Reviews

Gaming for Less Review: Crackdown

                                                               

Both Christmas and New Year have passed and if you are like me then your running low on the old gaming fund.

It’s at this time I thought we would have the first review in the Gaming For Less series.

Crackdown can now be picked up for less than £10,however it is a few years old,so can it hold it’s own against those new up-start games?

Crackdown let’s players take control of a Agent,a super powered cop tasked with bringing justice to Pacific City,a crime ridden place controlled by 21 gang  lords.

The game uses a open world,where players are free to tackle the 21 gang lords in any manner and order they see fit.
They only restriction is the 2 other islands which are locked until you become more powerful.
As you venture around the gameworld you will discover the Gang Lords hideouts,at that point the game will give you a percentage rating of how high your chances of taking that Lord down are.
This sense of freedom is fantastic and I felt like I was never forced to do anything,often just ignoring the main mission and just causing destruction.

However its this vast freedom that is Crackdowns biggest weakness as the games story feels dissjointed and lacking in any real substance.
The only story is that you are tasked with taking down the 21 gang bosses and cleaning up the streets,after that the story is never used until the final part of the game where there is a fantastic revelation.
Sadly,once you hear this revelation you feel that the game could of had a fantastic storyline to it but failed to deliver it.

As you progress through the game you level up your Agent by beating up enemies,blowing stuff up and collecting highly addictive Orbs spread around the game world.
You have 5 main area’s to level up: Strength,Agility,Guns,Explosives and Driving.
Unlike most games however in Crackdown each level in these area’s has a massive effect both in terms of gameplay and visually.
As you level up your Agent’s strength you will see him buff in up and in terms of gameplay you will find yourself able to kick cars into the air and throw trucks around.
Agilty see’s your agent becoming stupidly fast and capable of leaping 30ft in the air.
By far the coolest is the Driving skill,in a basic sense it increases car handling and response whenever you get in a car (you can hi-jack any car you see) but when you get in one of the special Agency Vehicles (of which there are 3) they visually transform depending on your driving level.
Your SUV transforms into a massive off-road beast with the ability to hop.
Your Agency super car becomes something resembling the Bat Mobile and has Maching Guns.
Its great to watch the vehicles transform before your eyes,and they do it every time you get in them.

Crackdown has a unique visual style called Cell Shading,those who have played Borderlands will be familiar with this graphical style and what it is capable of producing.
Though Crackdown is showing it’s age a little in terms of technical detail it is still a visually striking game.

While it’s huge freedom is its biggest weakness it is also it’s biggest strength.
Crackdown never force’s you to do the main missions and is happy to let you creat carnage around the city and level up without ever taking on a Gang Boss.
You can happily spend hours simply building massive jumps for your vehicle,collecting those dam addictive agility Orbs or piling vast amount of explosive barrels into a pile to see what happens when you shoot them.

Crackdown can also be played through 2 player co-op as well,though sadly due to the age of the game many people will have trouble with lag,but get a friend to buy the game as well and you can both creat mayhem in Pacific City.

You can rush through the Gang Lords fairly quickly,around 7-10 hours but Crackdowns real draw is its huge sandbox nature and over the top superpowers.

Simply put Crackdown has it’s flaws,but even by todays standards it’s a hugely entertaining game that will provide hours upon hours of explosive fun and for less than a tenner its a must buy for any Xbox gamer.

SCORES:

Graphics: 86%
Lacking in technical detail but still visually striking.

Gameplay::  91%
It’s not the deepest game but it’s over the top fun will keep you playing for days.

Lifespan: 90%
The main mission can be rushed through in around 8 hours,but it’s sandbox nature makes it a game you can easily come back to again and again.

OVERALL: 90%
Gaming value at it’s best,a true classic game.

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