Synyster Graves

Crackdown 2

by on Mar.06, 2012, under Xbox 360

Crackdown was a game I really enjoyed, it was different from other sandbox gams out there in the fact that you’re a super agent with super human abilities like strength and jumping across buildings matrix style. I loved the fact that instead of the usual taking cars and driving around like a maniac, you could just jump from building fo building to get around.

Crackdown 2 sees the return of the nameless protagonist working for the agency to rid Pacific City of a new threat affecting the city. You play the cloned agent, a super soldier project from the heart of the “Agency” with their headquarters in the centre of Pacific City. You are despatched to the streets of the city to rid them of Cell, a new terrorist organisation which has begun gathering numbers in the wake of the recent chemical spillage leaving hundreds upon thousands of citizens deformed and feral called “freaks”, who emerge only at night to terrorise the civilians. You are tasked to restore order to the streets by putting and end to Cell and initating “Project Sunburst”, a UV beacon which can eradicate the Freak epidemic. Just to be clear here this is following the usualy creed that any decetn sandbox game has to have zombies in it. I don’t care if they are mutants, they behave and attack like zombies, so for all intents and purposes, they are zombies.

Unlike Crackdown there is more an emphasis on day and night, as Cell are more ubiquitous during the day a mobilise faster but at night are localised to their respective strongholds, with the freaks this is the opposite, for at night, they line the streets in thousands. You start off with standard weapons but like the first game can take back weapons to drop points and store them in your inventory, enabling you to top up ammunition or even change weapons. You can carry two weapons at a time as well as a type of grenade. You also can request vehicle drops, which range from the Supercar; which is stupidly fast and can launch other cars off the street, the SUV; full with hydraulics to leap stupid distances, the Police car and the stunt buggy with a mounted minigun.

Also kept from the first game are the RPG style levelling up of the agent. You have five core skills which you can improve and reach new skills barriers, for example reaching level 2 agility allows you to jump higher and farther. Agility, Firearms, Explosives, Driving and Physical Strength all improve by gaining orbs from enemies or the annoyingly scattered hidden orbs around the city, but also for agility, the green agility orbs are back, but this time there is 500 of them (way too many!). Strength is gained by physically battering enemies, firearms for shooting them and so on, but you get a penalty by using your skills on civilians or peacekeepers. Driving orbs are gained from driving at speed, running over enemies and performing driving stunts. There are also “renegade” agility and driving orbs which can only be obtained either by jumping over rooftops or driving a car. And they are a royal bugger. The driving orbs are really cheap and turn around corners so fast you have no hope of catching them half the time and the agility orbs are only really obtainable when you reach level 6 of all skills enabling you to have rocket thrusters in your boots.

The stupid bastard voiceover is back and is probably more irritating that in the first game as you will spend most of the game being berated by this overbearing tw*t for most of your gameplay. In a game which has such emphasis on going off and doing what you want, being told what to do constantly is more starting a job at a company and your dad, being the CEO, sitting over your shoulder perpetually. Not fun. The storyline itself is bordering on wafer thin but it’s enough to keep your attention enough to complete through it, although the side challenges and general licence to mess about is enough to keep you until the end of the game, the end level being a logistical nightmare trying to navigate a corkscrew shaped architectural monstrosity, something like if Anthony Gormley designed a car park after accidently having Pete Doherty’s breakfast.

The enemies are what you come to expect with these games now, i.e. randomly opening fire upon you and having no real knowledge that you are there yet attack en mass when you casually drive past, but at least you can have a decent sized amount of health to withstand this constant barrage of attacks. It is frenetic and provides a decent challenge, if somewhat over the top. But that’s just it with the Crackdown series, it is over the top, not quite in a Saints Row 3 kind of way, but nevertheless it can get rather mental at times.

The main attraction I found with this game is same as the last, co-operative campaign. A friend can just drop in, drop out at will of the game and help you with the missions, or like me we can just run around creating holy havoc, either way it gives a decent amount of playability to the game and quite frankly is a lot of fun, especially when you’re doing driving stunts in co-op.

In summation Crackdown 2 was fun and a good multiplayer experience, which despite the awful commentator and the biblical flood of collectibles creating a myriad of pointless overkill, Crackdown 2 is worth getting for about £20 if you see it on Amazon. I enjoyed the storyline and am currently enjoying the DLC.


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