Developed by Realtime Worlds, Crackdown 2 is what Crackdown fans have been waiting for over 3 years, with more orb hunting, climbing on buildings, shooting the enemy, killing bosses….oh wait, killing bosses is not part of the sequel. But did I mention orb hunting?
Replay Value/Story: One of the things that really made the original Crackdown such a great game, were the missions, the satisfaction of getting to the main boss of a gang and punching the lights out of him with your high level fighting skills. In Crackdown 2, you can forget about fighting bosses, the main goal in the sequel is to protect beacons from Mutants…Yes, you read right. While collecting orbs, shooting the enemy and causing massive explosions is still very addicting and satisfying, the game as a whole, feels less active as the first.
Your main goal is to clean-up the same city from the first game that has gone through a massive and unexplained downgrade involving mutants over the past 10 years. You can still ride on vehicles, throw vehicles, upgrade your abilities, and move around town through roofs much like the first game, but now there are tons of mutants walking around the city, waiting for you to enter their sights. The mutant part of the game is a bit confusing, and almost misleading. The game tries to help you understand the story by having scattered audio files with random notes around the city much like we have seen in other games. The problem is, the notes don’t really give you much. There is almost no purpose why mutants should be roaming the streets. The lack of story has you guessing whether it’s a good decision or not to kill them.
Co-op Gameplay: Here is where the fun really elevates. One of the cool things they have added this time around is a four player co-op mode. You can go through the whole game with 3 other friends. Whether it’s for; orb hunting, missions, or just climbing building, playing with 3 other friends is the way to enjoy Crackdown 2. In addition to the 4 player co-op, Crackdown 2 offers what is called “Xbox Live Orbs” that can only be captured by having 2 players in a game at once. These orbs may have some secret rewards from Microsoft.
Controls: Crackdown 2’s control system is very good with the exception of one control flaw. Shooting, fighting, reloading, driving, jumping and running all feel accurate and smooth, until you try to hang on to a window ledge. In Crackdown 2 you have to depend on many ledges when climbing buildings, and let’s just say that not all ledges are created equal. There will be times when you won’t be able to find one ledge to grab on to, even after you just grabbed the same type of ledge on a different building.
Graphics: Crackdown’s 2’s graphics are nothing less of top-notch, the cell-shading style was very inviting the first time around, and a bit of an upgrade is what you will get with Crackdown 2. The Agent’s suite and weapons looked a bit more polished this time around; with a bit more player close ups when moving in different directions.
Sound: Explosions!! Yes indeed, the game has some great and loud explosion sound effects, along with crisp reloading and shooting sound effects. The game’s sound complements the graphics to perfection, making the game feel intense, motivating, and satisfying when unleashing a clip on fuel barrels right next to the enemy line. Gaming headsets or a robust surround sound system is recommended for Crackdown 2.
Wishes or Changes: Although Crackdown 2 felt familiar at times and continues to be an addicting open world game, thanks to its orbs, upgrades, satisfying kills, and now 4 player co-op mode. Crackdown 2 didn’t introduce anything unique and revolutionary to the game. Audio logs and mutants/zombie likes have been seen is so many games recently, but Crackdown 2 missed the actual twist to a confusing and empty story. The lack of boss battles had you eager to finish the game and not the missions. Hopefully, the franchise unfolds with Crackdown 3.
TQ score: 3 out of 5
What formula do you use when you create a really good and then have to make a sequel at a equal or greater value? Its simple, you just “copy and paste” your previous work with little modifications. The game is crackdown 2, an open world GTA-esque, where you play an agent cleaning the streets of Mutants and a Rebellious terrorist group.
First thing you will notice is that the graphics are slightly better and now have a more cell shaded feel to it, it blends very well with the quirky violence and the unnatural high jumps but nothing that we haven’t seen. The gaming mechanics still feel the same as the previous installment, there doesn’t seem to be a significant improvements(if any) on the driving or shooting controls. Although it is still addicting to collect orbs, it can be very difficult and frustrating when you climb on certain windows of the taller buildings and your agent doesn’t hold on or when your character is on the roof walking and you accidentally fall from the building and doesn’t automatically hold on to the ledge, this subtle issues are still present and weren’t fixed.
The game is very short and repetitive if you only play the main story line, there are nine beacons you have to find and twenty seven terrorist areas that you have to clear. Find three signals through out the map and then find the beacon, protect the beacon till it charges, beacon kills Mutants, then repeat the objective nine more times. The same repetition works when you clean areas that are occupied by the rebels. The story line in the game is not present, a terrorist group makes sense but the zombie-mutants seem out of place, with no indications how this creatures were created, although there are audio files scattered around the city that fail to fully explain their presence. The intention of the terrorist or the rebellion faction to overthrow and appose the agency is only natural after the ending of original crackdown but there is little back story and not enough character development for the faction or leader called Catalina. There is very little information on both of the antagonist to keep the story rich and fresh.
Where the game truly shines is on the four player co-op, 3 of your friends can join your campaign and help you with your missions, the only disadvantage to that is any story progression stays only with the host but any orbs or level ups you obtain can be save into your profile. Jumping around, completing repetitive objectives, collecting orbs and driving in a helicopter with all your buddies becomes very fun and you forget about it’s flaws.
In the end it comes down to whether or not you liked the first crackdown because depending on your answer Crackdown 2 offers much of the same.
This cracking title gets a 3 of 5 Michelas.
Average Final TQ Score