Crispy Gamer

First Shot: Crackdown 2

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My favorite part of the first Crackdown was jumping from building to building, collecting agility orbs that let me jump higher and higher.  I was some sort of frog-themed superhero—frogman, perhaps—who could leap out of the sky, punch a dude, and then spring away again into aerial oblivion, arms cartwheeling in glee.  “Oh god,” the gang-members would say, “it’s frogman, defender of no one in particular, puncher of dudes.”

So I was playing Crackdown 2: The Return of Frogman today.  The bad news is that C2:RoF is still in Pacific City.  As in, they recycled all of the old assets.  The other bad news is that Pacific City seems to have rolled around in the mud a bit, and now it’s brown and boring.  Still more bad news includes that the story makes no sense at all, the writing is beyond miserable, and there are  few detectible gameplay improvements.  But hey.  You can jump really high.  And you can punch dudes.

But wait! Haven’t you always wanted to pit frogman against other frogheroes in multiplayer combat?  Well now you can!  There are three modes: Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch (Free-for-all), and Rocket Tag (Oddball with rockets).  These are actually quite fun, but frogman got a bit tired of the monotonous jumping and shooting after an hour or so. 

Full review next week.

Comments

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coral gables home

I actually think that loosing the "Kill this list of people" aspect of the game is one of the things that makes Crackdown 2 feel like there's no real story. In Crackdown 1, those assassination target missions gave you a reason to explore all over the city. They also made it hard (ie: fun) to complete those missions as each gang officer would be surrounded by his guards while holed up somewhere. So on those missions, you couldn't just jump over the building and shoot up the place with rockets, you had to go in and work your way through to the officers.

 

And while these missions don't seem to be a big thing at first, look a what one of the big DLC packs for Crackdown did. The first DLC pack added the ability to reset all of the gang bosses and officers. The reason why they did this first was because without those boss fights, Crackdown was just a giant sandbox with nothing to do aside from killing random civilivans.

You're right that there is only the loosest semblance of a story in Crackdown 2, but was the story in the original game any better?  It was nothing but "kill this list of people."  In my opinion, this game doesn't live up to the original because it IS the original, re-skinned, and with a few orbs that run away this time.

I think that the real failure of Crackdown 2 is that it in no way lives up to it's predecessor.

Gameplay-wise, everything that we loved from the first game is there. However, the story has been completely gutted. You run around the city activating power sources in order to activate bombs to kill mutants. You can also take out terrorist bases in a rather lame and repetitive manner (kill # enemies to capture this point). Aside from the races and a few mutant "beat em up" moments (all optional), that would appear to be it.

It's quite dissapointing really.

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