Game Review: Crackdown

Game Review: Crackdown
Buy.com recently had a great deal on some games and battery packs.  One of the games included was Crackdown.  Here's a quick review, after playing about half the game.  I get the feeling that Crackdown is one of those games everyone's heard of, but few have played.  It's never had a mega promotional campaign, but it's a solid, well put-together title.  To sum up my feelings about the game: it's a blast.  And it gets blastier the farther along you get. This is clearly an open-world title.  The city, its people, and its gangs and cars all go on without your intervention.  They even get into traffic accidents and pile-ups, all by themselves.  There is a light, guiding hand as to the first few missions to undertake, but the order of everything is optional.  You can go almost anywhere in the city right from the beginning, sort of... more on that in a bit. What do you do?  Well, basically, you can drive, shoot, punch, detonate, and jump.  In fact, doing those five activities nets you better abilities resulting in a stronger ability.  For example, the more you drive a car, with drifting, stunts, and checkpoint races, the better the car handles and performs.  Likewise with shooting, punching, and explosives.  Higher skill levels will give you faster aiming, additional health, and larger blasts. And lots of jumping gets you, well, nothing, by itself.  Jumping is improved by picking up Agility orbs, placed all over the city.  With some clever jumping, you can pick up a ton of orbs.  Once you have enough for the next level, you are rewarded with a major boost to your jumping height and running speed.  After a couple of levels, you are crossing the city by leaps and bounds.  You might find yourself orb hunting rather than playing the game.  It's almost peaceful... until you miss that jump and land on the highway and get run over.  Such is life, though. Taken all together, you have a pretty fun game.  You begin to feel like a superhero, throwing barrels, jumping to the top of tall buildings, punching guys into next week.  And you have guns and cars, which make everything better.  And, you can play two-player co-op. This is a violent game -- you'll be running people down, punching guys off buildings, and lighting people on fire via explosives.  The game has some minor flaws, and archaic-feeling menu system, some odd button choices for actions, and targeting and camera issues.
Pat’s Rating system:
  • How much would I pay for the game? Despite its second-generation mistakes and issues, I can say this game would be worth buying at least $50, possibly a full retail of $60.  The fact that I paid about $6 for it is just gravy.
  • How many times would I replay it? I'm absolutely going to play this one through to the end, and gather all 800 orbs if I can.  I could see myself playing it again, especially if I can find a co-op buddy to do it with.

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