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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Crackdown 2 on Xbox 360 Impression

Welcome to Pacific City where there are no gangs to kill but a slew of zombie things. The city itself is more derelict, weapons about the same but say hello to some new abilities and vehicles. Yes folks, Crackdown 2 is very, very similar to the original in its look, feel and control which can be viewed as good and bad. Sequels are supposed to give more of what the original nailed but with improved looks (always) and some new feature sets so how did Crackdown 2 miss this memo? Does this oversight mean to avoid Crackdown 2, let’s take a look.

Gameplay – Third-person action in high gear as gamers assume the role of a very upgradeable super cop that dives into a city infested with nasty zombies and a villainous organization. It’s time to power-up, collect orbs, activate beacons, kill zombies, drive cars, shoot and run around some more. There’s an online experience that’s pretty much the same thing. No real boss encounters just tons of canned baddies that make the game feel like 3D Smash TV. Play the first Crackdown? Good, then you’ve got the basic experience.

Graphics – Decent graphics for a downloadable game but not one with full sticker price. Seeing the polish, power and graphics put out by other 360 titles makes Crackdown 2 seem blah on so many occasions. Nothing, nothing stands out from a graphics standpoint which is not acceptable for the price.

Sound – Ever dream of having a drill sergeant right in your ear telling you everything to do, you’re in luck. Nothing screams super badass mutha like an annoying voice in your ear telling you everything to do. What fun is a sandbox if told what to do? The soundtrack is forgettable and all the expected explosions, gun shots, engine sounds, zombie sounds and on and on are here. So sound and graphics are blah, what’s next?

Design – Ah, design is next and, well, it’s the same city just more crumbled and dark. No more gangs to take on, no more bosses but tons of beacons and zombie things swarming around. Crackdown 2 is more like an alternate skin on the first game, not a sequel which sucks because a game making you a Robocop on steroids and acid at same time should rock. Design just feels lazy.

Miscellaneous – There are some pretty cool Download Center clothes and accessories for Crackdown 2 … yeah I got nothing.

Overall, it’s funny with all the knocks above Crackdown 2 is still a blast to lose hours in. These are not memorable hours but like those spent on an iPhone game where unlocking achievements and posting to Facebook is the goal, not the memory or a great story or experience but rather a fun distraction. Controls, graphics, sound all need work and while it feels like a skinned Crackdown, Crackdown 2 is not broken … just not what one expects from a sequel.

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