Synyster Graves


by on May.03, 2010, under Xbox 360

Crackdown is an open world game set in the futuristic city of Pacific City, which is overrun with three faction-esque gangs who have overtaken various areas of the sprawling metropolis. You play the role of a nameless agent working for the agency; wow that’s fucking creative, and you have to wipe out the gangs one by one in the name of justice. All very Batman indeed.

The game starts by throwing into the action by the bollocks and you have a mysterious voice over telling you your first steps into become this instrument of justice. This voice however seems to perpetuate thoughout the game and the best of times, get on your nerves by their constant castigation for when you accidently run down a pedestrian when you’re in a car. Unsurprisingly this is never your fault as you find that the brain dead pedestrians have the knack or running in front of your car in an attempt to get out of your way. In fact the general spatial awareness of the pedestrians is so retarded, you wonder why they bothered sending you out to save them in the first place. The other that did occur to me is that the mystery voice giving you orders sounded almost identical to the voice for for E4. It wouldn’t have surprised me to have been informed mid-mission that 90210 was about to start on the other channel!

The combat itself isn’t too bad as the using the left trigger causes you to lock onto to a target and you can individually select body parts to aim for and the reticule will converge around the target as the accuracy improves. However there is a downside to this as the for some unknown reason the game always seems to prioritise focusing on the car instead of the fully armed psychopath spraying bullets at you. This is particularly annoying in a full blown gunfight as the last thing you’re going to do in the middle of being shot at is to  ruin the paintwork, as the company vehicle  is hardly going to be high on the agenda for a faction of super villains. The weapons are very varied and intuitive and range from epic machine guns to homing rocket launchers. All very cool.

The levelling up system is very good as the more you do in various aspects will improve your character’s stats immensely. Collecting agility orbs or completing rooftops races will improve your ability to jump higher and further. Completing stunt jumps and street races will improve driving ability and agency vehicles. Kicking the shit out of enemies improves melee power and health bar. Blowing the hell out of enemies improves blast radius and power and gunning them down will improve shooting accuracy. All of these are really well balanced and logical except the driving ability. Any aspect of killing pedestrians will result in the de-incrementing of stats which means running over pedestrians will take down your driving skills. Now this probably sounds ok but the street races all seem to be plotted to go down pedestrian districts and pavement areas. Now come on you hypocritical prick of an agency, if you want me to improve my driving skills, can I not have to do it on a conveyor belt of idiots please? The fact that the cars handle like shit doesn’t help and you’d probably have more control riding a watermelon around on a wet skatepark.

The “boss” fights are consistent with most open world games of this ilk in the fact that you have to battle through a ridiculously defended stronghold and in the inner most sanctum lies the leader, who always seems to be able to survive about nine rockets to the face. Not only is this frustrating but if you’re like me you’ve probably saved all these up for such and encounter and the fucker still manages to thwart your plan by having a face impregnable to immolating explosives. Or probably uses a lot of Olay, you decide.

This was probably the first game that inspired other open world games like Prototype to have the rigmaroll of running about a massive city looking for fucking orbs. Seriously, collection missions SUCK!! The only tiny solace you receive from this is that the Hidden Orbs do provide a minor boost to your agent skills. On the other hand reading the achievements there is one for collecting all 300….ALL 300?!?…FUCK. OFF.

Crackdown fortunately has actually listened to the masses and when you’re done with the single player campaign, there is the option for doing the entire game in co-op. This is on the similar format to Saints Row 2 that you can port into your friend’s game and continue cleaning the mean streets. This is the lastability which I have been banging on about for ages and it’s nice to see that there are games out there which you can enjoy with a friend online instead of having to put up with stroppy random twats who don’t want to play the game properly. I’m not going to gripe at this by saying its only limited to two players and more would be better, because I’m just grateful it has multiplayer at all! *cough* Just Cause 2 *cough*.

So in conclusion, Crackdown as really good fun although the lack of storyline could have padded it out more. The general game engine is fun and intuitive and you have a good sense of accomplishment as you drive the gangs back. Just a final note that I did LOL in the beginning sequence when you are assigned the task “of taking out the enigmatic Wang”…I’m sorry I just LOL’ed again.

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