Review: Crackdown

ALL JUSTICE – NO RESTRAINTS

Developer: Realtime Worlds
Genre: Sci-Fi Shooter
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release Date: February 20, 2007
Compatability (Xbox 360): 140KB Mininum Space | HDTV 480p / 720p / 1080i | System Link 2 | Co-Op 2
Rating: 8.0

In Crackdown don’t expect a compelling story with plot twists and interesting characters. However what you will get is a fun over the top game where throwing cars is the norm. The world of Crackdown is a fun one and Pacific City is your playground. Standing in your way is three gangs (Los Muertos, The Volk and The Shai Gen) who you must take down and (this is optional) in style.

Crackdown is an open world third person shooter set in an urban city (similar to New York) divided into three islands each controlled by one of the three gangs. The objective of the game is to assassinate the 21 bosses which include the three gang kingpins. These ‘assassinations’ are the core negative within Crackdown and it’s hard to overlook . Each one is identical only each in a different location and a different skin. This gets easy when you get your hands on the heavier weapons and then it begins to become a breeze. Other than taking out the 21 bosses you can retake supply points (checkpoints), collect these things called orbs, race on the ground (with cars) or the rooftops and just generally explore and level up.

An open world full of non-stop action.

Helping you out is the Agency and its Peacekeepers (the police) who help out when needed. Also there is this narrator guy who is constantly in your ear about everything and anything with quotes such as ‘Skills for kills agent, skills for skills’ and other such quips. Crackdown’s combat system consists of ‘locking on’ and shooting and also the inclusion of targeting a body part. It’s a very simple system and very easy once you get into the higher levels.

Levelling up is one of the most rewarding things to do in Crackdown and there are many ways to do it. In Crackdown you have an XP system divided into agility (running and jumping), driving, explosives, strength (picking up and throwing objects and melee attacks) and weapons. The more you progress the easier the game gets and therefore gets more fun. Like most games (especially open world games) there are items to collect. In Crackdown there are 500 agility orbs in total to collect and another 300 hidden orbs (levels up all attributes) scattered within the rooftops of Pacific City. These orbs actually increase your agility and are the only orbs that can actually increase your XP, all the others you have to do a specific thing (i.e. killing enemies with guns increases your weapon skill). All in all collecting orbs is one of the most fun things I have done in a game. Talking of agility you’ll be on the rooftops a lot because number one driving isn’t that fun and number two jumping across rooftops with your arms flailing is the second most fun thing to do in Crackdown. Also included (other than the main game) is time trials, the objective of time trials is to kill a gang boss in the fastest time possible. This is pretty fun but nothing extraordinary.

Attacking moves are limited and may become repetitive.

Unlike most open world games you’ll be using a lot of the B button, melee. I actually got the highest level possible on my agent just because I used melee so much. A little disappointing is the animation of the melee, and all he does is kick. You do use your guns but as stated before you just lock onto your target and shoot. You have grenades (explosives) which can cause a might bang when your explosive skill reaches 4 stars. Overall killing gang-bangers is a chuck full of fun but its very simple and it gets very repetitive. I think this game being simple is its downfall. I can look over that because the game is great and it has so much squandered potential. On the positive side of things Realtime Worlds has acknowledged the Xbox community and has implemented co-op. Disappointing is the lack of system link or split screen. It’s just the same game but with two people which means more killing more explosions and more orb hunting. It’s non-stop fun.

I’m coming to the end of this review and I thought of something. The moment the game ended and I had defeated all the gang bosses I felt sad. Why? Because I had enjoyed my time playing Crackdown even if the game has some negatives and sometimes frustrated me. I wanted more and felt I could keep playing and playing. So yes, Crackdown is a great game and you should buy it.

Reviewed by phillipsmy – December 24, 2009

Graphics
Nothing extraordinary but visuals are an improvement and interesting to look at.
 
Sound
One of the downfalls of Crackdown. Weak music and dialogue.
 
Fun
Even though the game may become repetitive and easy after some time, the level of fun in this game is awesome and addictive. Collecting orbs is great.
 
Final Score

 

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