Crackdown 2 review
Available for
Xbox 360
Publisher
Microsoft
Crackdown 2

Reviewed by Rich DeWester

A

h, "Crackdown." The joys of running around killing nameless enemies caught in the crossfire between you and a friend. For those of you who are familiar with the predecessor, "Crackdown 2" will leave you feeling right at home. You return to Pacific City, which is in the middle of a zombie-like apocalypse, and only your superhero badass can save the day. Armed to the teeth with brand new weapons and vehicles, you must fight off a mutant horde and a crazy terrorist group named "Cell."

Pacific City is laid out exactly the same, so you won't find a whole lot of "exploration" joy if you're a "Crackdown" veteran, but the city's been through a destructive mutant horde makeover – and even if there isn't a whole lot more to see, you'll still be addicted to running around collecting orbs. You also no longer work from the Agency hub, as it is submerged, but instead you'll claim strategic locations around Pacific City that unlock drop points for weapon and vehicle reloads. There are some really fun new weapons, like the harpoon gun, the UV shotgun, and even an exploding rubber ducky grenade that you can unlock by playing a game on Facebook. Unfortunately, your Agency vehicles no longer transform into crazy beasts based on your driving skills; you just unlock newer versions.

If you find yourself feeling uninspired after playing "Crackdown 2," there are two things you should know: one, more agility equals more fun, and two, more friends equals even more fun – and now that there's four-player co-op, you should say goodbye to the rest of your day right now. Ruffian could have done some minor tweaks to really help out the co-op mode. You can't set waypoints, and since there are almost no distinguishable markings on the map, you might find yourself telling your friends to meet up by the upside down L shaped building, not the one near the square one. Your buddies' names also don't show up on the map, so even they just look like three unnamed arrow icons.

A lot of the old bugs from the first "Crackdown" sadly have made their way over as well; I was really hoping they would fix their targeting system, but you will still find yourself randomly firing off rockets straight up in the air. While they have a fun ragdoll system and many things to make you or your friends go flying lifelessly through the air, explosions (of all things) seem to snare you into one place, leaving your character uncontrollable as he stumbles from explosion to explosion and burns to death. This doesn't really mar the fun too much – it's just slightly disappointing.

What "Crackdown 2" does have is a shitload of collectibles. Seriously, Agility orbs and "?" orbs aside, you now have Live orbs which you can only collect during co-op, and audio logs that let you know about the ongoings leading up to the crisis. There are also some awesome achievements for you to aim for; Yippie-Kai-Yay has you driving an SUV into a helicopter, and Victory Roll has you killing an enemy from a mounted machine gun while in the air and upside down.

While "Crackdown 2" may seem a bit too similar to the first one, it's still addictive as ever, and now with four-player co-op and 16-player online arena modes, it could easily make your forget what time (or day) it is. It should satisfy any fan of the original looking for more.

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