Crackdown 2 is a third-person shooter featuring open-world, sandbox style game play. You control a genetically engineered agent assisting the Agency in the battle for Pacific City against a terrorist organization known as the Cell, and you're also tasked with keeping the run-down city clear of mutated freaks.
After a brief tutorial to give you an introduction to the controls and gameplay, then a couple of missions to introduce you to the main elements of the game, you're then left on your own to roam Pacific City and play the game as you wish. In order to complete the game you are tasked with activating beacons which destroy the freaks. You can also attempt (optional) Freak Breach and Tactical Location missions, which net you additional weapons and experience which go to improve your characters strength, agility, weapons skills, explosive skills and driving skills.
The beauty and curse of Crackdown 2 is that you're left to your own devices for most of the time. The beauty is that you can do the missions in any order you wish, or you can ignore the missions and do any of the optional activities in Pacific City, such as stunt jumps, running races across buildings, driving challenges etc etc. The curse is that there is virtually no storyline, and what little snippets you do get are from collecting the many audio tapes left lying around the city. A player could miss all the audio tapes and really have no idea of what is going on in the game, apart from the information given right at the start and right at the end of the game.
Much has been said about the similarities between Crackdown 2 and Crackdown 1. They are virtually the same game - the graphics in Crackdown 2 have received a slight polish (although it's still never going to be winning any beauty contests), the game is set in the same city and everything `feels' the same. Although it's quite interesting to go back to Pacific City and see it in a state of disrepair, it does smack of laziness on the part of the developers. In contrast, Saints Row and Saints Row 2 were both set in Stillwater, but SR2 never felt like it was a rehash of the prequel. There are some differences, some for the good and some for the bad. The good additions include wingsuits, the ability to pilot helicopters, 4 player online co-op, and being able to `ping' orbs, whereas the bad include non-morphing cars and the lack of any storyline or `enemy' that you have to bring down. The first game had you targeting gang members to bring down a crime ring, whereas in Crackdown 2, there is no real `enemy' apart from the hordes of freaks, and not much sense of achievement when you beat the game.
In the end, I really did enjoy Crackdown 2. It had me completely hooked for a very enjoyable fortnight, and I played it when I had any spare time. The game is great fun, blowing stuff up just never gets boring and hunting for the different kinds of orbs is both addictive and rewarding. The game really lights up if you can get a group of players together for some online co-op action, but it's equally fun running around the streets of Pacific City with a homing rocket launcher being told off by The Agency Voice for blowing up peacekeepers!
I loved the first Crackdown - the ongoing search for orbs, the super-human jumps, the mass destruction.... Good times. I went into this with low expectations, as I was burnt before with Bioshock 2. And the verdict? It's fun.
Once you get past the visual changes - the graphics, for some reason aren't as good as the original, the HUD isn't as good looking as the first - the cool opaque blues are replaced by no-nonsense, ugly whites and reds - and the biggest crime, the lack of transforming vehicles, then it's business as usual. The missions may be different, but the jumps, the guns, and the orbs are all there, just in a run down version of Pacific City.
A few changes to the game play are welcome. The frankly MASSIVE amount of freaks on display is impressive, and driving through them all in a beefed up car is good, dirty fun. Just one gang this time, too. The Cell.
All in all, it is a true sequel if ever there was one. A new story, but the locations and action is the same. If you enjoyed the first one, there is no reason why this won't appeal to you too.
I have never played Crackdown 1 so I cant compare them, but for the price I got this for I had to buy it. In the game your an agent who has to rid the cities of freaks and terrorists. Its great fun, you collect bonuses which help with getting stronger and faster and a lot of big guns. Everything a man needs.
Let’s be blunt; Crackdown 2 is one of the most average titles on the Xbox 360. It isn’t bad, it isn’t good - it’s just kinda playable but there’s nothing to get excited about. The sandbox approach is copy and pasted over from the first game, with slightly enhanced graphics and tweaked gameplay mechanics which you won’t really care about. It really is just another version of the original. There are some things that Crackdown did better, and the new additions are lacklustre - this time zombies are lazily thrown into the mix because the devs couldn’t think of anything else. Some of the collectable orbs move this time – that must have been hard. The auto-target system seems ultra-lazy, no accuracy is required at all therefore, very little skills needed. Taking over control points is the main objective throughout the entire game, this never changes and really grated on me after the first four hours or so. You progress further into the game expecting something exciting, but late in your slumber you realise this is all Crackdown 2 has to offer.
There are some interface issues which could have been done better. The map is atrocious and hard to follow. You can’t add waypoints onto the map which makes it a necessity to pause the game and go into the menu to see where you want to go next if it’s not the main objective. The voice announcer is extremely irritating very early on, more so with the fact your highly exaggerated explosive skills are guaranteed to maim “peacekeepers” who get involved in almost every shoot-out. Expect to be told off and insulted at every turn for incidents you have very little control of.
If you’ve not played Crackdown, this is probably the game to go for if you were curious (the original is free to Xbox Gold members). Otherwise, Crackdown 2 is simply an average title that you will have fun with for a bit before throwing back on the shelf to gather dust.
Most reviews mention that this is not as fun as Crackdown 1, and I agree with this. The element of killing gang members and then the kingpin is lost on CD2, killing freaks and cell is not as fun. Initially, the freaks will be weaker and as your skills advance in the game by collecting orbs, using melee attacks or shooting, the freaks will start getting stronger and you will have to battle several types, but it won't be as fun as doing the little missions from CD1.
With regards to the Cell gang, they mostly don't change apart from the area that used to be called The Corridor and ran by Shai-Gen Corp. In that area, the strongholds (what they call the areas controlled by Cell) will be protected by heavily-armored gang members with rocket launchers and turret machine guns... It's not that hard to wipe them off if you use a rocket launcher.
I found that protecting the beacons was quite easy as long as you kept yourself at a heightened area compared to the freaks, there wasn't a lot of challenging things to go through apart from blasting the annoying creatures.
In CD1, you needed to find a way to reach the gang members and the kingpins, in CD2 you know exactly where the beacon is dropped inside the freak lairs and all you have to do is statically defend it, which is boring.
The final mission is quite easy if you're using explosive guns in both hands plus using cluster grenades.
The cars do not get upgraded as you level up, so it's pretty boring.
You can sort of fly when you reach agility level 5, but it is really hard to master the wing suit and you need to drop from a really tall point like at the top of the agency tower or hope tower (a new building on the former shai-gen area). You will probably give up learning how to use the wing suit.
To compensate for the lack of interesting missions, they added a bunch of collectibles that you can find. They also added "freak breaches" that are freak escape areas that you have to clean up so the agency can close up by blasting rockets at them. When you finish the last mission, you can go back to the game and redo it, but there is no reward for doing that. Once you finish the game, you probably will find all the orbs and complete little missions like driving through stunt rings.
The scenario is basically the same but the city is now mostly destroyed, so nothing new to see apart from Hope Tower, which as I mentioned before is a building that takes place of the one that was opposite the final boss in CD1.
I would recommend this game if you played CD1 just because it is fun to continue a sequel, but do not expect much from it. I wouldn't have recommended it at the launch price but now it is cheap so it is worth a go.