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Combat is a gameplay feature in Saints Row, Saints Row 2, Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV.

Saints Row[]

In Saints Row, Unarmed Combat is introduced in the first mission, Canonized, while armed combat is introduced in the following mission, Back to Basics.

Unarmed Combat[]

Unarmed Combat is used by selecting the Fists. Against a standing opponent, the Left and Right Triggers are used to swing the left and right fists respectively, and holding both triggers down at the same time performs a block. Pressing the Left Bumper kicks, which can break through an opponent's defense. Successfully pulling three punches in a row without the target blocking causes Playa to utilise a special third move which immediately knocks down and kill the target. Against an opponent lying on the floor, the Right Trigger performs a light stomp while the Left Trigger performs a heavy stomp. Pressing the Left Trigger with any non-melee weapon but the McManus equipped hits an enemy with the butt of the gun.

Blocking[]

Blocking is achieved by holding the Primary and Second Attack buttons at the same time while unarmed. It is not possible to block while using a weapon.

Aiming[]

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 zooming in on targets by pressing the Left Trigger. Pressing the Zoom button zooms in three times, with the fourth press causing the sniper rifle to zoom back out to normal view.

Saints Row 2[]

In Saints Row 2, the combat system has been expanded with more animations and combos.

Unarmed Combat[]

Unarmed Combat is used by selecting the Fists. Against a standing opponent, the Primary Attack button performs a right punch/kick and the Secondary Attack button performs a left punch/kick. Depending on the Fighting Styles selected, the properties of these basics attacks vary in speed, range, start up and recovery. Holding both attacks buttons down at the same time performs a block. Pressing and holding the Primary Attack button performs a critical move, which can break through an opponent's defense. Against an opponent lying on the floor, the Primary Attack button performs a light stomp while the Secondary Attack button performs a heavy stomp.

Blocking[]

Blocking is achieved by holding the Primary and Second Attack buttons at the same time.

Fighting Styles[]

There are four different unarmed fighting styles:

At the beginning of the game, only the basic Brawler style is available, with additional styles being unlocked after completing the sixth mission in each gang's arc. Techniques vary in speed and power, as do individual finishing moves.

Finishing Moves[]

Saints Row 2 has more unique attacks, activated by landing any three melee attacks in a row without the opponent blocking. There may also be finishing moves for grounded opponents.

Brawling

  • Superman Punch - a sucker punch (holding the victim's head forward by their shirt, jumping up and punching them in the face)
  • Kick to the groin
  • Knee to the Face (holding the victim's head, pulling it down to knee them in the face)
  • Backhand Slap - a Pimp Slap (swinging the back of a hand into the victim's face with a little flick at the end)

Playa performing a "Superman Punch"

Playa performing a "Kick to the groin" against a Saint

Playa performing a "Knee to the Face" against a prisonner

Playa performing a "Backhand Slap" against a biker

Playa performing a "Backhand Slap" against a biker

Playa performing a "Backhand Slap" against a cowboy

Brotherhood

  • Lifting Side Slam (The Rock Bottom)
  • Side Slam Backbreaker
  • Three Headbutts in the face (Holding the victim's head, and hitting it with three headbutts)
  • Death Valley Driver (Fireman's Carry)

Lifting Side Slam (The Rock Bottom)

Side Slam Backbreaker

Side Slam Backbreaker

Three Headbutts in the face

Three Headbutts in the face

Three Headbutts in the face

Death Valley Driver (Fireman's Carry) (Beginning)

Death Valley Driver (Fireman's Carry) (End)

Ronin

  • One Middle Kick Spinning Jump-Kick (kicking them in the low torso to weaken them, and finishing them with a round-house kick)
  • Two Middle Punches Spinning Jump-Kick (two punches to the torso to weaken them, finishing them with a round-house kick)
  • Two Middle Kicks, and a Body Slam
  • Two High Spinning Kicks to the Head (Playa spins around while kicking the opponent in the head, stunning them, and then knocks them down with a stronger follow-up spin kick)

One Middle Kick Spinning Jump-Kick

Two Middle Punches Spinning Jump-Kick

Two Middle Kicks, and a Body Slam (Beginning)

Two Middle Kicks, and a Body Slam

Two Middle Kicks, and a Body Slam (End)

Two High Spinning Kicks to the Head (Beginning)

Two High Spinning Kicks to the Head (End)

Sons of Samedi

  • Hurricanrana
  • Sweep Reverse Hurricanrana
  • Spinning Handstand
  • Mounted Punches

Hurricanrana (Beginning)

Hurricanrana (End)

Sweep Reverse Hurricanrana (Beginning)

Sweep Reverse Hurricanrana (End)

Spinning Handstand

Mounted Punches (Beginning)

Mounted Punches (End)

Samurai Sword

  • 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

Jyunichi performing a "Stab Through the Jaw" against a Saint

Shogo performing a "Stab Through the Jaw" against a Saint

Shogo performing a "Stab Through the Chest (fast)" against a Saint

Jyunichi performing a "Stab Through the Chest (slow)" against a Saint

Jyunichi performing a "Stab Through the Chest (slow)" against a Saint

Jyunichi performing a "Slash Across the Chest then Kick" against a Saint

Dual Wielding[]

Pistols and SMGs can be used simultaneously in both hands, doubling firepower, but lowering accuracy. Reload times are unaffected by making use of two guns.

Human Shield[]

Main article: Human Shield

It is possible to take enemies and allies as Human Shields and move freely. At high notoriety levels, both gangs and police shoot at Playa even with a Human Shield. It is not possible to use dual-wielded weapons while using Human Shield.

Weapons usable with a Human Shield are:

Pressing the Secondary Attack button while holding a Human Shield performs an instant-kill Execution. When using a firearm or the Stun Gun, Playa fires a single shot directly into the hostage's head. If unarmed, or wielding a thrown weapon or RPG, they simply snap their victim's neck.

This can be very useful in the Hitman Activity, where the target is often heavily armed and very tough, but rarely attack 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.

Throwing[]

It is also possible to Throw a Human Shield in a specific direction, which does some damage to others.

Throwing Human Shields is featured in the Crowd Control Activity and in certain missions, when the tactic is used to destroy shanties.[1]

Tapping the Grab button instead of holding it immediately throws the person grabbed.

Fine Aim[]

Fine Aim mode allows zooming in to a moderate degree with most weapons; including while dual-wielding weapons or holding a Human Shield. This mechanic is useful to some diversion-based bonuses, such as shooting enemies in the groin or head. It is also required for Mugging.

The McManus 2010 has updated Controls for zooming in and out.

Saints Row: The Third[]

In Saints Row: The Third, the gameplay mechanics have been updated and feature different Controls.

As there is now a dedicated Melee button, Human Shields can be executed with a neck snap without changing to Fists.

The McManus 2015 once again has updated Controls for zooming in and out, and the fully upgraded AR-55 and the TOGO-13 use the same zooming controls as the McManus 2015.

Unarmed Combat[]

The new Unarmed Combat system allows simple punches with the Primary Attack button while pressing the Secondary Attack button initiates a quick-time event combo:

  • 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.

While sprinting, pressing any attack button performs 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 midair head grab, takedown and pose.
  • Jumping on the target's back, sliding on the ground and dismounting.
  • Neck grab, and then slamming hostile into the ground.
  • Jumping drop kick.
  • Rodeo-style takedown.
  • "Talk to the hand" takedown.

The Melee button performs a Nut Shot on a nearby enemy regardless of the weapon being used. A Secondary Attack combo immediately kills any enemy, except Brutes. If done perfectly, a fair amount of Respect can be earned for a 'Beatdown'. Blocking attacks like in the previous games is not possible.

Brute attacks can be dodged by performing a quick-time event. If Playa is grabbed by a Brute, there is another quick-time event which causes Playa to fire a 45 Shepherd into the Brute's face.

Fine Aim[]

The control for Fine Aim has been changed on all systems.

The Fine Aim mechanics have been improved and updated that it is easier to shoot any enemy from an average distance. Accuracy has been improved even while dual-wielding Pistols or SMGs, and upgrading assault rifles slightly results in the appearance of a reticle, making the weapon even more accurate. Hip-fired weapons like the Grave Digger or Bling Shotgun are more accurate when using Fine Aim. This is helpful when trying to perform headshots or nutshots.

Fine Aim cannot be used while throwing grenades.

Saints Row IV[]

Saints Row IV reuses the same mechanics as Saints Row: The Third.

When using a melee weapon with Super Powers, the result is an incredibly powerful attack that results in the victim being instantaneously killed while flung in the air.

Clothesline (Front running attack in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV)

Clothesline (Front running attack in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV)

Dropkick (Front running attack in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV)

Dropkick (Front running attack in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV)

Faceplant (Rear running attack in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV)

Stunner (Rear running attack in Saints Row IV)

Stunner (Rear running attack in Saints Row IV)

Stunner (Rear running attack in Saints Row IV)

Flying head scissors takedown (Front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Flying head scissors takedown (Front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super backflip into knee to head crush (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super backflip into knee to head crush (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super gorilla press into back kick to head stomp (Super rear running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super gorilla press into back kick to head stomp (Super rear running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super gorilla press into back kick to head stomp (Super rear running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super leg grab and thrown (Super rear running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super leg grab and thrown (Super rear running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super heart grab (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super powerbomb (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super powerbomb (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super powerbomb (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super throwdown into head stomp (Super running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super throwdown into head stomp (Super running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super uppercut into a slam and head stomp (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super uppercut into a slam and head stomp (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Super uppercut into a slam and head stomp (Super front running attack in Saints Row IV)

Trivia[]

  • Saints Row 2 is the only game which features customisable fighting styles.

Gallery[]

Melee combat tutorial - basics

Melee combat tutorial - combos


References[]

  1. Mission: Down Payment


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