Friday, February 23, 2007

Crackdown is Here...

And the flavor of the month is... Crackdown!

Created by Realtime Worlds (founded by David Jones, creator of Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings), Crackdown is basically a sandbox GTA-type game with super hero-like abilities which make it a blast to play. Jumping from building to building is incredibly satisfying. The whole "skills-for-kills" aspect of leveling up your character by fighting the enemy gangs in specific ways is great RPG convention that I think you'll see most games will adopt or continue to use going forward. The cell-shaded graphics are refreshing and much better looking in the actual gameplay. I also can't wait to try out some more creative things in the Live Co-op mode.

However, the missions are a little repetitive, with most dissolving into the generic "kill this guy and all his minions" goal. Since I'm only at the second island (out of three), hopefully I'll see a little more variety in mission objectives later on. The targeting systems seems a little unpolished, sometimes locking onto a dead corpse instead of an attacking enemy. Still, I think this game has so much potential. I am really looking forward to seeing what free additional content they will add in the near future (the game only ships with 900 achievement points).

I've still got a ways to go in the single player and my guy is only about 40% leveled up, so I still haven't seen everything yet. But this game could definitely use some additional side quest activities. Other than scaling buildings, buffing your character and taking on car/rooftop races, there's not much else to do. I'd like to maybe see some "kill frenzy" challenges (a la Grand Theft Auto 2) or maybe some other interesting and useful collectibles added via downloadable content.

As a Side Note: Building scaling (and searching for agility orbs) has become one of the most enjoyable parts of this game for me. I actually just got the achievement for climbing the tallest building in the game and then another for jumping into a tiny pool of water beneath it. Seriously, I think this is the first time I've ever experienced a real sense of vertigo in a videogame before... and it was awesome!

Oh yeah, and it does come with the Halo 3 beta.. but that's just icing on the cake!

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