Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crackdown review

At the behest of one of my best friends, I picked up the 360 game "CrackDown" last weekend. I had an additional 25% off coupon for used games at GameStop, and figured it was a good cheap title, worth giving a shot. This has to be the most under-rated "Platinum Hits" game that I've played in recent memory. I remember the "bleh" reviews it got, and the demo really doesn't give the game much of a chance to see just how much fun it is.

The aspect of the game is this - you are a super agent that is tasked with cleaning up Metropolis , er Pacific City, of the crime that fills the streets. As you go through the game, you not only can advance what weapons you have by taking them away from the bad guys, but your skills increase. Each skill requires a different set of tactics - Jumping, Driving, Strength, Explosives and Firearms. Some tactics, such as sniping from way up high to folks down low, give you bonuses to multiple skills at once.

The game truly shines when one of two things happen - you spend 800msp to get the expansion pack for it, or you get about 2/3 of the way through it and really start getting good weapons and your skills are high. The expansion probably isn't quite worth 800msp (or about $10), but it does add a lot of nice gameplay from what I can see.

One of the truly unique aspects of the game is that you can co-op the game, but not be forced to even play together! Thus you can be in completely different parts of the game world, and just be using the game as a way to chat with the other players, and ask for assistance at varying points.

The graphics are a bit on the "cartoony" side, but the engine is rather smooth. I've managed to get the game world to the point where it slows down from time to time, but in general even with lots of explosions and enemies everywhere the game run nicely. There are some control issues, especially while jumping, where I don't feel like I'm doing a great job of controlling the character, but they are minimal. And driving with a control pad is just not my favoritest thing in the universe, but I do okay with it.

Overall I would give this game at least a B+ for the first time through, with enough attainable extras in the achievements to really have fun with it. They set side things like climbing to the top of the main tower, a dizzying height, and then jumping off it safely to the ground, as a challenge to the player. They added a mind number amount of jump and drive challenges to the game for added bonus, and collection orbs all over the place. It does contain swear words, and some pretty graphic violence, body juggling honestly was fun to unlock, but nothing that a Teen really couldn't get over. This is a case where I think the M rating probably isn't justified, save for maybe the language that the NPC's spit out every now and again.

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