Game Rant’s Rory Young reviews Crackdown 2
What 2007’s surprise hit Crackdown did so well was empowerment. Rocket launchers, fast cars, the strength to lift a tank or leap over a building; the player became a toddler loose in a candy shop. Crackdown was fresh and exciting, contrasting dramatically with other sandbox style games such as Grand Theft Auto.
Now Crackdown 2 has to live up to expectations that the original never had. There’s no Halo 3 multiplayer beta packaged on the disc this time around. No, this sequel has a lot to prove, especially coming from new studio Ruffian Games.
Will the addition of four player cooperative play, sixteen player deathmatches, “Rocket Tag”, and a slew of new game mechanics make Crackdown 2 as popular and critically acclaimed as the original? Keep reading for my full analysis.
The events of the original Crackdown have led to “The Agency” being in full control of Pacific City. Unfortunately, a new terrorist organization calling themselves “The Cell” stands against The Agency at all costs. And now, when a Shai-Gen created virus begins to spread, turning a large portion of the population into “Freak” mutants, The Agency and The Cell vie for control in the midst of all the destruction.
Your goal as a new Agent is to regain control of a number of Sunburst transmitters from The Cell. These Sunburst transmitters will then create a UV bomb that destroys the local Freak population. Along the way, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a number of audio logs that help flesh out the story.
Keep your expectations low though, because what Crackdown 2 tries to pass off as plot is hardly so. The story is amazingly shallow, a thin premise used to give context to the game’s sandbox nature and plethora of collectibles. Whether The Cell spread the virus or The Agency did hardly seems relevant when you’re mowing down anything that moves, in an effort to upgrade your weapon skill.
If you’re a story buff, and you’re excited to see how the game’s story concludes, it does have an ending of sorts. Let me reiterate though, if you’re interested in Crackdown for the plot, you’re playing it for the wrong reasons. In what could have been a dramatic evolution from the original, Crackdown 2 really let the ball drop here. What Crackdown 2 tries to pass off as a story is borderline insulting.