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Crackdown Review

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the nothing-quite-like-leaping-tall-buildings-in-a-single-bound dept.

136

When it was first announced that Halo 3 Beta keys were being included in the retail release of an Xbox 360 game, I rolled my eyes. I assumed that whatever they were slapping that key onto was going to be a crappy bargain basement eyesore. It has been a great pleasure to learn that, maybe, they bundled the Halo 3 key with Crackdown so that more people would be exposed to the simple greatness this game contains. To be sure, the game has deep flaws; not much of a story, a few racial stereotypes, and somewhat unsatisfying boss fights mar the experience. At the core, though, this is a mindlessly fun game that does a lot of things right. If there's a sequel, and there's no reason not to think there won't be, it's good to know that Realtime Worlds has established an extremely solid base for future endeavors. Read on for my thoughts on this superjumping shooter.

  • Title: Crackdown
  • Developer/Publisher: Realtime Worlds, Microsoft Game Studios
  • System: 360
  • Genre: Sandbox-Style Action Shooter
  • Score: 3/5 - This game is flawed, but will appeal to genre fans. Any gamer might enjoy renting it, but this won't ever be a classic.
The progression from weak to strong is a staple in videogaming. Leveling up in RPGs, scarfing a mushroom as Mario - they're all abstractions of improvement. The defining characteristic of Crackdown is this gain in power; more than killing gang members or taking out kingpins, the game is about developing from a fairly tough cop to an incredible supersoldier. Where with some titles you're inclined to become more powerful just because it's 'the point of the game', Crackdown makes you want it. More power isn't some minor increase in damage or a shinier sword. Over the course of the game your character moves from mighty hops to leaps that clear buildings effortlessly. Explosions go from minor pops to group-clearing blasts, and the ability to snap off a headshot in midair while falling from a 10-story building is ... pretty much always impressive.

This power progression is wrapped in a paper-thin story wrapping. You're a genetically engineered police officer cooked up to combat an overwhelming gang presence on the planet's capital city. As a part of a world-girding (kind of fascist-sounding) law enforcement organization called 'The Agency', your character is charged with the general task of 'killing all the bad guys'. As you bound and drive and run your way around the island-based city, you'll get intel on the kingpins who run the three gangs that run the town. You're given leave to take out the crime bosses and their henchmen any way you please. The only time the Agency gets cranky is when civilians get caught in the crossfire (or under an onrushing car). Individually, none of these criminals are a challenge to take out. The bosses are also fairly easy targets; all that separates them from their underlings is a bit more health. (Though you do get a well-voiced cut-scene after each.) The challenge here is that in a given fight you may be facing upwards of 15 or 20 gang members at once. If you allow them to surround you and set up a crossfire, even a super-powered agent can succumb to the stinging of gnats. This backdrop and the 'plot progression' of killing crime lords is all you'll get for a storyline. While it's disappointing, it's just barely enough to keep your attention.

Where the game fails with story, it excels with presentation. Over the course of the game you'll raise your character's skills by taking out gang members. It's immediately obvious what skills you are improving: kill a ganger with a gun, and little colored spheres with guns in them rush into your character. The game's voiceover enthusiastically calls that 'skills for kills'. Your five skills are Agility, Firearms, Explosives, Driving, and Strength. You start with zero stars, and can advance to four stars in each skill. Agility is the only skill that is raised through different means. Beautiful green glowing orbs on the tops of buildings (500 in all) tempt you to reach new heights and leap wider gaps. The collection of that sweet, sweet candy will probably be what catches your attention in the early part of the game. There's a wonderfully formed hum that alerts you to the presence of nearby orbs, and a cheery 'ping!' that sounds when you collect one. This mechanic is easily the most addictive in the game, but pretty much everything you can do is amusing in one way or another. Seeing how far you can throw things (like, say, cars in the later game), discovering the hidden orbs which improve all of your skills at once, running the rooftop and street-level races scattered across the map; giving you the chance to make your own fun is what this game excels at. The comparisons to Grand Theft Auto are understandable insofar as this is a well-made sandbox of a world, but Crackdown offers you even fewer barriers than GTA does in what you can and can't do.

And, on that note, anything you find you can't do by yourself can probably be achieved in co-op play. Online co-op mode is as flexible as any other portion of the game, allowing you and one friend to bound and race around the city in whatever fashion you desire. The whole city is open to your duo, and if you're not interested in staying together there's no reason to do so. Unlike with Gears, say, the co-op is only the icing on the cake for Crackdown; there's plenty of fun to be had on your own. It's still tremendous to play in such a wide-open environment with another voice ringing in your ears. We can only hope that GTA IV and future sandbox games take a page from Crackdown's very attractive book.

That attractiveness extends beyond the game's design to its visual style. Using a mild form of cell shading and an incredible draw distance, the city you've been charged with protecting is occasionally breathtaking. It's certainly not pushing the limits of UT-style imagery, but the game's look is still extremely appealing. The title's sound presentation is equally engaging, and especially in high places really adds to the game's sensation. Standing atop the Agency building, the highest in the gameworld, the wind rushing past you adds a real sense of vertigo to your extreme height. Beyond the sound, I especially enjoyed the city's architecture. Each portion of the city has a distinct look, and within the districts every building (it seems) has its own personality. From two-story flats to the black and neon skyscrapers, they've made your urban playground as varied as they can. They urge you to ever greater heights, and it's hard to overstate just how much fun it is to leap from a tall building into the midst of a firefight; it just never gets old.

Like a Burnout for action games, Crackdown has pared away superfluous things like 'characters', 'story' or 'originality' to get at the meat of the game mechanics on offer. For those that expect a little more from their games, be forewarned that you're not going to experience the next step in storytelling here. For a great time, though, and a heaping portion of extremely enjoyable mindless entertainment, it's hard to ignore Crackdown's charms. It doesn't hurt that, as advertised, you'll eventually get access to the Halo 3 multiplayer beta. There's talk that the beta for this retail offering may not be until May and, to be honest, this title won't keep you occupied until then. It's still a good few weeks worth of entertainment, and well worth your time for a rental or a borrow from a friend. Just don't forget to give co-op a try; racing from rooftop to rooftop with a friend is an experience not to be missed.

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halo 3 beta key (1)

Nishal (636649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239124)

That will be awesome. I like crackdown for a silly playability, lack of storyline stuff..and i will love halo 3 beta

Re:halo 3 beta key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18239250)

"there's no reason not to think there won't be." My brain is too numb to parse this. Can someone tell me whether there will be a sequel or not?

Of course there's a sequel! (4, Funny)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239358)

Can someone tell me whether there will be a sequel or not?

Are you kidding me? The game has been released for about two weeks. Of course there will be a sequel! In fact, it was started soon after the original game was pitched to publishers. It should be coming out in September, as part of Microsoft's one-three punch with Halo 3 and a price drop to annhilate the Wii, PS3, DS, PSP, Dreamcast, Genesis, and all other competition from the historty books and all eternity. Other consoles will only be a comma [washingtonpost.com] taught to game designers everywhere thanks to this game's sequel Crackdown 2: When Crystal Meth Attacks!

Sorry, went a little overboard there.

Re:Of course there's a sequel! (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239570)

The game really does deserve a sequel, though. There aren't many problems in the underlying game mechanics - the game itself just needs more content. Similar story to Dead Rising in a lot of ways - not a lot wrong, but quite a bit missing.

I've heard rumor that Crackdown will seeing some (free?) downloadable content via XBLM, so there's that, too.

Re:Of course there's a sequel! (0, Flamebait)

ccarson (562931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242400)

I can't wait for Halo 3 beta. When beta is over, I'll be using crackdown as a coaster. Crackdown sucks.

Re:Of course there's a sequel! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18242438)

Can you tell me where you buy your crystal meth? ;)

Re:halo 3 beta key (1)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240736)

Yes yes! All hail Halo 3!! Greatest game ever!! Halo 3 will rule the Cosmos!!!

Come on, the game hasn't even seen the light of day yet. And it will probably just look like H1 and H2. I say reserve judgement when it comes out.

As far as Crackdown - the review is pretty spot on. Brainless but fun. I played way too much this weekend.

RonB

Re:halo 3 beta key (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241070)

Crackdown among the retailers has recieved a rather good following. Good reviews from players, few trade ins, and an increasing speed in sales after launch. The Halo 3 beta is Icing on the cake for many of these players.

Crackdown On This Crack Addic t: John McCain (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18239134)

The North Vietnamese would have done U.S. democracy a favor had they shipped this sorry sack of babbling pandering protoplasm to
the Soviet Gulag.

Parts of what follows below were actually painful to write. However, because of the ongoing misinformation campaigns launched by JOhn McCain and his votaries, I feel it is my duty to write this. Perhaps before going on, I should describe McCain to you. McCain is grumpy, unsavory, and brainless. Furthermore, he yearns to dominate the whole earth and take possession of all its riches.

I guess that my take on this is that McCain has announced his intentions to rely on the psychological effects of terror to magnify the localized effects of his policies so that, like a stone hurled into a pool of water, shock waves ripple from the epicenter of McCain's attacks to the furthest reaches of the Earth. While doing so may earn him a gold star from the mush-for-brains academicism crowd, McCain likes to brag about how the members of his classism movement are ideologically diverse. Perhaps that means that some of them prefer Stalin over Hitler. In any case, if McCain can give us all a succinct and infallible argument proving that he has the linguistic prowess to produce a masterwork of meritorious literature, I will personally deliver his Nobel Prize for Ethically bankrupt Rhetoric. In the meantime, I can easily see McCain performing the following contumelious acts. First, he will make a mockery of the term "mechanicocorpuscular". Then, he will reinforce the concept of collective guilt that is the root of all prejudice. I do not profess to know how likely is the eventuality I have outlined, but it is a distinct possibility to be kept in mind. Although I consistently resolve a number of lingering problems, I do not countenance challenging McCain through breaking the law -- to do so is vainglorious, gloomy, and indefensible. Well, McCain, we're all getting a little tired of you and your kind messing up the world and then refusing to accept responsibility for what you've done. We're fed up. And the day is coming when you'll be held accountable for your irritating agendas.

Now, I don't mean for that to sound pessimistic, although McCain's hangers-on's thinking is fenced in by many constraints. Their minds are not free because they dare not be. It is easy to see faults in others. But it takes perseverance to make technical preparations for the achievement of freedom and human independence. McCain spouts a lot of numbers whenever he wants to make a point. He then subjectively interprets those numbers to support his witticisms while ignoring the fact that he maintains that either his opinions represent the opinions of the majority -- or even a plurality -- or that those of us who oppose him would rather run than fight. McCain denies any other possibility. I have seen and heard enough. Now, it is time to contribute to the intellectual and spiritual health of the body politic.

McCain argues that we have no reason to be fearful about the criminally violent trends in our society today and over the past ten to fifteen years. To maintain this thesis, McCain naturally has had to shovel away a mountain of evidence, which he does by the desperate expedient of claiming that the only way to expand one's mind is with drugs -- or maybe even chocolate. He and his temperamental, sniffish homilies should be shunned. But the problems with his diatribes don't end there. When I'm through with McCain, he'll think twice before attempting to lay the foundation for some serious mischief. My general thesis is that I would indisputably like to comment on his attempt to associate Lysenkoism with narcissism. There is no association. I'll talk a lot more about that later, but first let me finish my general thesis: Many people think of his beer-guzzling jeremiads as a joke, as something only half-serious. In fact, they're deadly serious. They're the tool by which unregenerate shirkers will perpetuate the myth that a book of McCain's writings would be a good addition to the Bible eventually. A second all-too-serious item is that many people have witnessed McCain paint people of different races and cultures as lackadaisical alien forces undermining the coherent national will. McCain generally insists that his witnesses are mistaken and blames his tendentious imprecations on treacherous, nefarious self-promoters. It's like he has no-fault insurance against personal responsibility. What's more, if McCain gets his way, none of us will be able to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable in our society -- the sick, the old, the disabled, the unemployed, and our youth -- all of whose lives are made miserable by JOhn McCain. Therefore, we must not let McCain distract people from serious analysis of the situation. Is it just me, or do other people also think that due to circumstances that I have encountered in my research, I find that I must foster mutual understanding? I ask, because McCain's method (or school, or ideology -- it is hard to know exactly what to call it) goes by the name of "McCain-ism". It is an indelicate and avowedly perverted philosophy that aims to have a serious destabilizing effect on our institutions.

Don't be fooled: The fact of the matter is that we now know for certain that McCain's secret police intend to limit the terms of debate by declaring certain subjects beyond discussion. I always catch hell whenever I say something like that, so let me assure you that he may replace our timeless traditions with his voluble ones right after he reads this letter. Let him. In the blink of an eye, I, for one, will make a cause célèbre out of exposing McCain's tactics for what they really are. Although this may come as a surprise to some readers, McCain's personal motto is "never forgive and never forget". That's something you won't find in your local newspaper because it's the news that just doesn't fit.

An armed revolt against McCain is morally justified. However, I believe that it is not yet strategically justified. He is not only impulsive, but he also lacks the self-control necessary to conform his behavior to reasonable norms.

McCain claims that truth is merely a social construct. I would say that that claim is 70% folderol, 20% twaddle, and 10% another stubborn attempt to force people to act in ways far removed from the natural patterns of human behavior. To say merely that his nostrums are a parody of original thought is a vast understatement. Now that I think about it, I have a tendency to report the more sensational things that he is up to, the more shocking things, things like how he wants to spread parasitism all over the globe like pigeon droppings over Trafalgar Square. And I realize the difficulty that the average person has in coming to grips with that, but it is pointless to fret about the damage already caused by his uncompanionable artifices. The past cannot be changed. We must cope with the present if we hope to affect our future and ensure that we survive and emerge triumphant out of the coming chaos and destruction.

Maybe you, too, want to make our lives an endless treadmill of government interferences while providing few real benefits to our health and happiness, so let me warn you: I myself have a problem with McCain's use of the phrase, "We all know that...". With this phrase, he doesn't need to prove his claim that the rest of us are an inferior group of people, fit only to be enslaved, beaten, and butchered at the whim of our betters; he merely accepts it as fact. To put it another way, many people are shocked when I tell them that he has really pulled a fast one this time. And I'm shocked that so many people are shocked. You see, I had thought everybody already knew that it has been said that I, speaking as someone who is not a covinous git, sympathize with those who have lost loved ones at the hands of JOhn McCain. I, in turn, assert that after hearing about his manipulative attempts to compromise the things that define us, including integrity, justice, love, and sharing, I was saddened. I was saddened that he has lowered himself to this level. When confronted with the real facts, McCain usually defends himself with some weak explanation about how he knows 100% of everything 100% of the time, and hence, by extension, he asserts that there is something intellectually provocative in the tired rehashing of officious stereotypes. Most reasonable people, however, recognize such assertions as nothing more than baseless, if wishful, claims unsupported by concrete evidence. His crotchets constitute one of the many conduits of lexiphanicism in our culture. Why? That's easy. If the past is any indication of the future, he will once again attempt to cultivate the purest breed of irresponsibility.

I could substantiate what I'm saying about diabolic New Age spivs, but I don't feel that that's necessary, since we all know what they're like. I guess what I really mean to say is that McCain extricates himself from difficulty by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimulation, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice. His teachings are not our only concern. To state the matter in a few words, I have a message for him. My message is that, for the good of us all, he should never impugn the patriotism of his opponents. He should never even try to do such a peevish thing. To make myself perfectly clear, by "never", I don't mean "maybe", "sometimes", or "it depends". I mean only that McCain keeps trying to carve out space in the mainstream for passive-aggressive politics. And if we don't remain eternally vigilant, he will decidedly succeed. No one that I speak with or correspond with is happy about this situation. Of course, I don't speak or correspond with purblind, intrusive criminal masterminds, McCain's apologists, or anyone else who fails to realize that McCain says that the majority of unrestrained, snotty flimflammers are heroes, if not saints. Yet he also wants to operate in the gray area between legitimate activity and filthy, benighted solipsism. Am I the only one who sees the irony there? I ask because some people are responsible and others are not. McCain falls into the category of "not".

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who transform our whole society to suit McCain's own coprophagous interests, and there are those who point out the glaring contradiction between his idealized view of unilateralism and reality. McCain fits neatly into the former category, of course. Okay, this letter has become much too long so I'll just jump right to the punchline: JOhn McCain feels he has not only a right, but also a duty, to defy the rules of logic.

Yours patriotically,
Kilgore Trout

Correction (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239246)

I'd like to issue a correction for this review. The correct score should be 4/5.

Why? (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239268)

At least justify why you think a correction is in order.

Shai-gen's enigmatic Wang (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239538)

Not a justification, just a note that X-Play [imdb.com] gave it a 5 out of 5 [g4tv.com] .

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

rnelsonee (98732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239578)

It's a Slashdot joke. It's pretty tough to find a /. review that isn't 4/5, that's all.

Re:Why? (0, Offtopic)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239608)

Ha Ha! Sorry. Mod me -1 for ignorance.

Re:Why? (0, Offtopic)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240880)

Ignorance... I can't find that on the drop down list. Any help?

unnerving? (0, Troll)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239266)

I'm not Jack Thompson, but is anyone else even remotely disturbed at the subtext of this sort of game? The demo floating around on XBL features some good old-fashioned ultraviolence perpetrated by a Caucasian protagonist (the player, natch) against your stereotypical Latino gangbangers.

My younger brother is totally unconcerned with this--he wants to super-jump and shoot people--but I can't help but wonder whether this sort of thing isn't necessarily part of a complete mental breakfast.

Re:unnerving? (3, Informative)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239334)

You can choose the race of your main character, so fears about this becoming a KKK future world simulator are probably unfounded. :)

Re:unnerving? (5, Informative)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239496)

Only the first island is Hispanic. The second island is comprised of eastern Europeans and the third island is made up of English speaking Caucasians and Asians. As the other poster mentioned, you can also choose the race of your character. Current skins include Black, White, Asian, Polynesian, and even Albino characters; the default character is Black. You're really reaching if you're looking for White on Hispanic racial undertones in this game.

Re:unnerving? (1)

Panzergheist (609926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241490)

Besides, everyone knows that Black on White is always more fun!

Once you go black you... wait, wrong site.

Re:unnerving? (2, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239544)

but is anyone else even remotely disturbed at the subtext of this sort of game?

No, not really. Most of us can separate fantasy from reality...


perpetrated by a Caucasian protagonist (the player, natch) against your stereotypical Latino gangbangers.

...And some of us will even still call a spade "a spade", no matter how un-PC.

In a mafia-oriented game, you have Italian characters. In a terrorism-oriented game, you have Attractive and Successful Gentlemen of Middle-Eastern Descent. And in a wannabe-urban-thug oriented game, you have...? Go ahead, complete that sentence with anything other than your above-quoted phrase. Just doesn't fit.

That doesn't make all Italians mafioso, all Arabs terrorists, or all Hispanics gangbangers, any more than all red mushrooms make you double in size so you can jump higher and break blocks with your head.

Re:unnerving? (0)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239624)

I wasn't worried as much by the content as by the defaults.

For my own part, I wonder if I, myself, wouldn't be less unnerved if the demo character's race were randomly rolled, rather than fixed.

Re:unnerving? (4, Informative)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239942)

um... I'm pretty sure the default character is Black. According to the game's creators, the look of the default character, as well as many of the abilities, was inspired by the Blade movies. People who look for racism everywhere will find racism everywhere, even where it doesn't exist.

As far as stereotypes in sandbox games go, Crackdown is incredibly mild. If you're really that set on being offended by a game perhaps you should take a look at GTA: San Andreas or Saints Row.

Re:unnerving? (2, Interesting)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242172)

The demo faces you against the latino gang because the game gangs scale upwards in difficulty like in almost any game. The latino gang is the starting point, and thus the best place to start the player in the demo since they would get to experience beginner level gameplay so that they can contrast it with end-game gameplay.

If the races disturb you, what about this?:

Why is it alright for a black person to kill a black person, but not for a white person to kill a black person? How about asians killing black people? Indians? What color person is allowed to kill what color of victim?

Thing is, the act of killing others should be far more disturbing than the incidental skin colors involved. If you can get past that, the skin color is a very minor detail. And many gamers find no problem getting past that(because they know that it's a game, not violence).

Re:unnerving? (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242484)

"For my own part, I wonder if I, myself, wouldn't be less unnerved if the demo character's race were randomly rolled, rather than fixed."
But what would be displayed on the box art? A UN panel where there was 1 of every possible race in the game, so no one gets the wrong idea that because there's a black guy shooting someone on the box art, that must mean the publisher thinks that all black guys shoot people?

We need a solution to this terrible problem you've found!!

(What is your problem? Why are you so unnerved by this? Did the Godfather unnerve you?)

Re:unnerving? (1)

charlieman (972526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240360)

So you are saying not all italians are plumbers? damn stereotyped games!

incorrect (4, Informative)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239668)

The demo floating around on XBL features some good old-fashioned ultraviolence perpetrated by a Caucasian protagonist (the player, natch) against your stereotypical Latino gangbangers.

Have you seen the demo first-hand, or is that just something you heard from a friend of a friend? Every download of the demo I've played (and the retail game) has an african-american as the default character.

Re:incorrect (5, Insightful)

Matias D'Ambrosio (609229) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240410)

How do you know he's african-american? Maybe he's african-african? or camouflaged-albino? or dirty-mongoloid?

Re:incorrect (4, Insightful)

David_Shultz (750615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241476)

Every download of the demo I've played (and the retail game) has an african-american as the default character.

Just say black, damnit, not "African American". All black people don't come from Africa. Also, there is nothing offensive about being called black, so I don't understand why you need to use some silly cover term. Trust me on this -no one is going to be offended by your recognition of the fact that their skin has a darker pigment than your own (yes, I can tell that you're not black).

Re:incorrect (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241876)

Trust me on this -no one is going to be offended by your recognition of the fact that their skin has a darker pigment than your own (yes, I can tell that you're not black).

Look, to be perfectly honest, I don't see race. People tell me I'm white and I believe them, because police officers call me "sir".

Re:incorrect (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241946)

I believe on the demo the black character is the only character you can choose.

The game takes place in the fictional Pacific City and as far as I've seen the country is never named, so I wouldn't call the character "American".

Re:unnerving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18239720)

Your hyper-anti-racist credentials are noted and ignored.

Re:unnerving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240076)

The default selection for the player's character is black.

Re:unnerving? (1)

saboola (655522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240092)

When I played the demo the protagonist was an African American. Is the hero random? It might be an option to change the players race but I just kind of quick hit start a bunch till I got into the game.

Re:unnerving? (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240346)

On the screen where you choose whether to do it solo or coop (and choose dificulty), there's a bunch of pictures. The picture you choose is the skin of your character. The default one is the black guy.

Re:unnerving? (2, Insightful)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242022)

You're a god-damned genied super-cop. I don't think you get to be any sort of ***-american. You're an american, but more importantly you're a fucking lab rat.

Re:unnerving? (2, Insightful)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240382)

The cover of the game has the black character on it, so he's the "main" protagonist. In fact, from the original set of characters you can choose from, there are no "normal" white guys. They are all disfigured in some way. It's only when you get the downloadable characters do you get a normal white guy.

Re:unnerving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18242038)

you mean the cyborg?

A few racial stereotypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18239316)

All of the white characters are portrayed as barely-employed blog editors, living in the parent's basement and begging for pizza crusts.

Re:A few racial stereotypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240814)

I know. It's so unfair. We're not all like that. Sure, I am, but I've seen white people when I visit Fry's who don't seem that way.

Still more questions... (4, Insightful)

microTodd (240390) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239344)

OK, this was a sub-par review. I still have way more questions about the game.

Can you go inside buildings? Or is everything outdoors?

What is the driving like? Are there decent car chases? Or are they a weak subgame?

Is there any depth to hand-to-hand melee fighting? Or is it just punch, but the goal is to get strong enough that punches do more damage?

Can I throw a bad guy? How far? What if I punch him really hard? Does he go flying?

*sigh* I guess I'll just rent it.

Re:Still more questions... (1)

webrunner (108849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239412)

Why not download the Demo off Live?

Re:Still more questions... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240432)

Many users lack the internet connection required for XBLive. That's why. Or, perhaps he doesn't have a HDD in his 360. There's another good reason.

Re:Still more questions... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18239430)

To answer your questions:

- Only some buildings, generally the ones that hold the bosses. You can, however, climb anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE, which is a large part of the fun.

- The driving's OK. Car chases aren't anything to call home about. The agency cars you start with get upgraded as your driving skill improves (read: run over more people), and give you more powers.

- You can punch, kick and throw people. Particularly amusing is jumping off a tall building and landing on a perp.

- As you power up, you can throw people really far. And then keep them in the air by juggling them with rockets. Also highly amusing. And yes, they do go flying as you power up your strength. Throwing cars at the bad guys is also fun.

Re:Still more questions... (4, Informative)

bmajik (96670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239744)

You can go into some buildings that are relevant to the plot. The average building, you can't go into.

The driving is something i haven't even bothered with. Jumping from building to building, shooting people you fly-over in mid air... what's the poitn of driving when you can do Matrix-esque leaps across the city?

The hand to hand fighting when you are actually standing right next to someone consists of elbowing them or kicking them, depending on what button you press.

however, most objects in the environment are things you can bash, pickup, and throw. You can throw "generally" or you can throw at a target. This includes things like boxes, barrels, dumpsters, cars. You can melee attack a street lamp, then it will fall over, then you can pick it up and run with it. When you see 5 guys abreast on a sidewalk that are coming at you, you can throw the lamp post at them and it take them out at once.

As you get stronger you can pickup heavier thigns (liek cars) and throw them farther.

You can also melee attack heavy objects as well. I've completely maxxed out my agility, firearms, and strength skills (i've also beaten the game). I can run up to a big truck and kick it and it rolls over. If you're fast and a gang car comes your way you can get over to it and kick it hard enough to knock it over the side of a bridge before the gang members even step out of the car.

Yes, you can pick up bad guys and throw them at other bad guys. Yes, at my level of strength, any person i punch or kick goes _flying_.

Some other enemies will pick up bodies and throw them at _you_.

When you get sufficiently strong and throw a dumpster at just one person they go splat :)

I love it. I've been playing it almost non-stop since i got it.

Re:Still more questions... (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239928)

Cool, thanks for the useful info (Zonk, you paying attention?). This game actually makes me want to pick up a 360 now, instead of waiting for Halo 3.

Re:Still more questions... (3, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239824)

Can you go inside buildings? Or is everything outdoors?
You can go in some buildings, but very few. Most activity is outside (although many buildings have catwalks, tunnels, balconies etc to explore).

What is the driving like?
At first, very frustrating, but as your driving skill gets higher the handling and performance improves a lot. I'm currently on 3 stars for driving and it's pretty nice.

Are there decent car chases? Or are they a weak subgame?
There are fixed-course races which are essentially minigames. Not sure on what your definition of "weak" is though. In terms of chases, it's a lot like GTA. The cars are mainly used as ways of getting around, and as weapons (running bad guys down). There aren't any car-based missions like in GTA. Overall, this isn't a racing/driving game, but the cars aren't bad.

Is there any depth to hand-to-hand melee fighting? Or is it just punch, but the goal is to get strong enough that punches do more damage?
Your character will do different melee attacks (kick, punch, roundhouse, etc) but you don't really have much control over them.

Can I throw a bad guy?
Sure, you can throw anything if you're strong enough. If you're 3 or 4 star strength you can throw the car he's driving in too :)

How far?
Depends how strong you are and how high you are. If you can get a body to the top of a tall building I'm sure you can clear a couple hundred feet. The physics work pretty well.

What if I punch him really hard? Does he go flying?
Sure, and if you kick him off a bridge or building he'll fall down to the ground and stay there until you climb back down to get the weapons he dropped. Or if he ends up in water he'll float around for a while.

Re:Still more questions... (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239938)

1) For the most part, everything is outdoors. There are a few boss fights that are inside and you have ride an elevator or go through a tunnel

2)The driving is more or less the same as in GTA. There are some street races where you have to go through a number of checkpoints. There are also "stunt markers" where you have to jump a car through to complete it. Both of these allow you to gain driving points to increase your driving skills. My biggest problem with driving is that pedestrians don't know how to get out of your away, even when you honk the horn. They also die with the slightest tap from a vehicle.

3)Hand to Hand combat is basically punch/kick/kick 'em when their down

4)You can throw a bad guys' corpse at other people to do damage. If you punch/kick them when your strength is high enough, they will go flying. This is really fun on top of buildings, because if the initial hit doesn't kill them, the fall will.

Re:Still more questions... (1)

ngtvtw13ve (989605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240010)

Can you go inside buildings? Or is everything outdoors?
Not really, Mostly Yes

What is the driving like? Are there decent car chases? Or are they a weak subgame?
Like GTA, Some races and Stunts, Its ok

Is there any depth to hand-to-hand melee fighting? Or is it just punch, but the goal is to get strong enough that punches do more damage?
No, Yes

Can I throw a bad guy? How far? What if I punch him really hard? Does he go flying?
Yes, Depends on the size of your screen, ?, Yes
Hope that help :P

Re:Still more questions... (1)

naoursla (99850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240136)

Just to clarify a few of the repsonses:
- You can throw anything that you can pick up.
- You cannot pick up a living bad guy.
- You cannot pick up a car that has people in it.

Being able to pick up cars is fun. You can sneak into the kingpin's complex. Pick up one of the cars, jump over the locked gate with the car you are carrying, put the car down on the street outsiede of the gate, get in and drive away.

Re:Still more questions... (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240664)

False, I routinely pick up cars that still have people in it. It's rather hilarious.

Re:Still more questions... (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240778)

False, I routinely pick up cars that still have people in it. It's rather hilarious.

Cars with live people in them are funnier than those with dead people. When you pick up a car with a live person, they floor the gas trying to get away. Dead people just flop around. (to get dead people in your car, find a car you want to pick up and kick it around a few times. That should kill the occupants, hopefully without discharging them from the vehicle)

Also, I haven't figured out why cars bleed in the game, but they do.

Re:Still more questions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18241620)

That's the people in the cars.

Re:Still more questions... (1)

naoursla (99850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240838)

I stand corrected.

Re:Still more questions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240166)

Enter buildings Yes, need to Yes. The car is a weapon, and stunt tool. Hand to hand, Yes! It also results in development of abilities. A fully developed strength ability will result kicks making the bad guys/gals flying great distances. Throw things, Yes. You can throw things from bottles to buses, as well as bodies. This dependent upon the character development.

Re:Still more questions... (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240242)

This review isn't just sub-par, it's superfluous.

You can download the demo on XBL. It's pretty fun but lacks any depth to the AI. Very GTA though the targeting system seems to work better.

Re:Still more questions... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18241502)

You can and in fact must go inside some buildings. Generally it's outside. When you do go inside the accoutrements are pretty destructable, and pick up able so you can use them to gather strength orbs during your destructable. The achitechture in the game is really nice. REALLY nice. You will not be able to complete it without saying to yourself I wish my city had buildings that look like this.

Driving is hard at the start extremely fast and violent with snappy controls at the end of the game. You have 3 choices of agency vehicals (supercar/batmobile, SUV, and truck cab) in addition to what you nab off the street. Which varies WIDELY from sporty coups that drive like it, to minivans, and suped up gang cars which may include APCs and mobile missle launcers (they don't launch). There are no chases such as they are. With good reason, with the supercar in the begining and 0*s you wouldn't lose. Your super soldier dramatically outclasses any single foe in the game from the very begining. There are only a couple that might even be able to win in hand to hand combat with their extra health. The gang bosses need their many many layers of traps and guards. But that doesn't mean driving is tacked on or isn't fun. It's not centeral at all, and really, until you have 4*s in agility you probably won't really want to do that much of it unless you really like driving. Which brings me to Zonk's review being wrong. You get driving skill for just doing jumps. If you do stunts, barrel rolls, flips, very long or long lasting jumps you get a lot more. String them together for even more. And you can get some pretty serious air in the SUV (the jumping flying acrobatic car). You probably get the most for doing road races. Which can be pretty challenging. You've got a time limit and you have to hit all the checkpoints and cross the finish line in it to successfuly complete the race. They might send you through alleys, or just down the freeway against traffic. Even after you beat the game these can be difficult, as crashing into a building, or getting launched off the prescribed course can pretty much take you out of a race. Before you beat the game or with crimes on, and hundreds of gang members with machineguns, grenades, and rocket launchers, haha well it certainly adds a little something especially on higher difficulty levels where the gang members seem to lead cars a little better. The batmobile eventually ends up with machine guns in stead of a horn, the SUV get hydrolics which help blast the car to pretty increadible hieghts, and the truck cab, it gets a KITT like turbo and just blasts through anything.

The hand to hand is pretty much like a shooter, hit the melee button and you hit and generally kill something. However, there's a lot more depth to strenght. There's material all over the city, pipes, bags of cement, concret obstructions, scafolding, furniture, rubber ducks, bottles of beer, doors, gates, dumpsters, dead bodies, cars, car parts, trucks, busses, and of course a giant bronze globe with which you can smash your foes. And with which some of your foes can smash you. Every now and then you'll get an incensed gang member who picks up his recently slain boss and hurls them at you. Generally any hit on a regular guy past 1* of strength on the regular difficulty will kill them outright. And any hit on a guy that knocks them off a building or into deep water is also fatal. (you can survive falls of seemingly hundreds of feet, and swim anywhere but to the mainland.) As your strength progresses guys will just get launched when you hit them. Routinely soaring dozens of feet and banging into things when they hit them. When you throw a body you'll eventually be able to toss it more than 200 feet. I only know cause there's an achievement for that. Hell with 4 stars strength you can pretty much knock a bus off a bridge with a single kick. If that doesn't work, you can still pick it up and throw it off.

I should add a little bit on the shooting since that's gotten somewhat short changed. You can spray and pray all on your own, and effectively, or use targeting. Pretty much seemlessly. When you use targeting you can shot body locations. Arms so people drop weapons, and weapons fall where they fall, maybe off ledges. Heads, generally if it's not a boss or super buffed up henchman or mutant, one shot will do it. But with some weapons, the smither's punisher, it's not really an issue. The body of course. And my favorite knees. Now I like to shoot knees in a group of guys by strafeing without targeting then finishing them off as they roll around. But it doesn't end there. You can target explosive materials. You can of course target cars. You can fire rounds into the body of the car, not recommended. Although it does eventually catch on fire and explode if you do. You can fire rounds into the passenger compartment specifically. Shoot out the tires, and honestly, standing on the highway watching cars flip out as you shoot out their tires is a lot of fun. And the gas tank. Put a round through the gas cap on a car and it blows up. The easiest way to do this, super especially on a moving car, is with targeting. However, to do any of these things, including the gas cap, targeting need not be used.

Really all that's missing is a Super-Patriot or Captain America skin. And I don't want to spoil the game, but the ending is pretty satisfiying.

Re:Still more questions... (1)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242204)

Once you get to 4 stars in driving it's really great. The car goes ~215 "mph" and has an assault riffle gun on each side. The SUV has hydrolics that bounce you easily 10 "feet" and higher. Do that off a ramp and you go flying. The "big rig" has an infinite "nitrous" supply that you can tap into, if you run into another vehicle at a high enough speed they blow up a few seconds after; extremely fun to do on the highway that loops the town with no real harsh corners. =)

Re:Still more questions... (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242448)

You can go inside buildings here and there, but generally only for boss missions and the buildings are large enough that they don't really restrain your freedom of movement since it'd kinda suck to go from superleaping to bashing your head on the ceiling.

The game has 3 Agency car types that are infinitely supplied from your central base and are 8-10 times more durable than non-Agency cars. Agency cars are super-cars built for your super agent. The handling is very good, far better than GTA and Saints Row. But this is only the case for Agency cars, they don't want you in normal cars, which are not at all fun to drive since they handle like well, normal cars. At level 4 driving: The Supercar has twin high-caliber gatling guns, The SUV can stick to surfaces and jump, the truckcab gets nitrous for extra acceleration, at ramming speed it one-hit-kills other cars.

No depth to melee. Higher levels just knocks him farther away since it usually kills in one or two hits, and the first one will leave them a crumpled mess on the ground for stomping to death.

You can throw them quite far. There is an achievement for throwing objects more than 200 feet. You can do this with a body.

unsatisfying (3, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239402)

they bundled the Halo 3 key with Crackdown so that more people would be exposed to the simple greatness this game contains ... To be sure, the game has deep flaws; not much of a story, a few racial stereotypes, and somewhat unsatisfying boss fights marr the experience.

Yeah, basically, the boss fights are almost all the same. The driving isn't nearly on par with GTA. The "skill penalty" imposed for bad behavior is lame, and hinders enjoyment of just being out and about.

Re:unsatisfying (1)

Lolzownz (888492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239536)

The skill penalty is not nearly as bad as I thought it was originally, you can only lose down to your current % of your level. If your at 63.5%(half way to 64%) and a half driving skill you can run down 1000 civs and only go down to 63%, so have fun killing all the civs and cops you want.

Re:unsatisfying (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239712)

I think part of the reason boss fights all seem the same is that you can just run in and kill the boss without much fear of the baddies. There are 2 higher difficulty levels that I've yet to check out, but I'm willing to bet these would make boss fights a more strategic affair. In the same vein, the mission briefings for each boss have a separate page about the bosses base, and lists some alternate entrances for each one.

Re:unsatisfying (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240098)

I'm playing on the second difficulty. The Los Muertos bosses are still pretty easy, but the Volk and Shai Gen bosses get pretty tough. You're forced to adopt more hit and run tactics and you'll find yourself taking cover a lot. If you just rush in guns blazing, you'll get mowed down pretty quick. The key here is that the gang leaders aren't really the bosses in the game. The real boss fight is getting through the base to the gang leader.

Re:unsatisfying (1)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239898)

If you don't like the driving try upgrading your driving skill before writing it off. I hated it at first, but by 2-stars it's much better. Easily on a par with GTA (not that that's saying much to be honest).

Re:unsatisfying (4, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239972)

If you don't like the driving try upgrading your driving skill before writing it off. I hated it at first, but by 2-stars it's much better.

It still sucked at 3.5 stars for me, and by that time I had finished the game, and there were no more enemies to run down to improve it.

I don't mean to just bag on the game, since they put a lot of work in creating a fantastic sandbox to play in. The only problem is, they didn't put toys that are ultimately all that fun in that sandbox.

Re:unsatisfying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240224)

After you beat the game, you can turn on "random crime" to bring back all the gangs - minus the generals/kingpins. If you're already at 3.5 stars for driving, you should really max it, just to see what happens- there are some pretty neat changes to driving the agency cars at 4 stars.

Re:unsatisfying (1)

YAN3D (552691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242552)

Yes, but after you beat the game, you can continue playing with "crimes turned on" and there are just as many enemies as when you first start the game.

I don't know, but I was never bored with the game, even when I cleaned up most of a particular area. That just means it's time to move on to the next.

Cheers

last post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18239472)

etc.

This isn't not an awkward sentence (5, Funny)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239558)

If there's a sequel, and there's no reason not to think there won't be

Two wrongs don't make a write. This double negative, with a negative chaser, is painful.

Re:This isn't not an awkward sentence (2, Interesting)

Dread Pirate Skippy (963698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240212)

Two wrongs don't make a write . This double negative, with a negative chaser, is painful.

Your post is grammar Naziism at its finest. I salute you sir.

And here I was... (1, Insightful)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239652)

Like a Burnout for action games, Crackdown has pared away superfluous things like 'characters', 'story' or 'originality' to get at the meat of the game mechanics on offer.
That meat is rotten. I wouldn't even feed it to maggots. Burnout was fun -- for the first two hours. Then it became boring and repetitive. Like a good DJ, 'characters,' 'story,' or 'originality' mix in a new track when the song runs out.

the game has deep flaws; not much of a story, a few racial stereotypes, and somewhat unsatisfying boss fights marr the experience.
And still gets a three out of five? What the fuck?

Re:And here I was... (1)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239854)

I'd give it a 5, it's one of the most addictive games I've played in years. All this goes to show is that tastes vary.

Re:And here I was... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240618)

no it goes to show that you have no taste for good games, keep playing your xbawx crap

Re:And here I was... (3, Informative)

bmajik (96670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239894)

The game is really, really fun. It has none of the control/camera/this is a pointless task things that make the GTA series unfun. to be fair, it has none of the story of the GTA game either.

Tycho at Penny Arcade did a pretty good bit on it. Basically, it manages to be incredibly fun and addictive and you have to want to look for reasons to not like it.

I've played burnout and gete tired of it, because i only like simulation driving games (i.e. i don't like mario kart).

I _love_ Crackdown, because it combines a bunch of different things that i find fun
1) blowing stuff up (you have "explosion" skills and the more you power them up, the bigger your explosions are :)
2) jumping really, really, really long distances
3) platforming (seriously, collecting skill orbs in this huge 3d world is one of the most compelling 3d platformer experiences i've had. Many of the 2d classic platformers really lost something in the transition to 3d.. in crackdown trying to get the orb at the top of some amazing skyscraper is really quite fun for some reason)
4) sniping/sharpshooting

5) co-op. i've only gotten to try this a little and the networking code must have some bugginess because i get lots of drops, but basically, if making crazy jumps and blowing stuff up sounds fun by yourself, its even more fun when you and a friend make a contest out of it.. with the subtext that there is crazy gang violence going on all around you but your characters are powerful enough that you mostly don't care. the XBL 2 player co-op is a good time.

Re:And here I was... (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240732)

That meat is rotten. I wouldn't even feed it to maggots. Burnout was fun -- for the first two hours. Then it became boring and repetitive. Like a good DJ, 'characters,' 'story,' or 'originality' mix in a new track when the song runs out.

I'm a fan of story in games, but some games just plain don't need one, and in fact including one can even be counterproductive. Burnout is definitely one such game.

the game has deep flaws; not much of a story, a few racial stereotypes, and somewhat unsatisfying boss fights marr the experience.
And still gets a three out of five? What the fuck?

"Marr" != "Ruin"

Re:And here I was... (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241010)

Probably because it was fun. You'll note that the criticisms he levels can be equally used against nearly every NES cart ever produced, and many people still find those much more enjoyable than the triple-A title shit coming from today's superstudios. Doom didn't do anything that hadn't been done before. It just looked good and was lots of fun.

I purchased the game... (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239730)

I purchased the game the day it came out and I just got around to playing it this weekend. 3/5 stars is a little low I'd personally give it 4/5. The game has no real plot, this is true but it is insanely fun to play and the main characters abilities are like Blade meets Chuck Norris (Jumping rooftop to rooftop and roundhouses a plenty). I love the targeting system it is especially fun when you aim at a character while hopping from rooftop to rooftop taking out an enemies legs mid-air then landing on top of them (Super Mario style) and giving the few other enemies around you roundhouses that knock them into midair. If you want a game that will allow you to zone out for a few minutes during breaks and have fun this is definitely it. If you want a game with detailed plots and a complex storyline you'll be bored to death.

Major Damage? (1)

davevr (29843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239954)

Does anyone else remember "Major Damage" from Capcom USA? For the Saturn and PS1. This sounds like a 3D version of that. Of course, I guess that "kill everything that moves and get powerups to do it better and faster" describes 95% of the games out there...

beautiful game... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18239970)

The game has a certain quality that makes you keep playing it when you're playing it, looking for just one more orb or taking out one more boss or so on... its mindless fun and it taps into the improvement/levelling vibe in ways few games have... And for any of those who complain about its lack of social responsibility, its all okay because you're a cop. I'd love to see them come out with expansion areas for this via xbla...

Demo (1)

rapett0 (92674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240086)

Ok, I have not bought the full version yet, but I will soon. However, I thought I would comment on the demo (which basically times out 30 minutes after you make any skill reach level 2).

I had a blast. Granted, story line is moot, the boss fights are pretty much the same. When you increase the difficulty, it just makes your shield/life go down faster and enemies are stronger and come around faster.

The graphics I think are good, the style is great. It had a very E-SWAT feeling for me, which is extremely positive. As for audio, come on, it has DJ Krush (-esque?) music during the main menu, what else you want?

Being able to run around the city, jump around the city, blow things up, etc, is great fun. You can't go into buildings, and I have not done much driving yet (too much fun jumping around skyscrapers to worry about it) but it did not so much appeal to me.

There are other minigames like racing around the building, following a green beam of light.

As for the penalty issue, its no big deal. Sure, sometimes there is "collateral damage", but long as its not a habit, your fine. Plenty of gang hit squards to blow up if you need to destroy something.

Regardless, beauty of all this is, you can get the demo and decide for yourself. I really liked it.

However, I do see what everyone else says. This game *could have been* great. No major flaws, its just a solid base waiting for a sequel I think at this point.

My Impressions (3, Insightful)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240108)

I've had the game since the day it came out, and I had been playing the demo for several weeks prior to that.

I am probably one of 6 people who bought the game for the game, and not the Halo 3 beta invite. The demo was a *blast* and was probably the most fun I've had on the 360. Yes, more than Gears of War.

The game starts off a bit slow. You're not really sure what to do. Eventually you'll realize that this open ended game play is what makes Crackdown so much damn fun. Don't feel like doing the missions or taking on the bad guys? Fine. Go have fun leaping from rooftop to rooftop, or leveling up your explosives skills to the point where a single grenade can take out a dozen cars sitting in traffic.

The whole concept of "leveling" your character through the various power ups turns out to be extremely, extremely addicting. It turns into an almost uncontrollable compulsion to get those green orbs. And the blue orbs? Forget about it. They're like heroin. Even the animation that you get when you reach the next level is addicting. You're guy does a highlander style quickening with a bit of an explosive blast wave added in for effect. Everything around you gets knocked over and thrown about 10 feet... including bad guys. I often find myself trying to time my level-ups so that I'm in a crowded area or next to a bunch of cars. Something very satisfying about having things blown away from you... quite the power trip.

Once you've defeated the baddies in Los Muertos, you'll probably wander over to Volk's territory. Previously, the game didn't really offer *that* much of a challenge on the default settings. As long as you weren't stupid and stayed in one place too long, dying wasn't all that common. That changes fast. The Volk will kick your ass. They're smarter. They have MUCH bigger guns (um... rocket launcher = pain), and they have double life meters. And don't get me started on the Shai Gen.

Are there flaws? Yes. The bosses are often too weak... although if you turn up the difficulty level a notch they can give you your money's worth. The story line is iffy. There aren't enough... um... structured missions. One of the strength's of GTA is that while it was very open and non-restrictive, it also had structure if your chose to participate. Crackdown lacks this.

There are also a few control glitches. I've found myself trying to pick up a car, but not be given the option for no real reason. It can also be frustratingly difficult to attack the correct baddie when there are lots of bodies laying around because you target all bad guys, not just the alive and kicking ones.

That said, the game is a LOT of fun. It's the first time on my 360 that I've had "Mario Thumb". (You know... the sore, red thumb caused by repeated button mashing.) And when you start playing co-op... wow. It really doesn't get much better. Honestly. Especially when you decide it's more fun to try and kill each other than complete the missions. (Supercop vs Supercop = BOOOOOOM!)

At one point I set a trap for my co-op nemesis. He was chasing me and I drove past a large group of cars stuck in traffic. In essentially one motion I leaped from my car, spun around, and fired a rocket into the group of cars just as he was passing them. The resulting explosion sent his car flying through the air uncontrollably. I then targeted his car and nailed it with 6 or 7 rockets, keeping it flipping through the air. It was like something out of a movie... and man was it fun.

This is one of those games that you really just have to play. Give it 30 minutes of you're time and all of a sudden you'll realize you've been playing it for 6 hours.

Re:My Impressions (1)

Firefly1 (251590) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240358)

Give it 30 minutes of you're time and all of a sudden you'll realize you've been playing it for 6 hours.
I know exactly what you mean; there's a Virgin I pass by every so often that has this on one of their demo 360s. One of the things I like about the way firearms are handled is that limb shots actually mean something. Shoot someone in the arm, and they'll drop their weapon (and run to grab a nearby one); wing a leg, and they'll be no immediate threat for a short time (rolling around clutching at the wound) as well as easy prey for grenades. Pity the devs didn't use that as an excuse to add achievements like this:
  • Justice Shot: disarm 200 tangos with arm shots (a nod to the old Virtua Cop games, which actually track this);
  • No Escape: immobilize 200 tangos with leg shots;
  • Brain Surgeon: kill 200 tangos with headshots;
  • Scrounger: add every enemy weapon to your armory;
  • Cruel and Unusual: use the same 200 tangos to score Justice Shot, No Escape, and Brain Surgeon. In other words: for a given tango, shoot an arm; when they recover, shoot a leg (or vice versa; and finish off with a headshot
One thing I find strange is that you can't grab and toss around tangos who're still alive and kicking...

Re:My Impressions (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241030)

One of the strength's of GTA is that while it was very open and non-restrictive, it also had structure if your chose to participate. Crackdown lacks this.

On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of GTA is that while it is supposedly very open and non-restrictive, you have to unlock areas and content by playing missions. Does this game suffer from the same syndrome?

One of the greatest annoyances I've found with sandbox games is that they made it a bitch to just get in and play in the sandbox!

Re:My Impressions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18241124)

Nope, the entire city is available from the get-go, as far as I can tell. Of course, the two gangs you're not "supposed" to take on until later can readily dish out some pain if you're not prepared, so it's probably a good idea to get your feet wet in the first area anyway.

I hate that about GTA games too, and honestly once I get the entire city open in those games I never play story missions again.

Re:My Impressions (1)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241232)

On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of GTA is that while it is supposedly very open and non-restrictive, you have to unlock areas and content by playing missions. Does this game suffer from the same syndrome?
No. Crackdown doesn't restrict where you can go or what you can do, aside from the fact you'll probably get your ass kicked if you haven't spent some time leveling up your character.

It is also extremely difficult, although usually not impossible, to get to the rooftops of some of the higher buildings without having at least a level 2 agility.

X-Play had a better review.. (1, Insightful)

AnswerIs42 (622520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240122)

This game is not a "buy it game" which is why they put the Halo 3 stuff with it... to get people to buy a sub-par game.

Other than the interesting physics.. it is an average shooter game. Making stuff blow up was about the only fun they had with it. So yes, it is a "rent me" but not worth buying... unless you just gotta have Halo 3...

Re:X-Play had a better review? (5, Informative)

stonefry (968479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240702)

I just re-watched the x-play review and they didn't say anything like what you just said. They said that they though it wouldn't be any good when they found out that the halo 3 beta came with it but "wonders never cease." They loved the game and gave it a rare 5 out of 5 rating. Last 5 of 5 rating was Guitar Hero II which was about 100 reviews ago. Never did they mention renting it. The online review said "It's an absolute blast to play." They basically said the opposite of what you think they said.

Re:X-Play had a better review.. (1)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241550)

I respectfully disagree. This is the game (there were others too, but this was the game) that broke me down and got me to buy a 360. And I haven't regretted that choice.

Addicting Game...mindless fun (1)

m3gatr0nX (1066120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240336)

For the most part I'd agree with the review. There isn't much of a story, but it works pretty well without one...you're a super-agent cleaning up crime. The game leaves it up to you to play the game anyway you want.

It's definitely addicting, as you gain your skills/abilities, you want to keep playing and max them all out.

The Halo 3 beta is just the icing on the cake. I probably wouldn't have bought Crackdown if I didn't actually enjoy playing the demo, $59.99 is too much to be able to play any beta for a month. The game is quite enjoyable, but I do wish there was a bit more to it. Once you play through it, level up to maximum ability and kill all the bosses, there isn't much incentive to go back and play through it more/again. I played through the whole game in about a week of me playing maybe 2 hours a day after work.

It's very addictive, until you finish the game, where there isn't much to bring you back in. I never tried the co-op but it didn't really seem to add much to the game IMO. In the end, it's worth a play if you want the Halo 3 beta and want a fun game with a similar style of GTA. Don't expect it to be the greatest, but it does what it does well, but not much more.

Kudos to the Voiceover guy (1)

JoelMartinez (916445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240364)

I absolutely love the voiceover. His little comments and quips are very entertaining and well spoken. "Skills for Kills!" I love it when he yells at you for running over citizens :-P

I dont not need no subject that isnt not no... (4, Funny)

MrTester (860336) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240424)

"and there's no reason not to think there won't be"

I love it when people use so many negatives that they get lost in their own sentance.

Re:I dont not need no subject that isnt not no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240612)

At least he spelled all his words right. -sigh-

Re:I dont not need no subject that isnt not no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240800)

It makes perfect sense, and it is a commonly used phrase. I'm surprised you and the other poster above haven't heard of it before.

Much fun (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240460)

Everyone I know who has this game loves it. One has even temporarily given up Burning Crusade for it. The physics and the jumping (and searching for agility orbs) really make it for me.

It's more of a two week game than a two month game, but I think you get your money worth in sheer fun and 'Ahahaha did you see THAT?'

Re:Much fun (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241596)

I think you get your money worth in sheer fun and 'Ahahaha did you see THAT?'


Haha, you just reminded me of something. Some of the things people say when they die are pretty funny and some are pretty disturbing.. like clenched-teeth "it hurts!".

I was jumping around rooftops and there were a bunch of baddies on one of the roofs. They didn't notice me, so I was going to shoot one of them in the back. Well, I forgot I had my rocket equipped, so I pretty much blew everyone off the roof. One of the bodies landed next to me and quietly asked "..why?" So spooky.

The problem with the game. Why microsoft loves it. (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240590)

I've played about 10-20 hours of the game, so I gotta say I know a little about this game. I've beat it completely and I'm done.

There's a few problem that just stick out. The biggest is the game is not fun alone, and it doesn't mesh well with co-op. You never have to do anything together so why is there co-op? On the other hand the co-op is why the game excels, the game is just not that interesting solo.

The only way to play co-op is system link (over a lan) or to pay for Xbox live. So now you're paying Microsoft money to get onto Xbox live. Now Xbox live is great, I use it all the time, but the fact that to have the true game experience you have to have Xbox live is a sad thing.

Well let me explain that, the game is "fun" for the first playthrough. When you've beat the 21st boss, you have NOTHING to do with the world but hunt for the 800 orbs, if you get all 800 orbs you officially have nothing to do. You can turn on "random crime" but the random crime is nothing more than a murder simulator. There's races that are moderate at best, there's stunts that are just annoying to do. There's just not enough optional content or ways to replay the mission. Time trial is about all the fun there is after the game is over.

The only way to start the game over is to delete you're save file. That's not fun either! It's just an uncool way of doing gameplay. At least give us two save files, or a new game+. Forcing the player to only be able to play through the game once is just a poor suggestion.

There's a reason GTA is a classic and crackdown is poor. There's supposed to be DLC to improve the game... Where is it? They should have hung on to the game and put the DLC on the disc. Even the fact that there's only 910 achievement points hurts the game because you know it's an incomplete game. This might be a good game but after the first week or so you realize that it's a poor version of the sandbox game. Mercenaries worked, Storyless crackdown didn't.

Re:The problem with the game. Why microsoft loves (1)

ThatGuyGreg (544880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241758)

Things to do when you're "done":
  • All of the car races
  • All of the rooftop races
  • Get all of the stunt driving rings
  • Kill your best friends: Have one friend turn his HUD all the way down, so he has no information on the screen at all. That player is the "hunted". The other player, still with all his info (including where the other player is), is the "hunter". Have the hunted do his best to stay alive with no information except his senses. KILLER FUN.

Genesis title? (1)

wikthemighty (524325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241254)

Damnit, every time I see blurbs on this game I end up thinking of the old 16-bit Genesis title... [planetemu.net]

ughhh (1)

belboy420 (1072114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242266)

Youd be fun to rent but youll never be a classic. Your opinions are flawed and you dont deserve a rating you smelly pirate hooker

visually stunning, better gameplay (1)

natpoor (142801) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242314)

I've been through the game once, and although (imho) I find the graphics amazing, especially when you're up very high and you look around and you can see things far away, the progression through the story line was too repetitive for me (but I still did it). The problem for me was that to kill the bad guys, you only need to run, jump and shoot. That can be a lot of fun, but you don't need to do anything else. Games like Call of Duty 2 and 3, Halo 2, and GTA III and Vice City all have what you could call "forced diveristy" in terms of mission gear, but Crackdown does not (run, jump, shoot with the heavy machine gun once you get it). For instance, if you want to advance the storyline in GTA: VC, you have to use motorcycles, drive a limo, steal and drive a tank, fly an RC mini helicopter, pick people up and take them places, and drive a boat. CoD (2 and/or 3) makes you drive a tank, a jeep, shoot various big weapons, use a sniper rifle, paddle a boat (which I thought was a bit dumb), and other things. These games force you to use different weapons and vehicles. Crackdown doesn't care if you can drive or not. I don't think there's any reason to ever use a pistol (unless you are totally out of ammo and you can't find anything better). I think some people will definitely like this less-forced storyline, but I found it too repetitive, especially given that the idea for "forced diversity" is out there in successful games. If they build that into Crackdown 2, it could be amazing.
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