisher THQ to Edge. "THQ and Volition have worked within the guidelines of the ESRB and the international ratings boards and the game has been rated appropriately," he added. Saints Row 2 received an "M for Mature" rating from the ESRB.

Edge describes the streaking feature as follows:

Streaking is activated by pressing down twice on the controller's d-pad, at which point players are told to "Streak closely to as many people as possible!" A good streak will earn "Respect" stats.

"In streaking, the character's front is blurred out, plus, all the characters were made 'asexual' so even a possible mod/hack would not reveal anything," said Mitchell. "Saints Row 2 has a very over-the-top tone and the activities like streaking play into that," he concluded.

Blake's Take: The last time an open-world mayhem simulator included sexually-charged imagery, the results were overwhelmingly bad for the industry and cost Take-Two over $2 million while attracting the government's attention. While the sophomoric humor of streaking is a far cry from polygonal sex acts, I have a hard time believing that the mainstream media will draw much of a distinction. Then again, this is the game featuring "special producer" Tera Patrick (a porn star) and spokesman Gary Busey--what we're seeing could be THQ's marketing department at its prime.