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Crackdown 2
XBox 360

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Ruffian Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

I’ve always maintained the notion that the true objective of any sandbox style action game is to be the biggest, most obnoxious douche you can.  Blow up cars? Sure why not. Wreak havoc on a busy street? Go for it. The Crackdown series though is different though – you’re true objective is to be a super-powered douche.

Though much anticipated, the first Crackdown game became one of the Xbox 360’s first sleeper hits. With the sequel though, all of that is out the window, and it’s become of the year’s most anticipated titles. Can a new theme, a new developer and new mechanics translate into continued success for the brand? The answer for the most part is yes, Crackdown 2 is unapologetic action game on steroids, it’s just a shame that the problems from the first game are still present.

If you’ve played the original Crackdown, you’ll feel right at home as the formula remains mostly unchanged. You play as an agent in the tumultuous and violent Pacific City. Your job is clear, eliminate the gang threat and return peace to the city. As an agent, you’re not an everyday officer – no sir, you’re a specially trained, super soldier who can lift cars and jump over the tallest buildings. Perhaps I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here, as you’ll level up as you progress through the game. Thankfully, you won’t be spending time leveling up in menu after menu as your abilities progress in seamless real time. For those unfamiliar, the system can best be compared to that of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, drive around a lot, and your driving skill goes up, shoot a lot, you become more proficient in firearms. The best part about leveling up in Crackdown 2 is when you discover just what you’re able to do. There’s truly nothing like taking on a sea of gang members and finding out you can just toss a car at them.

"I found myself skipping story missions in favor of collecting orbs."


There’s a story buried within Crackdown 2, and if you care enough to find it, you’ll be entertained, but let’s be honest here – you’re in Pacific City for one thing, orbs…sweet and glorious orbs. For those uninitiated, the world of Crackdown 2 is filled with green agility orbs that you’re going to lose sleep over collecting. Not only are the orbs the quickest way to level up your abilities, but they’re also damn fun to collect. Pacific City is built like a giant playground, and the fine folks at Ruffian Games have done a great job putting these orbs in places that are challenging, yet really addicting. Before I even knew it, I found myself skipping story missions in favor of collecting orbs.

When Crackdown 2 was announced at E3 a few years ago, I was a bit skeptic at the addition of the infected, a zombie like race of mutated humans that have infested Pacific City. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m kind of a zombie nerd, if there were ever an actual zombie apocalypse, I’d have to hide my excitement, but adding them (in a sense) to Crackdown seemed tacked on. I’m glad to say, I was wrong. The infected are a new and very welcomed addition to the game. They attack in packs, and you’ll have to think before you bring the hurt to them. One of my favorite memories of playing Crackdown 2 was running away from a series of gang members behind a wall to recharge my shields, only to be confronted with an angry pack of the infected waiting for me.

"The most fun you’ll have with Crackdown 2 is playing online with friends."


The most fun you’ll have with Crackdown 2 is playing online with friends. Seriously, everything becomes more fun when you have more agents, who can drop in and drop out at any time. For instance, I was able to pick up a gang member, run them up the side of a building then toss them down to a fellow agent down on street level; it’s like catch with humans. Another time I partnered with another agent to play a skeet like game with exploding barrels. I stood on one building and shot at exploding canisters another agent was throwing from another building.

The problem with this though is that there are literally enemies everywhere, and you’re bound to have some of your attempts at fun thwarted by some annoying gang members eventually. On top of that, how are you supposed to feel like a badass super agent when these everyday run of the mill bad guys and gang members are able to get literally anywhere you can? Why am I scaling a building only to be shot at? Another issue is that the camera and controls are very awkward here, and get in the way of everyone shooting at you. Very often, I didn’t know where to look or even who was shooting at me.

Fans of the original Crackdown will love the sequel, it delivers everything you’d expect, and even a bit more. The title’s lack of polish, along with the absence of any new features though, will keep it from being remembered as a true AAA title for the Xbox 360. Gamers are bound to have fun searching for orbs, but don’t be surprised if the title grows stale long before you’d expect it to. 



CHEATS USED: Achievements List

There aren’t many cheats available for Crackdown 2, but there are hints and hidden objects that are sure to make your time in Pacific City that much better. My favorite way to build experience is to take part in the agility runs which force you to use all of your abilities together.  Stay with for more info on Crackdown 2 cheats and hints.



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