Crackdown was one of those titles that received little to no hype and when it was released I remember being stunned at how damn good it was to play – it was the true definition of a sleeper hit. I think I had more fun with it than I did with Grand Theft Auto Vice City, which is saying something. When my copy of Crackdown 2 arrived, I could barely contain my excitement.
Crackdown 2 continues where the first game left off – after killing the gangs the Agents must now do battle with a form of superhuman mutants called ‘Freaks’ as well as The Cell, who are preventing the Agency from creating more Agents to keep the city secure.
You are the new cloned Agent and it is your task to destroy the Zombies and save the city from the evil Cell. You are a genetically enhanced super soldier and you have to wipe everything out that stands in your way. During the day its a battle against terrorists and at night your job is to take out the twisted mutant scum that linger on every corner.
I will be honest and say that there is a little too much dialogue for me and I found the story was painted in such a slow manner that my trigger finger was just iching to get into the action. Your commanding officer also wants to talk to you every few minutes, which I found rather annoying.
Even more annoying is the developers insistance on forcing you to remain underground while you flush out monsters from their lairs, taking as many of them out as possible. It goes on and on, and after a while I just wanted to break through into the sunshine and do something more exciting.
When you get away from the liars and underground dwellings (yay), you then get access to the city, which while decent enough is sadly disappointing. I was expecting more breadth in the environments, along the lines of Just Cause 2 or Grand Theft Auto 4. It is also rather bland and drab. By now my heart was getting heavy and I had begun to realise that this game was becoming a pale shadow of the original title we all loved.
There are landmarks and markings which distinguish the locations but for the most part it is just acre and acre of nondescript terrain which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Even thinking about it now, just annoys me.
Graphically the game is reasonably impressive, with lovely cell shaded surfaces but after a while even that fades into the background as you battle to find redeeming features with such a mundane gaming experience. The texture work for instance lacks imagination on almost every conceivable level.
A few hours into the game and I really had lost all my will to continue playing and as the time rolled past, I found myself unaware as to what I was doing, my mind was actually wandering into what I was going to cook later for dinner and how the football semi finals would shape up this week. This is really not a good sign. It all just blurs into one ‘bleh’.
Making my way outside the main missions I was aware that the developers were trying to encorporate a collection of coloured orbs to upgrade your characters capabilities however after a few minutes I lost all interest in exploring the land to find them and just wanted to get it over with and to move onto something more enjoyable and entertaining. Like Solitaire.
Side missions are also repetitive in nature and totally unrewarding when played, you end up little more than an errand boy, running around flipping switches, protecting a vehicle from attack. Now I don’t mind being told what to do if I get a rewarding feeling for achieving a goal. For all I cared I could be getting shopping for Aunt Daisy in Tesco’s, the feeling was the same. Races and grinding make up the most part of the side mission experience and I struggled to maintain any interest level whatsoever in this title. Combat also, unfortunately sucks as you have only a few buttons to press and as you get stronger you still press the same buttons and perform basically the same moves, just faster, or stronger.
On an audio level the game is great, there are suitable explosions, ambient sound effects and decent voice acting to cover all the bases, but you need to really focus to wake up to actually appreciate it.
There are multiplayer options offered to a group of likeminded gamers but sadly these also failed to impress me and several of my friends lost interest before I did, which either means im extremely patient or just easily pleased. It is so mundane and lacking in any creative insight that I am surprised this game was ever released. I can just imagine a handful of coders coming to work every morning, yawning, and pushing a few buttons to get paid. There is no love or fire, or passion in this game and boy does it show. I recommend you get a hold of Singularity or even go back to older titles like Just Cause 2 because I can guarantee you that you will have more fun.