[rokbox title=”Crackdown 2 Review” thumb=”http://www.geeksofgaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/crackdown21-e1301306012473.jpg” size=”854 505″ ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m81McrUWaIs&hd=1&autoplay=1[/rokbox]

Crackdown was a refreshing take on the open world scene when it was first released back in 2007. It introduced players to a world of superhuman cops versus criminals. It was in a league of its own and still is one of the most underrated games of this generation. Now after 3 years there is finally a sequel to this game, but does it do the series justice and improve over the original?

Let’s go ahead and get the graphics out of the way, it is hard to say this but the original Crackdown has superior character models. In the second Crackdown the Agents are pretty boring to look at in comparison to the old ones. The performance also suffers where the first Crackdown did not. Most notably at times when there is almost nothing going on, you’ll notice a good amount of performance lag. It’s somewhat confusing how a game made in 2007 of the same nature, is visually superior to a sequel of the same name.

The story is quite simple and its thrown into your lap just like the first Crackdown. You are a brand new clone fresh out of the test tube. The city has been taken over by a gang named “Cell” due to lack of Agents. To make matters worse there are mutated creatures named freaks running all around town. The only way to defeat the freaks for good is to search for beacons scattered across the city and activate them. So it’s your job to find all of the beacons while taking the streets back from Cell at the same time.

Most everything you learn about the story in-game will be through audio recordings, or from the Announcer in your ear the entire game. To be honest there is nothing that will really draw you into the story, you will most likely forget about it and end up following the map aimlessly to the next point.
If you’ve ever played Crackdown one for even a second, you’ve played Crackdown 2 already. The controls are exactly the same as its predecessor, and if you’ve never played the original things are fairly simple to get into. Most of the time you’ll only use four buttons, because you’ll be jumping, shooting, and kicking most of your enemies into oblivion. It’s still just as much fun to wreak havoc in Crackdown 2 as it was in Crackdown 1.

You’ll spend most of your time hunting for agility orbs, beating down mobs of freakish zombies, and wrecking cell strongholds. Each of your abilities can level up based on how much you use them. So if you’re spending most of your time in the car completing races and mowing down enemies… you’ll gain orbs that will increase your experience in driving. The same goes for using firearms, melee, and explosives.

Eventually you’ll become a superhero when you’ve maxed everything out. So you’ll be leaping tall buildings in a single bound, picking up cars and throwing them at your enemies, and taking explosives to the chest without flinching. This also ramps up the difficulty of your opponents too, as you gain upgrades so will they. So the Cell faction will start to use more dangerous weapons and come out in greater force, while the freaks will mutate into larger or more agile versions to chase you down. Making the game much more interesting even on the lower levels.

Add in the fact that you can play with three people over Xbox live, and you add even more fun to the mix. The game drastically changes when you’re bounding across rooftops with friends, hitting each other with melee attacks, or have one player flying a chopper while you take the ground. These moments are when Crackdown 2 are the most fun to play. In fact, I recommend playing with other players as much as possible while the game is in the system. That’s not saying that it isn’t perfectly fine while playing solo, but having other players adds much more satisfying and social element.

There are also some Player Vs. Player matches that players can participate in. From Rocket Tag which is basically what it sounds like, hitting players with rockets scores you points. To the standard fare Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, these modes are really basic, but if you have the need for superhero combat against your friends it is there.

Now for the problems that I have with this game, which are things that you’d think would be fixed in a sequel. The number one problem would be that of the targeting system, a good amount of the time the lock-on system will target anything but what you want to actually shoot. So you’ll endlessly be tapping the lock-on button to try and hit an enemy right in front of you. The second issue I have with the game is that they’ve really added nothing to spice up getting around town. After playing games like Assassins Creed and Infamous, I just found myself annoyed with how much trouble it was to get around the city.

Even though the game hasn’t changed much from the first one, the gameplay still holds up very well 3 years later. I can’t actually recommend this game at a $60 price tag, unless you have 3 other players willing to leap around Pacific City with you. Though seeing as there have already been some deals with the game under $45, I would suggest grabbing at that price. If you can’t and just want to cause a little mayhem as a buffed up cop, I can recommend the game as a rent. So Crackdown 2 receives a C from Half-Ass Gaming, and let the good times roll.