Wednesday, December 23
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios Developer: Realtime Worlds Player(s): Offline 1, Online 2 Genre(s): Third-Person Shooter, Sandbox Release Date: (NA) February 20, 2007 (EU) February 23, 2007 Platform(s): Xbox 360 Rated: Mature
Crackdown doesn't put all that much emphasis on story but there is one, hidden behind the explosive, chaotic exterior. Our story takes place in metropolis known as Pacific City where several districts have been separated from each other through islands. The city is controlled by three crime organizations known as the Los Muertos, the Volk, and the Shai-Gen.
Peacekeepers have been put in place to keep the city under control but their forces were overwhelmed by a sudden rise in crimes. This is where "the Agency" comes into affect. Using cybernetic technology and advanced surgical procedures, they succeeded in creating super-soldiers which you take the role of.
Crackdown is quite a looker in the graphics department. Instead of going with a typical cel-shading look or normal graphics, Crackdown has a comic book style appearance. All the models have heavy black outlines around them giving them a hand-drawn look.
The game also has a very good draw distance allowing you to see pretty much the entire game map when you're at the top of the agency tower in the middle of the city.
Explosions and fire look cartoony but realistic at the same time and the sheer amount of explosive chaos you can dish out with just one grenade is quite impressive. Chunks of vehicle, debris and people will go flying in all directions and it's surely a thing of beauty.
This is where the game does it's job best without a doubt. Just think about this. You are a super-soldier with the ability to throw cars 100s of feet and jump the length of a football field and that is just with the basic stats. As you progress through the game, you will collect orbs which slowly heightens your abilities such as speed and jump distance, explosive power, strength, marksmanship and driving ability.
The entire map is also built in such a fashion that if you see it, you can climb it which makes it's gameplay very addicting. Similar to any other sandbox-style game is your ability to hijack any vehicle you see (or just blow it up) and you can also pick up the weapons of any enemies you take down and then if you return to a certain section of the map with said weapon in hand, it is added to your storage for use at any time.
Scattered across the map are green orbs that heighten your agility and "hidden orbs" that give you a bit of experience in every category. Another way to collect orbs is to find large pillars of either green or purple light. These indicate a race and if you complete it, you get more experience. As you can see, the game features some RPG elements but that only adds to it's addicting gameplay.
Killing civilians in the game will cause the Peacekeepers to come after you but let's face it, you're a freaking super-soldier, they don't stand a chance.
During the game, you will routinely come across gang leader hideouts where you need to storm in and take out said leader to advance the story. The game doesn't make much effort to tell you where these people are so you end up searching the city until you come across it. I also can't tolerate the driving controls in the game and hitting an enemy with a vehicle is almost impossible.
Online 2-player co-op is also available through Xbox Live and is really not much different from single player except now you have two super-soldiers running around. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.
The sound effects in the game are pretty straight forward. When you pick up a car and throw it at anything it tends to make a steel-bending sound that is really loud, people will scream and act like their lives are in danger, and explosions sound just like they should.
The voice acting is pretty minimal but still well done for the most part with the exception of a few of a the crime lords.
The music is..disappointing. It consists entirely of annoying electronica and hip hop-sounding music pretty much and I was really hoping for some variety.
Crackdown does a good job of adding some variety and uniqueness to the sandbox style of games. It's fun but isn't without it's small flaws. There is just something utterly satisfying about jumping from rooftop to rooftop at the press of a button.
It may not have as much lasting appeal as other sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto 4, but it is still quite enjoyable.
- Great superhero gameplay
- Being able to wreck havoc in co-op
- Polished and artistic graphics
- Still fun after the story is done
- Not a lot of music variety
- Lackluster story
- Annoying vehicle controls