Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The Review: Crackdown
Bouncing around like an Olympic long jumper on steroids, I scale a skyscraper Ninja-style. Once on the roof I sneak up on an armed goon and proceed to kick him 20-feet in the air and off the building. The gang leader I’m hunting down doesn’t stand a chance.
Welcome to the world of “Crackdown” – a straight forward, addictive romp as a super powered cop in a city filled with endless opportunities to kick ass.
Most gamers are aware that the purchase of specially marked “Crackdown” boxes holds the last golden ticket into the “Halo 3” beta. Don’t let that fool you into thinking you should buy this game out of desperation to be included in this elite club, this game stands tall on its own. In “Crackdown” gamers play as a mute, nameless law enforcer genetically enhanced to handle the rough gangs in an equally anonymous crime filled city. You work for The Agency, a big-brotherish organization set within a huge building in the heart of the city.
Your mission is to eliminate 21 gang leaders from three different gangs and your body has been designed to do just that. Enhanced strength, body armor and the ability to out jump Michael Jordan are just a few of your talents. Incredible physical abilities combined with a variety of weapons and supped up Agency vehicles make you a formidable opponent.
While its great being a jack rabbit who can lift a car, it gets even better. Throughout the course of the game your powers can be increased, making you just about invincible. This might seem like a bad thing but because your powers are such a blast to use, trouncing goons is even more fun.
Because of its violent content and sandbox style of play “Crackdown” will inevitably be compared to “Grand Theft Auto” and “Saints Row” but a fairer comparison would be “Spider-Man 2.” Jumping around the tops of buildings and clinging to ledges and windows is much more reminiscent of Peter Parker than San Andreas’ CJ.
The game presentation, while solid overall, can be a mixed bag. The audio is forgettable and occasionally downright annoying. The Agency has an omnipresent voice that acts as a tutor, giving you tips on how to play the game. Unfortunately, it never goes away, even when you’re close to beating the game. There is a soundtrack full of licensed songs (from artists you’ve never heard before) but you won't hear them because jumping around the city is much more appealing than driving around vehicles with wonky controls.
Thankfully “Crackdown” is so stunning to look at, its easy to forget about this weakness. Its like dating a swimsuit model who looks like Heidi Klum but sounds like Fran Drescher, you quickly get over it. The game does have a few other annoying problems: no plot to speak of, a crummy targeting system and a very average map to get around such a large world…but again, think swimsuit model.
“Crackdown’s” shortcomings will hopefully be fixed in its guaranteed sequels. In the meantime, this game is a blast to play and a fun way to pass the time while waiting for the ever precious “Halo 3” beta to start.
Players: One (2 online)
Formats: Xbox 360
Category: Sandbox Shooter
Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Top 5 Cracks I Would Hate to See
3. Television (due to Wiimote hyperactivity)
Coming up next week: "NBA Street Homecourt"