Reviews// Crackdown (Xbox 360)

You get weapons from gangsters

Posted 20 Feb 2007 18:30 by
ďLastly, we have driving: if you just get in a car and drive, you get better at driving cars. The Agency supplies three specific types of car: the sports car, the SUV and the truck. Theyíre not very interesting to begin with, but as you start developing your driving skills, these vehicles start to transform into huge killing machines.

The sports car can go anywhere in the city Ė it drives under things. If thereís a car in the way, it will scoop it up. If thereís a car in the way, the SUV will go over it, and at the highest level, the SUV can stick to walls. At the highest level in the truck, if thereís a car in the way, you can just drive straight through it.Ē

Cope isnít quite telling the whole story: there are plenty of things you can do in Crackdown if youíre bored of exploring. GTA-style vertical beams of light, purple and green respectively, let you initiate motor races and agility races. Which arenít really races as such Ė you donít have any opposition, but must reach the next checkpoint within a certain time. Some of the motor races are satisfyingly long, and their environments vary: youíll find off-road ones and races which involve dodging oncoming motorway traffic. The agility races involve leaping across rooftops, or, for example, from car to car on the big wheel at the fairground, and some wonít let you enter unless your agility rating has a certain amount of stars (four is the maximum).

There are also 500 Agility orbs to collect from inaccessible places and 500 Hidden Orbs (which bump up all your attributes), which encourage exploration. And you can, conveniently, respawn at Agency Supply Points, where you can also replenish ammo and health, and swap weapons (youíre only allowed to carry two, plus grenades/mines). You get weapons from gangsters, incidentally: once youíve picked one up and taken it back to a Supply Point, you can use it from then on.

While Crackdown doesnít have a storyline, you get little video-style interludes informing you when youíre near a henchman or a kingpin, and they then appear on your radar Ė and thatís where the meat of the single-player game lies. If you want, you can go after the top kingpin (Mr Wang, Shai-Genís Managing Director) from the moment you start the game. But we wouldnít recommend that, as the Shai-Gen are pretty evil, well-armed and plentiful, so the most sensible thing to do is take on the Los Muertos first, followed by the Volk, building yourself up into a killing machine in the process.

Itís easy enough to describe what Crackdown is like to play: any one of the post-Dave Jones, 3D Grand Theft Auto games. The control system is nicely fettled, with grenades on one bumper and reloading on the other, while the left trigger is target-lock and right fires; you have to aim pretty close to an enemy before you can target him, but once you have a lock, you can move the left stick to induce a head-shot.

The D-pad lets you zoom (a fairly pointless exercise as, even with the sniper, you canít zoom much, and anyway you can lock onto a target). [B] lets you launch a roundhouse kick (or pick an object up), [X] swap weapons, [A] jump and [Y] context-sensitive action. All pretty familiar for GTA fans.
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