Bound about pacific city and clean up the gang scum in this excellent open world shooter.
danny_dm_moore wrote this review on .
Groups of gang members litter the rooftops and streets of pacific city and as you move about and kill them, you gain experience in whatever method of death you deal out. Kill someone with a machine gun or shotgun and earn weapon points, use a rocket launcher or grenades and your explosives skill increases or simply kick them to death and your strength increases. Two more stats round out your list but theses are levelled up in a slightly different way. Agility is your main skill and is upgraded by bounding about the city and finding the glowing green agility orbs littered around the landscape as well as increasing your other skills. With each level (5 in total) you are able to jump higher and run faster in the same vein as if your weapons skill increases your guns become more powerful. The final skill is driving and this one proves to be the most pointless thing in the game and its biggest let down. Driving generally isn’t required in Crackdown, and as it is the hardest skill to level up, it pretty much becomes redundant about of a third of the way through. Its not that the driving isn’t done well, far from it, as you level up you find your vehicles becoming much easy to control, its that its really pointless when most of your targets and many of the enemies are located on the rooftops which are only accessible via jumping, and that you can get around the entire game world by jumping alone. The coolest thing about driving though is that you get the very cool looking agency vehicles which grow bigger and beefier as your skills increase which is a very cool effect and adds to the sci-fi setting of the game. Again though cool looking vehicles won’t elevate the driving from pointless to essential. Crackdown certainly has a very cool art style, lodging it firmly in the ‘comic book’ section of the local gallery. The cars and people have a thick black outline and everything as a slightly cell shaded look to it which makes this game genuinely different from most of the ‘Gritty’ crime games out there. With little frame rate issues aside, the graphics certainly show off the power of the 360 and the draw distance easily rivals Oblivion for sheer scale and wonderment. The sound is also excellent, though the lack of an overall sound track unless your in a vehicle can make the game seem a little dull until a massive explosion erupts in the distance and you realise that this really is a living breathing world with a huge war on crime happening right smack in the middle.
Apart from the driving, Crackdown’s biggest fault is its repetitiveness. Though it is fun to bound about the city, over the course of a 12 – 15 hr+ game this can get a little boring and as all the fights are pretty much the same even the combat does little to alleviate the problem. There are no side missions either, so your only purpose is to take down the gangs in the order set out by the game, so for an open world game the mission structure is surprisingly linear. While there are no competitive multiplayer options in this game, there is a co-op mode which is not separate from the main game, so anyone who wants to play co-op can just jump straight in with you so long as you agree to their request which is a very neat feature and can help with some of the tougher bosses but is never an essential part of the experience. All in all Crackdown is an excellent game, let down slightly by repetitiveness and the pointless driving. As an example of how to execute a open world game, however, this game truly excels.