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Crackdown 2 (Xbox 360) artwork

Crackdown 2 (Xbox 360) review


"The Xbox 360 has been home to many new and interesting IPs, most of which I've enjoyed, like Condemned, Gears of War, and BioShock. These titles incorporated play mechanics that made them fun experiences, and, for two of the games, showed potential in what could have been great, long-running series. Then the sequels came out, and they were the exact opposite of what I hoped for. In Condemned 2's case, it was because it strayed away from the first's spooky atmosphere and real sense of surviving h..."



The Xbox 360 has been home to many new and interesting IPs, most of which I've enjoyed, like Condemned, Gears of War, and BioShock. These titles incorporated play mechanics that made them fun experiences, and, for two of the games, showed potential in what could have been great, long-running series. Then the sequels came out, and they were the exact opposite of what I hoped for. In Condemned 2's case, it was because it strayed away from the first's spooky atmosphere and real sense of surviving horror. With Gears of War 2, it simply felt like an expansion pack that had a few standout moments that were great but short, or stupid ideas that dragged on. And BioShock 2? BioShock never needed a sequel, and this game displayed that fact in full force.

But I kept pressing on, in hopes that a great sequel to a game I liked during this console generation would eventually emerge.

Sadly, Crackdown 2 isn't going to be it. However, I can't even toss this lump of coal with the three other sequels mentioned. They were disappointing, yes, but I can at least say they tried to do something different. Crackdown 2 did the unthinkable... it aimed to be Crackdown 1's doggelganger. I feel this needs double emphasis: Crackdown 2 didn't want to improve or be something fresh, it literally wanted to be a copy of Crackdown 1. Set ten years after the events of the first game, you're back in a run-down version of Pacific City, and again given the job of cleaning up on crime and chaos as a new agent. You'll instantly recognize the landscape of the city, even if it's in a now decayed state, and immediately know where you're going to and from the second you regain control of your character after an unnecessary helicopter ride. Hell, some of the agility orbs are even in the same spots they were in the original.

This isn't a good thing, by the way. If I wanted to revisit an almost exact replica of Pacific City, I could easily just place my Crackdown 1 disc into the 360's tray, saving me $55 in the process.

The amazing and most shocking aspect of this, though, is that Crackdown 2 managed to fail at copying the first title. The developers achieved this feat by simply removing the gang boss hunts and replaced it with something horribly repetitive. Your main job in your war against crime is to recapture and activate beacons placed all over the city. Don't expect much of a fight like you had when trying to kill gang leaders, either, as, at best, you'll have to handle four guards surrounding a beacon. Kill them with ease, stand on a pad for a few seconds to turn on a beacon, and continue this farce until the credits roll. There are situations where you have to protect a beacon from a horde of zombies (which are annoyingly becoming the most overused villains in video games, behind Nazis), but it is mind-numbing repetition having to kill creatures that can't shoot back 99% of the time.

Know what's more lame? The developers shamelessly stole Left 4 Dead's zombie types: there are Chargers, freaks that spit green acid, and giant, angry Tanks that appear late in the game. And they can't even get this right, too! The Chargers suck, because they'll keep knocking you to the ground every time you try to get back up, Spitters don't really do that much damage, and the Tanks do nothing but stand in front of the beacons, ignoring all the damage you inflict on their bodies.

There's absolutely no reason to buy Crackdown 2, as its very existence is pointless, except to executives that believe they could make a profit off fans of the original and curious newcomers. There are very, very minor additions, like being able to glide like a plumber from a 64 game (they had to go that far back for ideas?), or ride around in a helicopter (destroying the spirit of Crackdown with its wonderful addition). The multiplayer mode may sound like purchasing the game is justified, but don't let that tempt you! There's just three simple types: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Oddball, and they're really not all that fun because luck plays a gigantic part in winning. It makes Halo 3's multiplayer look like a masterpiece in comparison. So there's really nothing left to offer, making Crackdown 2 the worst kind of sequel, since it literally gives you a worse version of the same game with a full price tag. That's ridiculous.

I'll keep hoping, though; there has to be one great sequel before this generation ends...

Rating: 2/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (July 18, 2010)

After reviews about Gradius, Salamander, Parodius, and Otomedius games, PickHut attempted a Scramble review. The idea never materialized into writing...

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Suskie posted July 19, 2010:

I'll keep hoping, though; there has to be one great sequel before this generation ends...

Assassin's Creed II
Just Cause 2
Mass Effect 2
Modern Warfare 2
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Anyway, good review. The more I hear about Crackdown 2, the more amazed I am that the game was reviewed as well as it was. (Not that it got great reviews, but still.) Just out of curiosity, have you played either Infamous or Prototype? Both are games that I feel follow the Crackdown formula but feel significantly more substantial; I played both of them before I tried the original Crackdown and I was pretty underwhelmed as a result. It's ridiculous that Ruffian thinks it can get away with such a half-assed rehash considering the circumstances.
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pickhut posted July 19, 2010:

I've never played any of those games or their predecessors, surprisingly. I was only implying games that I've played, but I'm sure you kinda knew that and took it as an opportunity to list fun games XD. Maybe I should play them some day...

And yeah, I'm shocked at the high praise this game got. It's almost like they gave the game to reviewers that never played the original game. Even then, the ratings and praise are still disturbingly high.

Thanks for reading and commenting on the review, too!
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Suskie posted July 19, 2010:

I heard somewhere that the game could easily have been sold as a $15 DLC. If that's true -- and it certainly sounds plausible -- then releasing this as a full-priced game is pretty despicable.

Of course, I haven't actually played the game and I really don't plan to, so I'm just going by what I've heard here.
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pickhut posted July 19, 2010:

As someone who has completed both games, I can say that is very much plausible. More than plausible, I should say.

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