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Crackdown 2 XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 7.0
Sound 7.1
Value 6.9
Distributor: Microsoft
Review Date:
July 2010
Kyle Sudukis


Crackdown 2

Crackdown returns to the XBox 360 and brings that crazy assed gameplay from the original which made it a treat to play back in the day. Unfortunately not much has really changed since the original and this game has this real first-generation feel to it from the gameplay to the graphics. However, the game does bring some new features to the gamer which include four player co-op (that's right), new weapons and of course new vehicles to race around Pacific City. Then you have the story of Crackdown 2 which is showcased to the player via a variety of non-coherent cutscenes that will leave new comers scratching their end. It's all a little bit old school for me.

The story of Crackdown 2 follows from the original game and although the Agency (the local law enforcement organisation) has attempted to restore peace in Pacific City, The Cell, a terrorist organisation has truly left its devastating mark on the city. It's basically World War III within the city walls and then you have the mutants, once humans who are now crazed zombie killers... Pacific City is FUBAR! Thankfully for the denizens of Pacific City, the Agency which is a group of clone-like superheroes are still around and this time, they're going to bring order or perhaps chaos back to the city in this 3rd person action platformer. Don't get me wrong, Crackdown 2 is not ALL bad, fighting dozens upon dozens of enemies was quite an adrenaline rush at the start but things slowly become to deteriorate as its repetitive nature kicks in.

Like the previous game, players start as a lowly super powered cloned agent and by collecting orbs which are littered through Pacific City, this will slowly increase your super hero abilities. It's like seeing Batman go from human to Superman as you knock missiles, throw cars around and smash the heads of thousands of enemies. Orbs are like experience points or skill points and depending on what skill you are using at the time, you are awarded orbs that allow you to improve your powers. Apart from super powers, your character has access to weaponry which range from mild to ludicrous. Cracking heads together is all fun and dandy but shooting a rocket launcher into a group of mutants is equally as satisfying. The main crux of the story however is completing a variety of missions for the Agency and these are generally just slug feasts.

As a single-player game, Crackdown 2 is a little boring but when you include the 4-player co-op, it does make things a hell of a lot more entertaining. For online, apart from 4-player co-op, the game does contain some interesting online modes that include Deathmatch, team Deathmatch and Rocket Tag. Rocket tag is easily the most fun as gamers only have rocket launchers to tag their "chicken". These multiplayer modes are fun but co-op is the winner here.

Combat plays a huge role in the game which is like a comic book on Ritalin as enemies are like a hoard of flies as you belt them to kingdom come and back. There are two types of enemies that include people from The Cell or zombie like mutants, including bosses and the like. Although the enemies are quite varied, there are sometimes way too many of them. As you do progress, enemies become considerably more powerful so just be warned which difficulty you commence on.

Your characters also have access to some fun special moves which livens up the sometimes repetitive gameplay but all these fighting styles seem a little mish mash.  You can drive vehicles in the game which can also be used to take out enemies as you run them over and even perform stunts which give you more orbs to your arsenal. If this sounds totally confusing, the game does contain a rather basic tutorial at the start before it unleashes this brand new clone upon Pacific City.

Graphically, Crackdown 2 is almost a carbon copy of the original and unfortunately in this day and age, developers cannot sit on their laurels. The background environments look too simplistic and "boxy" and overall, everything is quite plain. Even that cell shaded effect from the original isn't helping the cause and the highlight for me were the explosions and the far too few pre-rendered cutscenes. Everything in the game looks too clean! The musical score isn't that memorable but the sound effects are decent through surround sound as is the voice acting which is over the top but suits this Robocop world quite well.

Final Thoughts? Crackdown 2 doesn't really add anything new to this franchise and because of the dated look of the gameplay and graphics, this may turn a few gamers off. If only the developers spent a little bit more time in making the game look and play better, then Crackdown 2 would have been a winner. It's not all bad but then again, it's not all good in this world of mutants and terrorists. If you're thinking of buying it, you might want to rent first.


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