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Crack Down (Genesis) artwork

Crack Down (Genesis) review


"At the beginning of the 21st century (we're a long way from that), an Artificial Life System was created. Of course, it didn't take long for some crazy doctor to use this system in an attempt to take over the world. Obviously, the government weren't having any of this. So, they send two special service agents, dressed in awesome spandex clothing, to destroy the heavily-guarded facility with guns and special (normal) time bombs. Their names? Ben and Andy. And you know with names like that, a whol..."



At the beginning of the 21st century (we're a long way from that), an Artificial Life System was created. Of course, it didn't take long for some crazy doctor to use this system in an attempt to take over the world. Obviously, the government weren't having any of this. So, they send two special service agents, dressed in awesome spandex clothing, to destroy the heavily-guarded facility with guns and special (normal) time bombs. Their names? Ben and Andy. And you know with names like that, a whole bunch of chaos and destruction is gonna go down in Crack Down.

However, it doesn't feel like it at first. As you guide your agent through maze-like floors, shooting down baddies (with names like ROLLINGPANTHER and MAD-MURDERER 2), and planting bombs on X-marked areas, it doesn't feel all that great. It does get a bit tricky at times, though, due to the corridors being so tight, forcing you to use your quick reflexes to avoid the enemy's line of fire. Thankfully, you have the ability to press up against walls and dodge their bullets. Then there's the fact that you have a limited amount of time to plant all the bombs in the area, which you need to do in order to exit the stage. But when you finish the first stage, you get this overwhelming feeling that there should have been more.

Well, the good news is that there is more. It takes another two or three stages, but by that point, the action in CD really starts to pick up. New enemies get introduced that are much more aggressive, shooting multiple bullets, rolling around corners, spraying a stream of fire, and quickly coming out of trap doors. There's so much action going on at times that, in your attempt to get away from it all to reach the end of the stage, you'll realize that you forgot to plant some of the bombs. By then it'll be too late as you see the timer count down the final seconds and witness the screen explode. The stages themselves get a bit varied at times as well. In one area, you'll have to safely move around cracked floors that can create holes if you get near them. And to make things tougher on you, fast-moving enemies will sometimes pop out of these holes and rush you. Other such hazards you'll face in CD will be navigating through a laser field that constantly change patterns and walk over floors littered with sparks.

The game gets quite entertaining with all this stuff going on, but there are times you'll get irritated as well. Thanks to the shoddy hit detection, you'll be dying quite a lot in certain areas. The best example of this has to do with the stage featuring electric fences. As you near the end of this stage, you'll be forced to navigate through a series of these fences, some of which are stationary and others that move around erratically. Of course, the right path to the exit is the most erratic one. In one instance, you'll have to move carefully through two awkwardly positioned fences, and thanks to the hit detection, this is never an easy task. While some of it is based on how well you move through it, most of it is based purely on luck. One time I tried going through it and ended up dying at least 5 times before finally getting through it (with seconds to spare). On another playthrough, however, I managed to get through in one shot... What makes difficult moments like this in the game so annoying is that, when you die, instead of reappearing on the spot where you died, you get sent back to the beginning of that hazardous area, which gets really annoying after awhile.

But even then, you'll still manage to enjoy the game due to its action-packed stages with the impending timer counting down. That is, until you reach the final stage. Now, I'm not gonna give it away, but I'm gonna say this: if you don't have enough ammo, you're screwed. It's actually quite a simple stage, but you need to save up a ton of ammo from previous stages to get through its final seconds. It's always frustrating when you realize you don't have enough ammo to complete the final stage, and the only two choices left is to either reset the game or just give up. Overall, Crack Down is a nice time-waster if you got 20 minutes to spare, however, it could've been a better game if it weren't for the messy hit detection and annoying final stage.

Rating: 6/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (May 14, 2007)

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