Crackdown was released in a time where all open-world genre games were all very similar. It seemed like all of the games were trying to cash in on what the Grand Theft Auto series had created. Luckily for us Crackdown brought something different to the table. Like all other open-world games Crackdown allows the player to explore a city and do whatever they like. But what Crackdown does different is it allows you to develop your characters skills to super-human proportions.
Crackdown allows the player to develop in five different areas, strength, agility, driving, shooting and explosives. At first your abilities will be quite minor, but once fully upgraded you’ll be jumping 30 feet in the air and chucking cars with ease. You’ll gain experience by simply completing tasks that relate to the specific field your trying to improve in. If you shoot someone you will gain orbs that will increase your accuracy, if you run over a gang member you’ll drive faster and turn sharper. But you must be careful, if you harm civilians or peacekeepers you will lose experience. Your main objective in the game is to take down the three gangs that rule Pacific City. To do this you will need to take down all the gang generals and bosses. Each boss you defeat will weaken each gang significantly. For example, if you take out a gang’s vehicle expert the gang won’t have as many vehicles guarding the gang’s main boss.
Besides the small monologue at the beginning of the game the story is non-existent. Which is disappointing considering the potential it had. The game takes place in a future where all of the world’s police have united to fight crime. They call themselves the Agency. The agents are all genetically modified to perform greater than the average man. Your job will be to rid Pacific City of its three major gangs, the Los Muertos, the Volk and the Shai-gen. You will need to take out the gangs generals to weaken the boss to a state in which you could kill them.
One of the most interesting things Crackdown has to offer is its unique graphics. Its cell-shaded 3D graphics give it the look and feel of an old comic book that fits perfectly with the theme of the game. Like all open-world games the frame rate has problems. Cars will pop-in and the game will sometimes just freeze on you. Besides these minor hitches the look of the graphics makes them memorable.
The sound in Crackdown is nice. It does what it is expected to do. Nothing more. You wont hear pedestrians having hilarious conversations street, there are no hilarious radio stations to listen to while your driving. But what you will hear is the sound of gunfire, explosions and the clanging of metal against metal.
Crackdown is a refreshing look into the open-world genre and proves that it has more potential than just Grand Theft Auto clones. Even though the story is non-existent the gameplay and graphics make up for it. Crackdown is well worth a purchase if you’re a fan of the open-world genre or even comic books.