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Crackdown 2 Review
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Crackdown puts you right back into the same environment you played in Realtime Worlds’ original hit released in 2007. The game takes place ten years later and this time you are fighting on two fronts. If you enjoyed the original game and didn’t want to see anything change in the sequel then prepare to be happy as a pig in shit because nothing has changed, but for me this is one of the major problems with the game. If by some chance though, the sound of spending hours collecting pointless orbs appeals to you this is right up your alley.

There is basically no story at all to keep you intrigued or even care about what happens to your character. Its simple. You are a mindless and often overpowered clone working for a corporation to rid the city of a grassroots rebellion known only as Cell and to clean the streets of zombie-like mutant freaks.

You start out your mission only slightly overpowered. You can level up 5 skills - agility, strength, guns, explosives, and driving. You mostly level up your agility by finding green orbs on the rooftops. In all the other categories, you get skills for kills, meaning if you kill a Freak with a kick to the face, you will receive leveling orbs in the strength category. If you run over a Cell rebel with your car, you will receive leveling orbs for the driving skill. It’s pretty much impossible to completely level all the way up in one play though so it encourages replay.

I was not a fan of the first Crackdown and when I began playing this I couldn’t believe I was actually enjoying myself. But then after an hour reality set in and I began to become extremely frustrated with the game. For starters and by far the most frustrating thing is that there is no waypoint system for traversing the city! In my opinion in this day and age of gaming if you make an open world game it is your responsibility to put in a waypoint/GPS system for getting around. The missions in this game are mundane enough, I shouldn’t have to be frustrated on top of that when traveling between meaningless objectives. Another thing that pissed me off was the targeting system. I could have an enemy standing right in my face and the game would auto target a vehicle like a hundred meters away. And then there is the camera. I don’t know why I should be forced to push a camera along in the way I must in this game. It’s not exactly free moving, when you want to spin it all the way around it feels like you are hitting an imaginary wall and you just have to wait for the camera to push through the barrier, meanwhile you are being shot from fifty different directions.

The mission objectives are basically the same thing over and over again. Go there, clear area, call helicopter, rinse and repeat. I consider myself to be a bonafide achievement whore but even this game couldn’t keep me engaged enough to stick around for the achievements or avatar awards I often do so desire in my games. One of the few fun parts of the game was driving around in a buggy at night with a mounted machine gun turret and running over zombies by the dozen. During the day for similar activities the often entertaining game narrator would reprimand you for such activities against normal healthy citizens, but the freaks come out at night and you can let out all your frustrations out on them.

Crackdown 2 also supports up to 4-player co-op. This is the only time the game actually shined for me as I was actually able to navigate the city with one friend constantly having a map up and giving me directions. Whether or not this was the developers intended reason for not including the waypoint system we will never know. Co-op is also important if you are planning on collecting all the orbs because there are specific orbs that can only be collected if you are playing in a party of two or more people.

I did find the graphics and sound to be rather pleasant. I expected the campy comic book art style to be visually offensive like in other games that have attempted to pull it off, but flying over the city at night made me feel like I was in a Marvel comic book come to life in the best possible way. The sounds of the city are very atmospheric. I enjoyed rolling up to enemies with my car speakers banging out heavy metal tracks and jumping out to kill everything while still being able to hear the car radio as you would in real life if you had shut all the doors and windows.

Multiplayer is not great in Crackdown 2, but it’s ok. Rocket Tag, where one player has the orb and the rest chase him down with infinite rocket launchers, sounds better in theory than it is in practice, mostly because the maps seem poorly designed for this purpose. In one match, a player scaled a nearly-inaccessible point and camped for two minutes. Not fun. The other options are deathmatch and team deathmatch, though the winner of each mode is “whoever found the rocket launcher first,” followed by “whoever found the sniper rifle first.” There are vehicles available, and you can even fly a helicopter around the map and spam the ground with rockets. This is more fun than it is actually a useful strategy as you will more than likely shot down by a rocket launching d-bag on the ground.

Crackdown 2 is a fun game with a lot of flaws. Just as you are playing as a clone as the main character this game feels too much like a clone of the original with all of the original problems making a comeback. If you liked the first one you will like the second one. However if you weren’t a fan of the first I am afraid to say there isn’t really anything here in the sequel to change your mind.

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Crackdown 2 Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
1 Comment
  • kiffar
    July 30, 2023
    #1
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    I had the most fun playing with a buddy of mine. By yourself, this game is boring as shit with the only fun aspect being the agility orb hunt. I was addicted to see how high I could jump and how fast I could run, everything else was meh. The real fun is hopping online and destroying the city with an equally destructive loving friend.

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