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Crackdown Review 136

Posted by Zonk
from the nothing-quite-like-leaping-tall-buildings-in-a-single-bound dept.
When it was first announced that Halo 3 Beta keys were being included in the retail release of an Xbox 360 game, I rolled my eyes. I assumed that whatever they were slapping that key onto was going to be a crappy bargain basement eyesore. It has been a great pleasure to learn that, maybe, they bundled the Halo 3 key with Crackdown so that more people would be exposed to the simple greatness this game contains. To be sure, the game has deep flaws; not much of a story, a few racial stereotypes, and somewhat unsatisfying boss fights mar the experience. At the core, though, this is a mindlessly fun game that does a lot of things right. If there's a sequel, and there's no reason not to think there won't be, it's good to know that Realtime Worlds has established an extremely solid base for future endeavors. Read on for my thoughts on this superjumping shooter.
  • Title: Crackdown
  • Developer/Publisher: Realtime Worlds, Microsoft Game Studios
  • System: 360
  • Genre: Sandbox-Style Action Shooter
  • Score: 3/5 - This game is flawed, but will appeal to genre fans. Any gamer might enjoy renting it, but this won't ever be a classic.
The progression from weak to strong is a staple in videogaming. Leveling up in RPGs, scarfing a mushroom as Mario - they're all abstractions of improvement. The defining characteristic of Crackdown is this gain in power; more than killing gang members or taking out kingpins, the game is about developing from a fairly tough cop to an incredible supersoldier. Where with some titles you're inclined to become more powerful just because it's 'the point of the game', Crackdown makes you want it. More power isn't some minor increase in damage or a shinier sword. Over the course of the game your character moves from mighty hops to leaps that clear buildings effortlessly. Explosions go from minor pops to group-clearing blasts, and the ability to snap off a headshot in midair while falling from a 10-story building is ... pretty much always impressive.

This power progression is wrapped in a paper-thin story wrapping. You're a genetically engineered police officer cooked up to combat an overwhelming gang presence on the planet's capital city. As a part of a world-girding (kind of fascist-sounding) law enforcement organization called 'The Agency', your character is charged with the general task of 'killing all the bad guys'. As you bound and drive and run your way around the island-based city, you'll get intel on the kingpins who run the three gangs that run the town. You're given leave to take out the crime bosses and their henchmen any way you please. The only time the Agency gets cranky is when civilians get caught in the crossfire (or under an onrushing car). Individually, none of these criminals are a challenge to take out. The bosses are also fairly easy targets; all that separates them from their underlings is a bit more health. (Though you do get a well-voiced cut-scene after each.) The challenge here is that in a given fight you may be facing upwards of 15 or 20 gang members at once. If you allow them to surround you and set up a crossfire, even a super-powered agent can succumb to the stinging of gnats. This backdrop and the 'plot progression' of killing crime lords is all you'll get for a storyline. While it's disappointing, it's just barely enough to keep your attention.

Where the game fails with story, it excels with presentation. Over the course of the game you'll raise your character's skills by taking out gang members. It's immediately obvious what skills you are improving: kill a ganger with a gun, and little colored spheres with guns in them rush into your character. The game's voiceover enthusiastically calls that 'skills for kills'. Your five skills are Agility, Firearms, Explosives, Driving, and Strength. You start with zero stars, and can advance to four stars in each skill. Agility is the only skill that is raised through different means. Beautiful green glowing orbs on the tops of buildings (500 in all) tempt you to reach new heights and leap wider gaps. The collection of that sweet, sweet candy will probably be what catches your attention in the early part of the game. There's a wonderfully formed hum that alerts you to the presence of nearby orbs, and a cheery 'ping!' that sounds when you collect one. This mechanic is easily the most addictive in the game, but pretty much everything you can do is amusing in one way or another. Seeing how far you can throw things (like, say, cars in the later game), discovering the hidden orbs which improve all of your skills at once, running the rooftop and street-level races scattered across the map; giving you the chance to make your own fun is what this game excels at. The comparisons to Grand Theft Auto are understandable insofar as this is a well-made sandbox of a world, but Crackdown offers you even fewer barriers than GTA does in what you can and can't do.

And, on that note, anything you find you can't do by yourself can probably be achieved in co-op play. Online co-op mode is as flexible as any other portion of the game, allowing you and one friend to bound and race around the city in whatever fashion you desire. The whole city is open to your duo, and if you're not interested in staying together there's no reason to do so. Unlike with Gears, say, the co-op is only the icing on the cake for Crackdown; there's plenty of fun to be had on your own. It's still tremendous to play in such a wide-open environment with another voice ringing in your ears. We can only hope that GTA IV and future sandbox games take a page from Crackdown's very attractive book.

That attractiveness extends beyond the game's design to its visual style. Using a mild form of cell shading and an incredible draw distance, the city you've been charged with protecting is occasionally breathtaking. It's certainly not pushing the limits of UT-style imagery, but the game's look is still extremely appealing. The title's sound presentation is equally engaging, and especially in high places really adds to the game's sensation. Standing atop the Agency building, the highest in the gameworld, the wind rushing past you adds a real sense of vertigo to your extreme height. Beyond the sound, I especially enjoyed the city's architecture. Each portion of the city has a distinct look, and within the districts every building (it seems) has its own personality. From two-story flats to the black and neon skyscrapers, they've made your urban playground as varied as they can. They urge you to ever greater heights, and it's hard to overstate just how much fun it is to leap from a tall building into the midst of a firefight; it just never gets old.

Like a Burnout for action games, Crackdown has pared away superfluous things like 'characters', 'story' or 'originality' to get at the meat of the game mechanics on offer. For those that expect a little more from their games, be forewarned that you're not going to experience the next step in storytelling here. For a great time, though, and a heaping portion of extremely enjoyable mindless entertainment, it's hard to ignore Crackdown's charms. It doesn't hurt that, as advertised, you'll eventually get access to the Halo 3 multiplayer beta. There's talk that the beta for this retail offering may not be until May and, to be honest, this title won't keep you occupied until then. It's still a good few weeks worth of entertainment, and well worth your time for a rental or a borrow from a friend. Just don't forget to give co-op a try; racing from rooftop to rooftop with a friend is an experience not to be missed.
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Crackdown Review

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  • That will be awesome. I like crackdown for a silly playability, lack of storyline stuff..and i will love halo 3 beta
    • Yes yes! All hail Halo 3!! Greatest game ever!! Halo 3 will rule the Cosmos!!!

      Come on, the game hasn't even seen the light of day yet. And it will probably just look like H1 and H2. I say reserve judgement when it comes out.

      As far as Crackdown - the review is pretty spot on. Brainless but fun. I played way too much this weekend.

      RonB
  • Correction (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday March 05, 2007 @01:25PM (#18239246)
    I'd like to issue a correction for this review. The correct score should be 4/5.
    • At least justify why you think a correction is in order.
      • Not a justification, just a note that X-Play [imdb.com] gave it a 5 out of 5 [g4tv.com].
        • by Raenex (947668)

          X-Play ratings aren't to be taken seriously. Actually, nobody's ratings should be taken seriously. I can't think of a single source that is predictive if I will enjoy a game or not. Usually X-Play just rubberstamps what everbody is saying anyways. I also suspect that they have a pro-Microsoft (probably paid for) bias, but maybe that's just my imagination.

          Don't get me wrong, I do like the show. It's entertaining in its own way, and it does give you some idea about the gameplay.

          The nice thing abou

        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          Is that supposed to bolster your case, or are you making a joke?

          -Eric

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rnelsonee (98732)
        It's a Slashdot joke. It's pretty tough to find a /. review that isn't 4/5, that's all.
  • by microTodd (240390) on Monday March 05, 2007 @01:31PM (#18239344) Homepage Journal
    OK, this was a sub-par review. I still have way more questions about the game.

    Can you go inside buildings? Or is everything outdoors?

    What is the driving like? Are there decent car chases? Or are they a weak subgame?

    Is there any depth to hand-to-hand melee fighting? Or is it just punch, but the goal is to get strong enough that punches do more damage?

    Can I throw a bad guy? How far? What if I punch him really hard? Does he go flying?

    *sigh* I guess I'll just rent it.
    • by webrunner (108849)
      Why not download the Demo off Live?
      • by steveo777 (183629)
        Many users lack the internet connection required for XBLive. That's why. Or, perhaps he doesn't have a HDD in his 360. There's another good reason.
        • If either case is true...he probably shouldn't have a 360.

          Really.

          Live is the 360..and the 360 is Live.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      To answer your questions:

      - Only some buildings, generally the ones that hold the bosses. You can, however, climb anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE, which is a large part of the fun.

      - The driving's OK. Car chases aren't anything to call home about. The agency cars you start with get upgraded as your driving skill improves (read: run over more people), and give you more powers.

      - You can punch, kick and throw people. Particularly amusing is jumping off a tall building and landing on a perp.

      - As you power up, you c
    • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:04PM (#18239744) Homepage Journal
      You can go into some buildings that are relevant to the plot. The average building, you can't go into.

      The driving is something i haven't even bothered with. Jumping from building to building, shooting people you fly-over in mid air... what's the poitn of driving when you can do Matrix-esque leaps across the city?

      The hand to hand fighting when you are actually standing right next to someone consists of elbowing them or kicking them, depending on what button you press.

      however, most objects in the environment are things you can bash, pickup, and throw. You can throw "generally" or you can throw at a target. This includes things like boxes, barrels, dumpsters, cars. You can melee attack a street lamp, then it will fall over, then you can pick it up and run with it. When you see 5 guys abreast on a sidewalk that are coming at you, you can throw the lamp post at them and it take them out at once.

      As you get stronger you can pickup heavier thigns (liek cars) and throw them farther.

      You can also melee attack heavy objects as well. I've completely maxxed out my agility, firearms, and strength skills (i've also beaten the game). I can run up to a big truck and kick it and it rolls over. If you're fast and a gang car comes your way you can get over to it and kick it hard enough to knock it over the side of a bridge before the gang members even step out of the car.

      Yes, you can pick up bad guys and throw them at other bad guys. Yes, at my level of strength, any person i punch or kick goes _flying_.

      Some other enemies will pick up bodies and throw them at _you_.

      When you get sufficiently strong and throw a dumpster at just one person they go splat :)

      I love it. I've been playing it almost non-stop since i got it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Cool, thanks for the useful info (Zonk, you paying attention?). This game actually makes me want to pick up a 360 now, instead of waiting for Halo 3.
      • what's the poitn of driving

        I too spent my time leaping around the city & looking for ways to climb the tallest buildings. But after I'd maxed the other stats, I turned my attention to the driving - and it's at least as much fun as the jumping and explosions :-)

        What the review didn't mention is that, as your driving skill increases (mostly by driving right over those pesky gang members), the Agency cars (supercar, SUV and truck cab) actually morph progressively into sleeker, beefier, more dangerous-l

    • by radish (98371) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:07PM (#18239824) Homepage
      Can you go inside buildings? Or is everything outdoors?
      You can go in some buildings, but very few. Most activity is outside (although many buildings have catwalks, tunnels, balconies etc to explore).

      What is the driving like?
      At first, very frustrating, but as your driving skill gets higher the handling and performance improves a lot. I'm currently on 3 stars for driving and it's pretty nice.

      Are there decent car chases? Or are they a weak subgame?
      There are fixed-course races which are essentially minigames. Not sure on what your definition of "weak" is though. In terms of chases, it's a lot like GTA. The cars are mainly used as ways of getting around, and as weapons (running bad guys down). There aren't any car-based missions like in GTA. Overall, this isn't a racing/driving game, but the cars aren't bad.

      Is there any depth to hand-to-hand melee fighting? Or is it just punch, but the goal is to get strong enough that punches do more damage?
      Your character will do different melee attacks (kick, punch, roundhouse, etc) but you don't really have much control over them.

      Can I throw a bad guy?
      Sure, you can throw anything if you're strong enough. If you're 3 or 4 star strength you can throw the car he's driving in too :)

      How far?
      Depends how strong you are and how high you are. If you can get a body to the top of a tall building I'm sure you can clear a couple hundred feet. The physics work pretty well.

      What if I punch him really hard? Does he go flying?
      Sure, and if you kick him off a bridge or building he'll fall down to the ground and stay there until you climb back down to get the weapons he dropped. Or if he ends up in water he'll float around for a while.
    • by HAKdragon (193605)
      1) For the most part, everything is outdoors. There are a few boss fights that are inside and you have ride an elevator or go through a tunnel

      2)The driving is more or less the same as in GTA. There are some street races where you have to go through a number of checkpoints. There are also "stunt markers" where you have to jump a car through to complete it. Both of these allow you to gain driving points to increase your driving skills. My biggest problem with driving is that pedestrians don't know how to ge
    • Can you go inside buildings? Or is everything outdoors?

      Not really, Mostly Yes

      What is the driving like? Are there decent car chases? Or are they a weak subgame?

      Like GTA, Some races and Stunts, Its ok

      Is there any depth to hand-to-hand melee fighting? Or is it just punch, but the goal is to get strong enough that punches do more damage?

      No, Yes

      Can I throw a bad guy? How far? What if I punch him really hard? Does he go flying?

      Yes, Depends on the size of your screen, ?, Yes
      Hope that help :P

    • by naoursla (99850)
      Just to clarify a few of the repsonses:
      - You can throw anything that you can pick up.
      - You cannot pick up a living bad guy.
      - You cannot pick up a car that has people in it.

      Being able to pick up cars is fun. You can sneak into the kingpin's complex. Pick up one of the cars, jump over the locked gate with the car you are carrying, put the car down on the street outsiede of the gate, get in and drive away.
      • by p0tat03 (985078)
        False, I routinely pick up cars that still have people in it. It's rather hilarious.
        • by Osty (16825)

          False, I routinely pick up cars that still have people in it. It's rather hilarious.

          Cars with live people in them are funnier than those with dead people. When you pick up a car with a live person, they floor the gas trying to get away. Dead people just flop around. (to get dead people in your car, find a car you want to pick up and kick it around a few times. That should kill the occupants, hopefully without discharging them from the vehicle)

          Also, I haven't figured out why cars bleed in the game,

        • by naoursla (99850)
          I stand corrected.
    • by MBraynard (653724)
      This review isn't just sub-par, it's superfluous.

      You can download the demo on XBL. It's pretty fun but lacks any depth to the AI. Very GTA though the targeting system seems to work better.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You can and in fact must go inside some buildings. Generally it's outside. When you do go inside the accoutrements are pretty destructable, and pick up able so you can use them to gather strength orbs during your destructable. The achitechture in the game is really nice. REALLY nice. You will not be able to complete it without saying to yourself I wish my city had buildings that look like this.

      Driving is hard at the start extremely fast and violent with snappy controls at the end of the game. You have
    • by Velorium (1068080)
      Once you get to 4 stars in driving it's really great. The car goes ~215 "mph" and has an assault riffle gun on each side. The SUV has hydrolics that bounce you easily 10 "feet" and higher. Do that off a ramp and you go flying. The "big rig" has an infinite "nitrous" supply that you can tap into, if you run into another vehicle at a high enough speed they blow up a few seconds after; extremely fun to do on the highway that loops the town with no real harsh corners. =)
    • by Kelbear (870538)
      You can go inside buildings here and there, but generally only for boss missions and the buildings are large enough that they don't really restrain your freedom of movement since it'd kinda suck to go from superleaping to bashing your head on the ceiling.

      The game has 3 Agency car types that are infinitely supplied from your central base and are 8-10 times more durable than non-Agency cars. Agency cars are super-cars built for your super agent. The handling is very good, far better than GTA and Saints Row. B
  • unsatisfying (Score:4, Interesting)

    by User 956 (568564) on Monday March 05, 2007 @01:37PM (#18239402) Homepage
    they bundled the Halo 3 key with Crackdown so that more people would be exposed to the simple greatness this game contains ... To be sure, the game has deep flaws; not much of a story, a few racial stereotypes, and somewhat unsatisfying boss fights marr the experience.

    Yeah, basically, the boss fights are almost all the same. The driving isn't nearly on par with GTA. The "skill penalty" imposed for bad behavior is lame, and hinders enjoyment of just being out and about.
    • I think part of the reason boss fights all seem the same is that you can just run in and kill the boss without much fear of the baddies. There are 2 higher difficulty levels that I've yet to check out, but I'm willing to bet these would make boss fights a more strategic affair. In the same vein, the mission briefings for each boss have a separate page about the bosses base, and lists some alternate entrances for each one.
      • by Itchyeyes (908311)
        I'm playing on the second difficulty. The Los Muertos bosses are still pretty easy, but the Volk and Shai Gen bosses get pretty tough. You're forced to adopt more hit and run tactics and you'll find yourself taking cover a lot. If you just rush in guns blazing, you'll get mowed down pretty quick. The key here is that the gang leaders aren't really the bosses in the game. The real boss fight is getting through the base to the gang leader.
      • by Kelbear (870538)
        The gameplay balances out considerably at the 2nd of the 3 difficulty levels. (Normal, Ruthless, Psychotic).

        Normal is best described as easymode, Ruthless is normal, and Psychotic is hard.

        If the difficulties were renamed as such then they'd be more accurate. I highly recommend that you play on Ruthless. In particular, precision targeting and non-lock shooting become more important to disabling or killing quickly. This is because at ahigher difficulty, enemies hit harder so they must be handled faster and mo
    • by radish (98371)
      If you don't like the driving try upgrading your driving skill before writing it off. I hated it at first, but by 2-stars it's much better. Easily on a par with GTA (not that that's saying much to be honest).
      • Re:unsatisfying (Score:5, Interesting)

        by User 956 (568564) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:16PM (#18239972) Homepage
        If you don't like the driving try upgrading your driving skill before writing it off. I hated it at first, but by 2-stars it's much better.

        It still sucked at 3.5 stars for me, and by that time I had finished the game, and there were no more enemies to run down to improve it.

        I don't mean to just bag on the game, since they put a lot of work in creating a fantastic sandbox to play in. The only problem is, they didn't put toys that are ultimately all that fun in that sandbox.
        • by YAN3D (552691)
          Yes, but after you beat the game, you can continue playing with "crimes turned on" and there are just as many enemies as when you first start the game.

          I don't know, but I was never bored with the game, even when I cleaned up most of a particular area. That just means it's time to move on to the next.

          Cheers
          • by User 956 (568564)
            That's a good tip. Do you know of a way to zoom in better with the sniper rifle (other than the on/off d-pad)? it seems kind of neutered in its effectiveness without a scalable zoom, as goldeneye-style long-range kills are a heck of a lot of fun.
            • by Jonathan_S (25407)
              >Do you know of a way to zoom in better with the sniper rifle (other than the on/off d-pad)? it seems kind of neutered in its effectiveness without a scalable zoom, as goldeneye-style long-range kills are a heck of a lot of fun.

              Once you turn on zoom (with the d-pad) the left and right shoulder buttons control your zoom scale. Left shoulder = zoom in, Right shoulder = zoom out. The D pad always starts zoom at fully zoomed out.

              (BTW the control setting menu / control hints screen kind of shows this. It d
  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Monday March 05, 2007 @01:47PM (#18239558) Homepage Journal
    If there's a sequel, and there's no reason not to think there won't be

    Two wrongs don't make a write. This double negative, with a negative chaser, is painful.
  • And here I was... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chris_eineke (634570)

    Like a Burnout for action games, Crackdown has pared away superfluous things like 'characters', 'story' or 'originality' to get at the meat of the game mechanics on offer.

    That meat is rotten. I wouldn't even feed it to maggots. Burnout was fun -- for the first two hours. Then it became boring and repetitive. Like a good DJ, 'characters,' 'story,' or 'originality' mix in a new track when the song runs out.

    the game has deep flaws; not much of a story, a few racial stereotypes, and somewhat unsatisfying boss f

    • by radish (98371)
      I'd give it a 5, it's one of the most addictive games I've played in years. All this goes to show is that tastes vary.
    • Re:And here I was... (Score:4, Informative)

      by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:12PM (#18239894) Homepage Journal
      The game is really, really fun. It has none of the control/camera/this is a pointless task things that make the GTA series unfun. to be fair, it has none of the story of the GTA game either.

      Tycho at Penny Arcade did a pretty good bit on it. Basically, it manages to be incredibly fun and addictive and you have to want to look for reasons to not like it.

      I've played burnout and gete tired of it, because i only like simulation driving games (i.e. i don't like mario kart).

      I _love_ Crackdown, because it combines a bunch of different things that i find fun
      1) blowing stuff up (you have "explosion" skills and the more you power them up, the bigger your explosions are :)
      2) jumping really, really, really long distances
      3) platforming (seriously, collecting skill orbs in this huge 3d world is one of the most compelling 3d platformer experiences i've had. Many of the 2d classic platformers really lost something in the transition to 3d.. in crackdown trying to get the orb at the top of some amazing skyscraper is really quite fun for some reason)
      4) sniping/sharpshooting

      5) co-op. i've only gotten to try this a little and the networking code must have some bugginess because i get lots of drops, but basically, if making crazy jumps and blowing stuff up sounds fun by yourself, its even more fun when you and a friend make a contest out of it.. with the subtext that there is crazy gang violence going on all around you but your characters are powerful enough that you mostly don't care. the XBL 2 player co-op is a good time.
    • That meat is rotten. I wouldn't even feed it to maggots. Burnout was fun -- for the first two hours. Then it became boring and repetitive. Like a good DJ, 'characters,' 'story,' or 'originality' mix in a new track when the song runs out.

      I'm a fan of story in games, but some games just plain don't need one, and in fact including one can even be counterproductive. Burnout is definitely one such game.

      the game has deep flaws; not much of a story, a few racial stereotypes, and somewhat unsatisfying boss fig

    • Probably because it was fun. You'll note that the criticisms he levels can be equally used against nearly every NES cart ever produced, and many people still find those much more enjoyable than the triple-A title shit coming from today's superstudios. Doom didn't do anything that hadn't been done before. It just looked good and was lots of fun.
  • I purchased the game the day it came out and I just got around to playing it this weekend. 3/5 stars is a little low I'd personally give it 4/5. The game has no real plot, this is true but it is insanely fun to play and the main characters abilities are like Blade meets Chuck Norris (Jumping rooftop to rooftop and roundhouses a plenty). I love the targeting system it is especially fun when you aim at a character while hopping from rooftop to rooftop taking out an enemies legs mid-air then landing on top o
  • Does anyone else remember "Major Damage" from Capcom USA? For the Saturn and PS1. This sounds like a 3D version of that. Of course, I guess that "kill everything that moves and get powerups to do it better and faster" describes 95% of the games out there...
  • The game has a certain quality that makes you keep playing it when you're playing it, looking for just one more orb or taking out one more boss or so on... its mindless fun and it taps into the improvement/levelling vibe in ways few games have... And for any of those who complain about its lack of social responsibility, its all okay because you're a cop. I'd love to see them come out with expansion areas for this via xbla...
  • by rapett0 (92674)
    Ok, I have not bought the full version yet, but I will soon. However, I thought I would comment on the demo (which basically times out 30 minutes after you make any skill reach level 2).

    I had a blast. Granted, story line is moot, the boss fights are pretty much the same. When you increase the difficulty, it just makes your shield/life go down faster and enemies are stronger and come around faster.

    The graphics I think are good, the style is great. It had a very E-SWAT feeling for me, which is extremely p
  • My Impressions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:26PM (#18240108)
    I've had the game since the day it came out, and I had been playing the demo for several weeks prior to that.

    I am probably one of 6 people who bought the game for the game, and not the Halo 3 beta invite. The demo was a *blast* and was probably the most fun I've had on the 360. Yes, more than Gears of War.

    The game starts off a bit slow. You're not really sure what to do. Eventually you'll realize that this open ended game play is what makes Crackdown so much damn fun. Don't feel like doing the missions or taking on the bad guys? Fine. Go have fun leaping from rooftop to rooftop, or leveling up your explosives skills to the point where a single grenade can take out a dozen cars sitting in traffic.

    The whole concept of "leveling" your character through the various power ups turns out to be extremely, extremely addicting. It turns into an almost uncontrollable compulsion to get those green orbs. And the blue orbs? Forget about it. They're like heroin. Even the animation that you get when you reach the next level is addicting. You're guy does a highlander style quickening with a bit of an explosive blast wave added in for effect. Everything around you gets knocked over and thrown about 10 feet... including bad guys. I often find myself trying to time my level-ups so that I'm in a crowded area or next to a bunch of cars. Something very satisfying about having things blown away from you... quite the power trip.

    Once you've defeated the baddies in Los Muertos, you'll probably wander over to Volk's territory. Previously, the game didn't really offer *that* much of a challenge on the default settings. As long as you weren't stupid and stayed in one place too long, dying wasn't all that common. That changes fast. The Volk will kick your ass. They're smarter. They have MUCH bigger guns (um... rocket launcher = pain), and they have double life meters. And don't get me started on the Shai Gen.

    Are there flaws? Yes. The bosses are often too weak... although if you turn up the difficulty level a notch they can give you your money's worth. The story line is iffy. There aren't enough... um... structured missions. One of the strength's of GTA is that while it was very open and non-restrictive, it also had structure if your chose to participate. Crackdown lacks this.

    There are also a few control glitches. I've found myself trying to pick up a car, but not be given the option for no real reason. It can also be frustratingly difficult to attack the correct baddie when there are lots of bodies laying around because you target all bad guys, not just the alive and kicking ones.

    That said, the game is a LOT of fun. It's the first time on my 360 that I've had "Mario Thumb". (You know... the sore, red thumb caused by repeated button mashing.) And when you start playing co-op... wow. It really doesn't get much better. Honestly. Especially when you decide it's more fun to try and kill each other than complete the missions. (Supercop vs Supercop = BOOOOOOM!)

    At one point I set a trap for my co-op nemesis. He was chasing me and I drove past a large group of cars stuck in traffic. In essentially one motion I leaped from my car, spun around, and fired a rocket into the group of cars just as he was passing them. The resulting explosion sent his car flying through the air uncontrollably. I then targeted his car and nailed it with 6 or 7 rockets, keeping it flipping through the air. It was like something out of a movie... and man was it fun.

    This is one of those games that you really just have to play. Give it 30 minutes of you're time and all of a sudden you'll realize you've been playing it for 6 hours.
    • by Firefly1 (251590)

      Give it 30 minutes of you're time and all of a sudden you'll realize you've been playing it for 6 hours.

      I know exactly what you mean; there's a Virgin I pass by every so often that has this on one of their demo 360s. One of the things I like about the way firearms are handled is that limb shots actually mean something. Shoot someone in the arm, and they'll drop their weapon (and run to grab a nearby one); wing a leg, and they'll be no immediate threat for a short time (rolling around clutching at the woun

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      One of the strength's of GTA is that while it was very open and non-restrictive, it also had structure if your chose to participate. Crackdown lacks this.

      On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of GTA is that while it is supposedly very open and non-restrictive, you have to unlock areas and content by playing missions. Does this game suffer from the same syndrome?

      One of the greatest annoyances I've found with sandbox games is that they made it a bitch to just get in and play in the sandbox!

      • On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of GTA is that while it is supposedly very open and non-restrictive, you have to unlock areas and content by playing missions. Does this game suffer from the same syndrome?

        No. Crackdown doesn't restrict where you can go or what you can do, aside from the fact you'll probably get your ass kicked if you haven't spent some time leveling up your character.

        It is also extremely difficult, although usually not impossible, to get to the rooftops of some of the higher buildings without having at least a level 2 agility.

  • This game is not a "buy it game" which is why they put the Halo 3 stuff with it... to get people to buy a sub-par game.

    Other than the interesting physics.. it is an average shooter game. Making stuff blow up was about the only fun they had with it. So yes, it is a "rent me" but not worth buying... unless you just gotta have Halo 3...

    • by stonefry (968479) on Monday March 05, 2007 @03:10PM (#18240702)
      I just re-watched the x-play review and they didn't say anything like what you just said. They said that they though it wouldn't be any good when they found out that the halo 3 beta came with it but "wonders never cease." They loved the game and gave it a rare 5 out of 5 rating. Last 5 of 5 rating was Guitar Hero II which was about 100 reviews ago. Never did they mention renting it. The online review said "It's an absolute blast to play." They basically said the opposite of what you think they said.
    • I respectfully disagree. This is the game (there were others too, but this was the game) that broke me down and got me to buy a 360. And I haven't regretted that choice.
  • For the most part I'd agree with the review. There isn't much of a story, but it works pretty well without one...you're a super-agent cleaning up crime. The game leaves it up to you to play the game anyway you want.

    It's definitely addicting, as you gain your skills/abilities, you want to keep playing and max them all out.

    The Halo 3 beta is just the icing on the cake. I probably wouldn't have bought Crackdown if I didn't actually enjoy playing the demo, $59.99 is too much to be able to play any beta
  • I absolutely love the voiceover. His little comments and quips are very entertaining and well spoken. "Skills for Kills!" I love it when he yells at you for running over citizens :-P
  • by MrTester (860336) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:49PM (#18240424)
    "and there's no reason not to think there won't be"

    I love it when people use so many negatives that they get lost in their own sentance.
  • Everyone I know who has this game loves it. One has even temporarily given up Burning Crusade for it. The physics and the jumping (and searching for agility orbs) really make it for me.

    It's more of a two week game than a two month game, but I think you get your money worth in sheer fun and 'Ahahaha did you see THAT?'

    • by prockcore (543967)

      I think you get your money worth in sheer fun and 'Ahahaha did you see THAT?'

      Haha, you just reminded me of something. Some of the things people say when they die are pretty funny and some are pretty disturbing.. like clenched-teeth "it hurts!".

      I was jumping around rooftops and there were a bunch of baddies on one of the roofs. They didn't notice me, so I was going to shoot one of them in the back. Well, I forgot I had my rocket equipped, so I pretty much blew everyone off the roof. One of the bodies lan

  • I've played about 10-20 hours of the game, so I gotta say I know a little about this game. I've beat it completely and I'm done.

    There's a few problem that just stick out. The biggest is the game is not fun alone, and it doesn't mesh well with co-op. You never have to do anything together so why is there co-op? On the other hand the co-op is why the game excels, the game is just not that interesting solo.

    The only way to play co-op is system link (over a lan) or to pay for Xbox live. So now you're paying
    • Things to do when you're "done":
      • All of the car races
      • All of the rooftop races
      • Get all of the stunt driving rings
      • Kill your best friends: Have one friend turn his HUD all the way down, so he has no information on the screen at all. That player is the "hunted". The other player, still with all his info (including where the other player is), is the "hunter". Have the hunted do his best to stay alive with no information except his senses. KILLER FUN.
  • Damnit, every time I see blurbs on this game I end up thinking of the old 16-bit Genesis title... [planetemu.net]

  • Youd be fun to rent but youll never be a classic. Your opinions are flawed and you dont deserve a rating you smelly pirate hooker
  • I've been through the game once, and although (imho) I find the graphics amazing, especially when you're up very high and you look around and you can see things far away, the progression through the story line was too repetitive for me (but I still did it). The problem for me was that to kill the bad guys, you only need to run, jump and shoot. That can be a lot of fun, but you don't need to do anything else. Games like Call of Duty 2 and 3, Halo 2, and GTA III and Vice City all have what you could call "for
  • I would go buy Crackdown today if it supported Legacy and Southpaw. All games should support multiple control schemes.
  • Gamerpoints (Score:2, Informative)

    by Annon201 (927701)
    I think it needs to be mentioned that there are only 900 Gamerpoints available with what is on the disk. All Retail Xbox360 games have to have 1000 points unlockable without having to purchase any addons, this means that there will be a FREE addon (or addons) available via Xbox Live Marketplace to unlock the last 100 points, so don't think that now you have finished that you have done all the game has to offer.. There will still be plenty more FREE content for it.
  • First of all a disclaimer, I do work in games for MS. That said, I try not to play favorites. For example, Perfect Dark Zero? Not very good. 99 Nights? Yeaahh, not much either. But I did like Gears of War and Crackdown. I haven't worked on any of these titles either. I also have been a big fan of various games for other consoles and platforms (PS2, DS, etc.). Anyway, my thoughts ...

    I see a lot of comments regarding Crackdown being a relatively short game. The same was said of Gears of War. Given a dedicated
    • Yes, but unfortunately for Microsoft (aside from a couple XBLA games), most of the short but sweet games are on other systems like the DS or PS2 (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, both Katamari games, Amplitude, etc.). I agree with you, actually. When I read a review that says a game has 40 hours, like that's a virtue, it scares me away. For me, with a family and hobbies like playing basketball, reading and cycling, by the time I get 40 hours into a game it will be literally months. I may have forgotten the plot
      • by jchenx (267053)

        Yes, but unfortunately for Microsoft (aside from a couple XBLA games), most of the short but sweet games are on other systems like the DS or PS2 (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, both Katamari games, Amplitude, etc.). I agree with you, actually.

        I should point out that I'm a gamer first, so I don't mind that many of these "short but sweet" games are on other platforms. :) Actually, I was thinking about listing Katamari when I first wrote the post, since I agree that it's an incredibly fun, albeit short, game. (P

  • I know I'm late to the party (damn you pesky changes in work filter software!) but I have to ask what this particular mangling of English means: "there's no reason not to think there won't be".

    I'm generally a fan of yours, Zonk, but trying to wrap my head around "there's no reason not to think there won't be" is giving me a nose bleed. That's a triple negative man! C'mon!

    And because of that triple-negative goodness, it's a meaningless phrase! "There's no reason to think there won't be a sequel" means

Swap read error. You lose your mind.

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