"Should reviews try to discern between quality and amusement? I'm trying to understand the gulf in review scores between GTAIV and Saints Row 2, back when both games screeched onto consoles. GTAIV is an important game, and an ambitious one, and we reviewers do so love that sort of thing. It deserved its accolades, even if they did feel as inevitable as the rather tiresome backlash that followed.
Saints Row 2, on the other hand, is only just emerging from the shadow of its more acclaimed rival. Indeed, it's probably the first sandbox crime game to make the derogatory "GTA clone" tag seem misplaced. Saints Row 2 isn't so much a copy of Grand Theft Auto, as the natural heir to the series' brattish attitude. With Rockstar casting aside its more cartoon-like excesses in order to better suit Niko Bellic's melancholy immigrant saga, Volition was quick to position Saints Row as The GTA That Still Lets You Be Silly."