Microsoft and Ruffian Games brings players back to Pacific City in the recent release of Crackdown 2.
Crackdown 2 places players in the shoes of an “Agent” sent by a mysterious organization only known as “The Agency” on a mission to clean up crime on the streets of Pacific City. Players must not only battle gangs attempting to take over the city from the Agency, but also mobs of mutated humans who come out at night to attack anyone unlucky enough to stay out after dark. The game plays like a typical third-person shooter, but with some added RPG elements. Players can upgrade their Agent through ability orbs, which are released by defeating enemies using the Agent’s various skills. Such as, beating up an enemy will net Body Orbs which upgrade the Agent’s strength and health bar, shooting enemies releases Firearm Orbs that upgrade the Agent’s ability to shoot faster and more accurately. There are also explosive, driving, and agility orbs to upgrade the Agent.
Graphically the game is only a bit of an improvement on the last game. The cel-shaded art looks pretty and fits well with the “superhero cop” style of the world, but there is only so much one can do with that style of art. However, it does give a comic book feel to the game, which is a nice departure from the “normal” graphics in most shooter games.
The only negative part of the game is that it does not feel different enough from the first game. The controls are the same, the way players upgrade their character is the same, and even some of the gang locations are the same as gang locations in the first game. While the story is new, the narrative is not the draw to either of the Crackdown games. This may make it hard for players of the previous title to justify purchasing the sequel.
Overall, Crackdown 2 is a great third-person action/RPG hybrid. Running around Pacific City and mowing down gang members and mutated humans is a lot of fun, and it is incredibly satisfying when the player’s Agent levels up one of their skills. The graphics fit well in the comic book style of the game, but they are nothing to write home about. While players of the previous title may not want to drop the money on the new title, this is still a great game for anyone looking for a new third-person shooter/RPG.