Crackdown (the ultimate ticket to the Halo 3 beta)
Crackdown has many great aspects that make it fun to play, easy to pick up and hard to complete, which are most of the criteria of the best games around.
At a glance crackdown may seem like one of those superhero games like spiderman, but it is so much more; the details of the cities are so intricate and the idea of upgrading different abilities in different ways because of your special suit is a new and refreshing idea and a good change from just happening because you are a super hero. The abilities are well thought out and are increasingly hard to upgrade with their being 4 levels and then the maximum level which takes a long time to get them to. Some abilities are a bit easier than others to upgrade such as agility but i feel it is just right because having good agility is essential for progressing a lot in the game. On that point the agility orbs are well placed and finding them gives you a sense of achievement, especially with the hidden orbs.
The driving is pretty good for a game that doesn't use it particularly much at all and i loved the way the agency vehicles adapt to your driving skill and improve in performance and looks as you're driving level upgrades.
The guns and shooting effects are pretty good, they could be better but it is good which helps as you need your guns a lot during the missions. The explosions are fantastic and once you've fully upgraded explosives the effects are amazing and are quite addictive and you find yourself deliberately blowing up innocent civilians just because you want to see something blow up and there aren't any gangs around. However the lock on system can get a bit annoying as you have to use it every other minute and it does take quite a long time to properly lock on, especially with headshots. Also i feel they could have expanded the weapon base because as soon as you have the heavy machine gun, the cluster grenade and the homing launcher, that's all you carry around and they do get a bit boring.
The missions are extremely samey, where it gets to the point that you just get as close as you can and pummel the boss with the homing launcher. The last couple of bosses are a bit challenging because it takes such a long time to get to them but only takes a maximum of a couple of hours.
The whole game length is pretty poor because defeating the bosses does not take long at all, the only thing that might take a bit of time is upgrading the stats to the maximum, but once you've defeated the bosses there's not much point anyway except to get the achievement.
Great game for short bursts of fun and also an added bonus was that most of us got the halo 3 beta test with it. Good game but don't expect the game to last longer than a couple of weeks of moderate playing.