CONFUSING Reviews: Crackdown

Posted on March 28, 2007. Filed under: confusing reviews, features, gaming, reviews, wednesdays, xbox 360 | Tags: , |

We’ve all heard the hype. “It’ll only sell because of the Halo 3 Beta.” “It’s just like Grand Theft Auto.” Well…I’m here to point you guys and gals who believe the hype in the right direction. Is Crackdown truly just a vehicle for HALO 3? Are there really any differences between GTA and this game? Find out in this special review of…


Crackdown – CONFUSING Reviews

Here’s What others are saying:
Crackdown creates an exciting open world and gives you a lot of interesting abilities, but there isn’t enough main-game content to truly take advantage of the game’s strengths.
The Good: Great-looking city; exciting abilities that get better as you play; satisfying explosions.The Bad: Driving is lame until you max out your skills; co-op feels half baked; not enough content to keep you busy for long. 7.8 Good

8.0 Presentation
The minimalist story and the eventually maddening announcer don’t garner points. Also, very poor ending.
7.0 Graphics
Improved over earlier builds, the visuals are now palatable. The big world is wonderfully vertical, and the particles and explosions are excellent. Otherwise, it’s visually just pretty good.
6.5 Sound
Other than the excellent sounds of polygonal citizens and Volk screaming as they fly to their death, the music is poor and the dialog is almost non-existent, but what is there is weak.
8.5 Gameplay
Some of the best and most addictive gameplay on Xbox 360. Screw the repetitive and predictable boss fights — the best part is leaping from rooftop to rooftop finding orbs. Must have more!
7.0 Lasting Appeal
Not a long game, but definitely made more fun by the addition of online co-op. Also, try this on Psychotic. It will kick your ass. 8.0 Impressive

Now Here’s What I’m Saying:
With the advent of Grand Theft Auto III on PS2 every game since, that has had “sandbox” game play, large cities, and many weapons has been deemed a “GTA clone.” Sure this game has the large city, it even has cars and weapons galore. Grand Theft Auto had some bosses as well, but from then on out Crackdown is nothing like GTA. It is it’s own game and should truly have it’s own genre. That being said lets see what Crackdowns best and worst parts are.Trust me; there are a lot of great things…
The Agency needs your help agent!
STORYIf you have ever played a big open area game such as, uhhh…True Crime you would know that you are one character who plays through the story, stealing cars, beating hookers [or not], and shooting the bad guys but in Crackdown the premise of the game is totally different. Instead you are [or rather can be] many different genetically mutated agents that go around the city to help the Agency defeat all the king pins from the three gangs.But how do you know to go defeat all of these kingpins? I guess the game creators didn’t know how to tell us because they cheated. There is no story in this game, or at least they made it seem that way. When ever the game wants to tell you something new; whether it be about a local boss in your area or the defeat of a boss or gang the game pauses everything and gives you a pop up window with a video. I could come to love this way of story telling if it wasn’t for the fact that none of it matters.If it mattered they wouldn’t let you skip the video, your character would talk, and there would be an actual point to even caring about which character or boss dies. There could have been so much potential for the premise of the story but it seems as if the developers were rushed by Microsoft.

All you ever get from the “story” in this game is that there are three gangs, each has bosses, take those bosses out, and finally: you are an agent that works for the agency. That’s it, nothing more.

Oh yeah: The ending sucks; it leaves “a cliffhanger” [:P] that leaves us itching for more [/sarcasm]. We know there will be a sequel.

Boss Battles

Each gang controls a certain area of the island called Pacific City. Each gangs bosses vary in difficulty. Their minions also are different.

Each gang has its own special weapons and vehicles; as in many GTA-esque games. The first gang you go after is on the Island of La Mugrue. They are “Los Muertos.” The second island, second being the difficulty of the gang, is the “Volk.” And lastly is the “Shai-gen.” Each area has about 6 lower bosses with an extra main boss.

The game tells you to go after the lesser bosses to make the last boss easier to defeat. What makes the boss system great is that each has their own contribution to the gang as a whole. Let’s say you take out the Recruitment boss: After doing so less gang members of the certain gang will appear on the map. Taking out the munitions boss will in turn stop the flow of heavier weapons to those gang members left over. After taking out all of the lesser bosses the game calculates your chances of beating the final boss. These are the types of bosses in each gang: Munitions, Recruitment, Vehicles, Training, Security, and Lighter weapons. Depending on which way you take the bosses out, your experience may change.

There is only one thing that bothers me about the bass battles in this game: they are too easy to defeat. Each one fights alike and after a while the boss battles get boring. Sure, they get a little more difficult, and some of them have different weapons and guards but they are just too simple to defeat.

Again, the boss battles could have had so much more potential. Here’s what the developers could have done:

    Added a puzzle
    Change the way you defeat a boss every other boss
    Added more content and obstacles when trying to get to the boss

Me like the bat-mobile.
Don’t you like the bat-mobile? You know, the vehicle that one hero uses to get around really fast. It comes with weapons and other such things. Well if you can’t figure out were this is all leading to I’ll tell you. This bat-mobile shin-dig is leading to me telling you about the vehicles and weapons of the game. There are lots and lots of things to tell you about.
When you play a game where the world is massive, open, and very long what o you wish they have? Is it fast, easy to maneuver cars or vehicles? Or is it a transporting system, kinda like the “travel” to system in Oblivion? Or do you like a game where they change the whole idea of traveling to something you would never expected, ever? Well if you answered yes to any of these questions you’re in luck: Crackdown supports all; although not all are supported equally…at first.When you first start the game you are located at the center of the entire city. At that center you will find a choice between a SUV, a “Car,” or a semi-truck. Each has it’s flaws and each handles differently. The best car can only be described as “best” for what you are trying to accomplish. The SUV is great for performing stunts to level up your driving abilities [we’ll talk about the leveling up part later], the “Car” is best for competing in races that are located throughout the whole city, and the semi-truck is best, for, uhhhh, well you’ll figure that out on your own.While the car can go really fast, it is bad at driving on steep cliffs. The SUV is good at stunts, and driving up cliffs and such but the handling is bad. The semi truck is just not a good vehicle, the handling is bad, it’s not fast, and it really doesn’t do anything.The other vehicles you can use, or “steal” are the civilian vehicles which all have bad handling and are weak when being shot at with munitions, and the gang vehicles. Some of the gang vehicles are great to drive and compete in races with but most are a waste of time trying to get into.After a while however the handling on all the “Agency” vehicles gets better but you have to level up your abilities first.The world is big, very big and it is composed of islands; sorta like all of the GTA’s. To get from island to island you can drive across the bridges [the whole world is open at once] or you can swim. Swimming is great but it takes forever. You can’t dive below the water level and you will never drown.Instead of doing regular swimming though you can, swim then jump. Jump, jump, and jump. This game was designed for jumping. It encourages it as well. This is what makes the game fun. Sure you can drive, but why do that when jumping is much quicker and easier. I love jumping. It’s fun. The first ability you will level up will be your jumping one. You can shot while jumping, pick up large objects and jump then throw then while jumping. You can jump from large building to tall building, to pipe, and onto vehicles. Jumping is fun.


All big open worlds, in games need to have good weapons that can be fired from a great distance. They need to be accurate and fun too use. There needs to be a variety of them as well. And the “lock on” needs to be fixed so as to not lock on innocents. Crackdown has almost all of these check points.

Crackdown is a big world [if I have yet to say this] and the weapons it has work well in it, for the most part. There are homing rockets, grenade launchers, snipers, automatic weapons, and heavy weapons. There are also handguns and shotguns which only work when you are right next to your enemies. The best weapons are the explosive ones because there are many enemies that can’t be taken out with just a shotgun. But, the problem with these explosive weapons is that if you have any of the rocket launchers the boss battles become extremely easy. Using these weapons is like staying at a spawn point in a game with a one hit kill weapon in a multiplayer game.

Each gang has its own weapons and they are all different. With each area the weapons become deadlier and deadlier. I like this because it adds a little challenge to the already simple game. But if you go for the hardest area first instead of following the difficulties you can get the deadly weapons, thus making the game even simpler. The developers need to find a way to stop people from doing this. I like it, but it made the game too simple.

There may be tons of weapons but if you’re SOFL and have no ammo in the middle of a firefight you can use your head, well literally. You can punch, jab, kick, and throw cars and trash cans and such at your enemies. By doing this your strength levels up and you can then kick people and kill them in one kill. It is really fun to do that. You can also jump up and land on your enemies, or your buddy in co-op play [we’ll talk about that later]. The skies the limit when it comes to weapons in this game. It’s kinda like Dead Rising.

Locking on too enemies is easy, all you do is press one button but if an innocent person gets in front of that enemy they will get hurt. Sometimes though, the cross hairs lock onto vehicles of a gang instead of the gang members them selves. The game will also not let you lock on to innocents or other agents unless they become your enemies.

Who said cell-shaded graphics were over done?
I love cell shaded graphics, and with them this game looks awesome. Now a days, next gen game have all kinds of glits and glamor but in turn they had to trade off for something else: LOAD TIMES.Load times, they have become a problem ever since the first disc based console that had games with “3” dimensions. That’s right, the Playstation. But since we have had to push more polygons in our games they have gotten worse. The XBOX 360 has had some games with really terrible load times; worse than the PSP but this game has none. Hardly any in fact, sans the initial load up. It’s great.With the great, but not so glamorous graphics Crackdown has it doesn’t need to load as much stuff as the other big world games do. And what is even better is the fact that the entire world is open without any load times. The draw distance is also magnificent. I can shoot a rocket from one part of the world to the other and hit something. It is awesome! I love it. I wish a lot more games were like this. But, remember that trade off I told you about earlier? The trade off for no load times and great draw distance is: LAG!!!!!! I hate it. Sure, you expect lag in online games but when you are playing offline in single player and you can’t “play” you have a problem. However, it is only noticeable when there are lots of explosions and lots of enemies.

Remember Agent: No Skillz, No Killz.
I’ve mentioned what I’m about to talk about a lot throughout this review and now I’m going to talk about it. If you have ever played an RPG you will like this, Crackdown has a feature that lets you level up.There are many levels in your abilities. You have to level up 5 times to max out your abilities and this can sometimes be a hassle but it is really as simple as pie. Depending on what ability you want to level up, you would do that action.You have the following abilities to level up while you play: Agility, Strength, Driving, Explosives, and Firearms. The game makes it simple to level up.
AgilityAgility consists of Jumping, Falling, and shooting things from high up. To level up this ability you can find Green Orbs, which are located everywhere and are fun too find. Some of us *cough*Goosy*cough* are addicted to finding them. You can also find hidden orbs which also help your other abilities. The game also encourages “Rooftop Racing” which, when you beat the times levels you up. These races are fun to do if you have a high Agility.StrengthTo level up this ability you do one thing and one thing only: Beat the crap out of people and things using your fists, legs, and thrown objects. It’s really fun.


Just like with the Agility Ability, you perform races to level this one up. These races are hard though. Depending on your level of driving handling might be hard as well. The best, and most enjoyable way to level this one up is to run over gang members and perform stunts in the SUV. You can find ramps and do flips and barrel rolls; very fun. There are also hidden Stunt Markers that are sorta like the agility orbs, but for vehicles; they can only be seen in special cars however making them hard to find.

After you level up your driving ability one level or more the car changes as well. But only Agency Vehicles do so. The cars are funner to drive when they change. Especially the SUV; the car changes into the Bat-mobile.

Explosives and Firearms

Again, shooting and blowing up things and gang members is the only way to level these things up.

The higher your abilities the better they become. You can jump higher, you can kick to kill, you can handle your vehicles better, and you can kill quicker with weapons. The faster your abilities go up the better the game becomes.

Resistance is futile.
This game is fun; FUN! There are other things to do besides playing the main game. You can play co-op with a bud and help him with the bosses. You can listen around the game to the characters; they say some pretty funny things. Some times they will quote Star Trek as well. The narrator is weird. Sometimes he will say random things, literally. They usually make me “Crackup.”Co-op is probably the best thing to do in this game. You can make up your own games or just mess around and kill each other. You can jump from one point in the city or throw vehicles at each other. One of you can get in a vehicle and the other can pick it up and throw you in it. You’re going to want to make sure your at the same levels though.
If you’re one of those people who plays games just for the achievements this game is for you. They are really simple to get. Just play the game and you will get them. Some consist of leveling all the way up or performing stunts with vehicles. The hardest ones to get though involve finding all the orbs in the game. I need 4 more and I can’t find them.Extra TidbitsWell I didn’t know where to put this info but here you go. The soundtrack is not very good but the songs you will like are great. When you get out of your car whilst listening to music the music fades away as you get farther from it. The developers put a lot of surround sound into the game and it gives it a nice effect. The simple touches make the game great. Conversations of people and the rantings of the bosses can also be heard from miles away due to the sound effects. They are good.

Buy the game, it’s fun.

In Conclusion
Graphics 10/10
Gameplay 10/10
Controls 10/10
Story 4/10
Multiplayer 9/10
Features 8/10
Overall 51/60
Crackdown receives an amazing 85% for being cool, enjoyable, entertaining, humorous, and all of the synonyms for the word fun. This game rocks my socks off. It’s a great game for co-op, single player, and for those who want to gain more achievements: they’re easy to get. There are some bad parts, namely lag during online play and of course the horrific story. There are just too much fun things to do to worry about that.See Also: CONFUSING Reviews: Crackdown Demo 


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6 Responses to “CONFUSING Reviews: Crackdown”

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Very Nice review Confused!

Your welcome Confused! I really need to finish GAP Hotel this week. Then the week after need to finish up GAP Comedy Writes.

Also I am working on that special blog!

Mercenaries + That Last Hulk Game….

Also, I don’t see how those can be “10” graphics. Unless a “10” means “acceptable” or “valid”.

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