The THQ game Saint's Row looks so much like Grand Theft Auto, that, if I were shown game footage without being told it was a completely different game, I would assume it was, in fact, the next GTA.
We're used to GTA clones at this point, but the game screams "blatant rip-off" in a very loud voice to everyone in its vicinity. Everything is stolen directly from GTA, and I don't just mean conceptually.
I mean artistically. The look of the minimap and the larger pause menu map. The glowy circles that signal available missions or objectives. The cars look the same. Even the fucking font looks exactly like the one from GTA.
This game might be a lot of fun. Based upon their description, though, it sounds like the entire game centers around the San Andreas turf war aspect, which was but a sliver of SA. And intense focus on one theme didn't help True Crime.
There are plenty of interesting skins one could throw over the GTA play specification. Why not attempt to design a brand new world? Steampunk? Post-apocalyptic? Anything but another cash-in of urban thug culture -- Ugh.
With Saint's Row I can't tell if the developers are lazy, or simply lack imagination.