Crackdown 2 can be extremely good fun in small doses as you gun down your enemies on the street, toss cars into buildings, or attempt to glide around Pacific City in one go, all whilst protecting the citizens as an Agent. What'll really grab hold of you though is the addictive quest to collect every last agility orb that's scattered around the extensive environment. You can grab an Xbox 360 copy of the game from Zavvi for £5.85, which'll save you over £2 on the next best offer coming in from Amazon. Thanks to goonertillidie @ HUKD.
Running around Pacific City jumping across rooftops and pummelling, or gunning down, your enemies is great fun, but sadly the game's a little bit too similar to the original, which ultimately makes it feel a tad repetitive. However, it's highly likely that you'll eventually become obsessed with collected the agility orbs that are strewn around the game, so much so in fact that it'll keep pulling you back for more. Choices UK are parting with Xbox 360 copies of the game for £5.49, which'll save you almost £2.50 on the next best offer from Zavvi. Thanks to goonertillidie @ HUKD.
It's February 2007, at precisely 7:30 PM. Having just wrenched myself from a mammoth four hour Crackdown-session, I head down to the shops for some diabetes-inducing nourishment. As I walk past the rows of terraced housing, the roads slick with rainfall, I find my gaze drawn to the rooftops and windowsills. I'm not sure why, but I scan the five hundred yard stretch of road until I reach the bend. Then it suddenly dawns on me; I was looking for Agility Orbs.
I have a serious problem.
I have to ask; why do we love Agility Orbs? After all, they're just static power-ups located across the environment in abundant numbers. Some require an approximation of skill to reach, but they're a passive pick-up with a passive effect. I didn't have the same love, say, for the Blast Shards in Infamous, despite serving a largely identical purpose.Click here to see why we're obsessed with Agility Orbs
Jon recently broke the news that Ruffian Games has moved on to other projects since releasing Crackdown 2. Considering Ruffian was established for the sole purpose of delivering a sequel to Crackdown - a sequel, I might add, that topped the UK charts - it's not hard to imagine at least one of their new projects is the third entry in the series. And Ruffian has already confirmed they'd love to do a sequel.
But what can we expect? Or, more importantly, what do we want?
Assembled by former Real Time Worlds Staff, Ruffian Games was established a mere year and a half before Crackdown 2 released. Now, a year to produce a fully-fledged sequel is a tall order, and as such Ruffian had to make certain compromises. For one, they did very little to Pacific City. A few major structures were built, a lot more were demolished, but by and large Crackdown and Crackdown 2 were set in a largely identical playground.
So with Crackdown 3, I'd like to see a brand new city. In fact, with the ability to run faster than a sports car, leap tall buildings in a single bound and even fly - pretty much - C3 shouldn't be restricted to a mere city. An entire region, with urban sprawls giving way to lush fields or golden deserts. Ruffian attempted to introduce new environments into Crackdown 2, but the so-called Freak Lairs simply felt like a chunk had been bitten from Pacific City's crust and painted with a rock texture and fog.
But in their blog post, Ruffian claim their new game(s) will include a "heavy focus online". You could interpret that as their next project being an MMO, but with both Crackdown titles already containing pseudo-MMO qualities, it might not. However, with an emphasis on multiplayer components, you need big, big playgrounds to avoid overcrowding and bottlenecks. So a new city isn't outside the realm of possibility...
Click here to read the rest of Felix's article...
Crackdown 2 was great, but it coasted almost entirely on the strengths of its predecessor rather than breaking new ground, so to speak. It's chaotic fun at its best, and it only gets better with the premium DLC, which is now half price on LIVE. 'Deluge' pits four Agents against ever-growing waves of Freaks scattered across Pacific City, whereas 'Toy Box' showers you with new vehicles and gadgets, like the Suit Thrusters which allow you to rocket up into the air and glide with ease, or the aquatic ATV Assault Vehicle. What I can glean from interviews with Ruffian personnel is that they're hard at work on something else, which I'm hoping is Crackdown 3. With some proper development time and resources, other than the quick fix, cheap job Microsoft commissioned, a true Crackdown sequel could be quite special, indeed. In the meantime, consolidate your over-priced purchase with this half-price premium DLC. Go on, treat yourself!
Crackdown 2 is more of the same... and yet less in so many ways. Ruffian are to be congratulated for creating a sequel in a matter of months, and it provides many of the same big thrills and silly kills that the first game offered us. Unfortunately the new city is uniquely bland and the tiered gangs have been replaced by- literally- standing on a button for two minutes. I must admit to being incredibly disappointed after blowing through my pricey preorder, but its new sub-£10 price level may well allow you to forgive a multitude of sins. Thanks to jok13 at Hot UK Deals.
Fancy a jaunt around a vice filled city in the guise of a souped up super powered Super Agent? If so Crackdown 2 is just the game for you, or at least it is if you didn't hate the first instalment. It all feels a bit familiar but there's certainly a lot of badly behaved fun to be had roaming the mean streets of Pacific City at your own pace. Unfortunately the missions of the main campaign are a lot less enjoyable and can become tiresome rather speedily. Similarly the story could do with a pace injection but for £9.99 you could do a lot worse than this.
It’s time to return to Pacific City and unleash some justice the old fashioned way in the sequel to Crackdown (known to many as the Halo 3 beta invite.) Borrowing much from its predecessor (to the point where it’s almost like you’re playing the same game… almost) you end up cleaning up the city from two threats; mutated horrors that have been unleashed upon the city and a terrorist group called The Cell, and it’s your job to sort out both problems before it’s too late. Although the game suffers from a lack of real plot and the targeting mechanics can be a little frustrating it’s not a bad game and might be worth a budget buy. Thanks to goonertillidie @ HUKD!
Initially Crackdown 2's a pretty fun game to play, as you leap across buildings and decimate your foes with an arsenal of weapons or your bear hands, whilst you try to rid the city of Cell forces and the freak problem that's plaguing the general public. Unfortunately after a couple of hours of gameplay your missions start to feel far to similar and to be honest if you've played the original game there's not much point in picking up this one, because there aren't many significant differences, which means that you're bound to be disappointed.
It’s time to return to Pacific City and unleash some justice the old fashioned way in the sequel to Crackdown (known to many as the Halo 3 beta invite.) Borrowing much from its predecessor (to the point where it’s almost like you’re playing the same game… almost) you end up cleaning up the city from two threats; mutated horrors that have been unleashed upon the city and a terrorist group called The Cell, and it’s your job to sort out both problems before it’s too late. Although the game suffers from a lack of real plot and the targeting mechanics can be a little frustrating it’s not a bad game and might be worth a budget buy. Thanks to chrisvenn @ Hot UK Deals!
Initially jumping around as a genetically engineered agent is great fun, as you blast your way through Cell forces or smash freaks out of your way, so that you can continue to use Pacific City as your giant playground. Unfortunately, after a while everything starts to feel a bit too familiar and you'll find yourself getting bored pretty quickly. Playing online with a group of friends certainly breaths a bit of life back into the game, whether you're joining up for some co-op action or knocking chunks out of one another in the various versus modes. £16.85 might still be a tad expensive for a game that you'll drop in and out of for a quick bit of fun, so you might want to wait for the price to drop a bit lower before grabbing a copy. Thanks to M4TTYTH3K3B4B.
When you're cruising around the city in your supercar the last thing you want to have to do is avoid blood thirsty mutants or murderous gangs. Luckily, you play as a genetically enhanced law enforcement agent in Crackdown 2, who can shoot, run over, or beat the criminals you come across to a bloody pulp.
There are a couple of vendors who are parting with the game for £17.99, which'll make you a saving of almost £7 over the next best offer of £24.93 coming in from The Hut.
Having an entire city as your playground is great fun and it'll take you a while to explore all the possibilities of what you can do with all your powers, along with the various vehicles, gadgets, and cars that you come across.
The multiplayer consists of a couple of game modes and whilst watching agents swoop through the air when you're pitted against one another is sure to get your heart pumping, the really frantic action comes from taking part in rocket tag where you'll almost certainly go up in flames before the end.
Whilst collecting agility orbs is one of the more absorbing tasks included in the game, the main objectives are so repetitive that you'll get fed up with them pretty quickly and'll probably go in search of a game that's more rewarding.
Having had the game since release, I'd say that you're best off waiting until it drops below £10, especially if you already own the original because they're pretty hard to tell apart.
Thanks to davver99 @ HUKD
The XCOM series is fondly remembered by fans for its hardcore, thoughtful strategy and ramped difficulty curve. The decision to leverage the franchise into an FPS came as a disappointment to many, but it appears that 2K Marin have tacked the license onto a game that they've been planning for some time.
"We've been working on this game on and off for around five years now, before BioShock 2, before BioShock. So when the chance came to use the XCOM license, it was a great opportunity to take some of those game ideas and blend everything together." - Jonathan Pelling, 2K Marin creative director
Apparently the research aspects of the XCOM series will make it to 2K Marin's FPS, but it'll feel like an entirely new IP. With any luck, it'll distance itself from the original franchise enough to be criticised on its own merits. [Kotaku]
As I mentioned yesterday, many pundits and gamers are still a little worried about EA's decision to set upcoming FPS Medal of Honor in an ongoing warzone... as well as putting players in the shoes of Taliban insurgents. A number of critics and pundits are feeling a little uneasy about the content (saying so in previews)- and the game has come under fresh attack from Fox News over the weekend. The news anchor, a mother to a soldier killed in the conflict, denounced MoH as being completely "disrespectful." [GI]
The official EA line is that their average age for target consumers is 39- and that being able to play as Taliban is much the same as playing cops and robbers back in childhood. After all, "in Medal of Honor multi-player, someone's gotta be the Taliban." This would have been a suitable place to call a deadlock- but there appears to be a little dissent in the DICE Camp itself. Producer Patrick Liu has actually agreed that this content could could be construed as disrespectful when interviewed by PSM3 last week.
"I think it is a fair point,"
"We do stir up some feelings, although it's not about the war, it's about the soldiers. We can't get away from what the setting is and who the factions are, but in the end, it's a game, so we're not pushing or provoking too hard." - Patrick Liu
It's time to get involved, FPS fans. Is Medal of Honor's Afghani setting genuinely disrespectful? Or is this just political correctness gone mad? Have your say in the comments!
Most Crackdown 2 players will have already sterilised Pacific City of all enemy activity (and stood on all those vital... buttons), but Ruffian's new Toybox expansion will "soon" be with us. According to Ruffian's twitter feed, the MS testers are currently vetting the product- and "loving it" to boot. They're "close..."
The Toybox DLC will add the Keys To The City cheats for maximum destruction as well as new armour colours, gear and avatar awards. [via VG247]
Remember the Dare To Be Digital Indie Games competition? We brought you the shortlist a few months back, and the three winners have finally been decided by a panel of elite judges from several different triple-A developers. Without further ado, here they are!
Congratulations, guys! The three winners won a £2500 prize as well as BAFTA nominations. We'll be keeping a close eye on these budding studios and their future endeavours.
Bored of the standard third person shooter where you exit your car only to be rooted to the ground whilst having to pay extra special attention to avoid your enemies gunfire? Well why not grab Crackdown 2 because as a genetically engineered agent you won't have to worry about getting hit by a stray bullet or two, and if things start to get tough you can always leap high above your enemies heads to safety.
You can grab a copy of the game for £29.95 from Zavvi, which is just over £2.50 cheaper than the next best offer of £32.49 coming in from Cool Shop UK.
You've got three main objectives when you venture into Pacific City, the first is to rid the streets of Cell troops, the second is to wipe out all freaks in the area using a piece of agency technology known as Operation Sunburst, and the third is to close all of the open freak rifts that are littered about the environment. Unfortunately, after a few minutes of gameplay all of these tasks feel a little too familiar and this sense of repetition is the game's greatest downfall.
Luckily, roaming around the city is great fun and the world is very much your playground, if you want to throw a car into a group of enemies or attach a vehicle to a helicopter so you can drop it on-top of a building to ride across the rooftops you can do it.
Once you enter into co-op mode online things start to get a little bit crazy as four agents working together are pretty much unstoppable, and if they decide to battle it out against one another the civilian population'll more than likely perish in the crossfire. Multiplayer mode is another manic affair and my favourite mode would have to be rocket tag for the sheer amount of chaos and destruction that players can reign down on one another.
If you can overlook its flaws then you should definitely grab a copy, but if you like variety when it comes to the missions you have to undertake then it's probably best to wait for the price to drop a bit lower to avoid disappointment or give it a miss altogether.
Thanks to amibees @ HUKD
I can sum up the entirety of Crackdown 2's "missions" in one sentence: standing still. Reactivating the Absorption Units requires your superhuman Agent, who can leap buildings in a single bound, hoist helicopters above his head and drive SUVs like The Stig, to simply stand still and fill up a meter. It's beyond lazy. To include this as the foundation for the majority of Crackdown 2's "missions" is almost criminal. Forty pounds spent, ten seconds wasted, over and over again.
And yet, why am I still playing Crackdown 2? Why can't I put the controller down and admit my defeat in the quest for finding all the Agility Orbs, or catching that one lone Driving Orb on the Los Muertos highway, or simply attaching as many objects as possible to the Agency helicopter and swinging it around like a makeshift wrecking-ball. I can't stop playing Crackdown 2, and I don't know why.
The obvious answer is Agility Orbs. Yes, those pulsing green spheres of wonder, scattered across Pacific City in a devilishly complex breadcrumb-like fashion, sprinkled on rooftops, perched on monuments, or simply sat atop the crest of a hillside. It's such a simple pleasure, and yet so addicting. Literally. I can play Crackdown and its sequel simply to find Agility Orbs. I'm on 499 in the original, 492 in the sequel. It's maddening.
But why do I, and so many others, love finding Agility Orbs? I suppose, unlike most other games with collectible trinkets, Agility Orbs actually serve a purpose. Gather enough to fill up your meter, and soon you'll be jumping higher and higher. It's a two-way relationship, as in order to reach the loftiest Orbs, you'll need to have gathered their lower-down brethren first, in order to ascend the heights. That pulsing sound, letting you know you're getting closer, followed by the sprinkling soundbite of a dozen Agility points being absorbed into your cybernetic body, is one of this generation's finest moments.
What's also obvious is that gamers are collectorholics. We love, nay, need to collect things. The audio-logs in Bioshock, the pigeons in GTA, the terminals in Halo 3, and, yes, the Agility Orbs in Crackdown. 500 to collect, along with 300 Hidden Orbs, nestled in Pacific City's nooks and crannies, their ranks bolstered by the inclusion of Renegade Orbs, Agility variants that skim across rooftops or Driving ones which zoom across the roads and back-alleys. Along with the audio-logs, 75 I believe, that's almost 1000 collectibles in Crackdown 2's toy-box. And the key to its appeal, no less.Click here to read the rest of Felix's article...
Last week we filled you in in on the cheapest prices around for Ruffian Games' evolutionary open world sequel... but 365 games has now raised the bar. Or lowered it, I suppose. They're currently selling Crackdown 2 for £31.44, which will save you another couple of quid compared to Tesco's FTSL15-1 voucher code (and at least £4 if you've already used it).
Tom recently gave us the lowdown on Crackdown 2 in his full review, but suffice to say that it delivers a fairly similar experience to the original. Taking on the role of a genetically-enhanced police assassin with a legendary boss, you'll take to the decaying streets of Pacific City to clean up the town... all over again. Luckily, you've been authorised to use ludicrous, unnecessary, jawdroppingly-hilarious violence; and the city soon becomes your playground as you leap tall buildings and generally kill hordes of bad guys with whatever you can find lying around.
I must be honest, I was a little underwhelmed when I got hands-on with the demo. The graphics and core gameplay and have barely changed since the original- and the feeling of Deja Vu is almost tangible. What's more, the lack of tiered gang bosses and those awesome transforming vehicles are a little vexing. After a while, though, you'll notice a raft of little tweaks and improvements across the board- and basically, it's still fun on a bun. And the bun's made of explosions.
Crackdown 2 definitely doesn't bring anything new to the table and it's certainly not the prettiest game out there. However, it's the perfect time sink for the slack summer months.
Platforms: Xbox 360
Developer: Ruffian Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Most people discovered Crackdown by accident, when they went out in search of Halo 3's multiplayer beta and found it attached to a relatively unknown game that turned out to be great fun to play, forming a loyal group of fans who waited patiently for a sequel to sink their teeth into. I myself discovered the original game on a random visit to a friends house and on looking through the multitude of Xbox cases that dominated one of his draws, I found Crackdown. When I asked what it was he stared at me in disbelief, threw a 360 pad into my hands, whacked the disc into the hungry tray, and I began to throw myself over buildings into enemy compounds obliterating anything that dared to stand in my way. The experience was great fun, so the announcement of the second instalment of the series grabbed my interest enough to mark down the release date, when I happily parted with my money in anticipation of the improvements that I thought would probably have been made to the gameplay.
The game's set 10 years after the original, most of the original agents have been killed, whilst a new terrorist organisation, Cell, have dug themselves into strongholds throughout Pacific City, and if that wasn't enough the inhabitants of the city are turning into rampaging mutants, labelled freaks, at night causing utter pandemonium. You take the role of a brand new genetically engineered agent, who starts off within a claustrophobic agency training ground. Once you've got through this tutorial section of the game you hop into a car, which is picked up by a helicopter to be carried to safety after Cell decide to send a welcoming committee to stop you before you can start your work. The sudden contrast in the environment when you're picked up by the helicopter is a great touch and really shows you just how big a playground Pacific City is.
Before you enter the game you'll have the opportunity to customise your agent by selecting one of four rather unfortunate looking faces, which is something that Felix noted in his preview, and taking your pick from a range of coloured suits (you'll have more options to choose from if you pre-ordered the game).
As you take your first steps in the familiar urban jungle, your tasked with several objectives, the first is to claw back the strongholds that are dominated by Cell troops, the second is to overcome the freak virus using the technology the agency has been developing known as Operation Sunburst, and finally you can choose to close any freak rifts that you come across.
Crackdown 2 is one of the biggest games to be released this week- and lots of you have already snagged a decent preorder price or taken the plunge. If you're still looking to snaffle up Ruffian Games' take on the mean streets of Pacific City, Tesco Entertainment are still offering their £33.74 preorder price tag (with their infamous one-shot FTSL15-1 voucher) which will provide a saving of around £3 compared to Coolshop.
However, let's face it, you've probably already used the code. The honest amongst you (or those who've had bad experiences with Tesco Entertainment's customer service) will be looking for the next cheapest retailer- and currently, 365games are retailing for £34.99. This will save you £1.49... but as they say, every little helps.
Be sure to use the FTSL 15-1 voucher code if you haven't already done so. Otherwise...
The original Crackdown was an impressive and arguably extremely influential "sandbox+" game that took the GTA open world mechanics and let you jump over buildings, shoot, throw cars and generally rag all over it. Crackdown 2 essentially provides more of the same... and though we'll all have a blast returning to Pacific City, it doesn't quite offer the true evolution many fans were expecting.
The madness and mayhem of the original is very much intact- but many will be surprised and a little disappointed by the removal of tiered gang bosses with practically identical horde defence sequences. Still, at least you can beat a gang of mutants to death with a bus stop to vent your frustrations.
Thanks to denna007 at Hot UK Deals for spotting the Tesco preorder deal
July 2010 Game Releases
Every week, we’re doing a new post to tell you about the upcoming video game releases (you can see them all in the new releases category). Not much for you this week, especially if you own a PS3. However, if you're an X360 owner who enjoyed bouncing around Pacific City and fancy running down more perps and dishing out your own unique brand of justice, rejoice for Crackdown 2 is here, along with some Pikachu-related shenanigans for the Wii and...erm...the 2010 season of Pro Cycling Manager. We're really not sure how the hell that last one works, but there must be an audience for it somewhere...probably.
How to use: Click on the title of the video game if you would like to see the cross platform possibilities. Click on the game cover of the platform of your choice to see the price comparison for that particular game, showing you the cheapest prices from UK online retailers.
NB. These dates may be subject to change.
8th to 14th July 2010:
9th July 2010
|PokePark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure
9th July 2010
|Pro Cycling Manager Season 2010: Le Tour De France
9th July 2010
I love Crackdown. It's my favourite game on the 360, bar none. It's the epitome of fun, as you leap from rooftop to rooftop, ascend impossibly tall skyscrapers and rain destruction on the hapless residents of Pacific City. I've lost countless hours simply running around, stumbling on a surprise avenue of fun, like throwing my SUV on top of a house, then utilizing its jump ability to hop across the chasms between buildings.
It's been three years since Crackdown released, and since then, the original developers, Realtime Worlds, moved on to other projects. But such is Microsoft's enthusiasm for the Crackdown brand, they helped set up a brand new studio, Ruffian Games, comprised of the original creators nabbed from Realtime Worlds, to bring life to a Crackdown sequel. Yesterday, the demo for Crackdown 2 plummeted onto the Live servers. Thirty minutes of pure, unadulterated fun? Or half an hour of endless disappointment?
You begin Crackdown 2 by selecting your very own Agent from a variety of - quite ugly - faces, and a colour scheme for your soon-to-evolve suit. You're immediately dropped into a firefight with Cell, the new militia plaguing Pacific City, at the industrial docks on the coast, a sprawling city of rusted steel containers, stacked high amongst cranes and loading bays. The familiar baritone of the Agency informs you to remove the Cell presence. I politely disagreed, instead running in the opposite direction, climbing up a small building to nab the Agility Orb pulsing on its roof.
Ah, Agility Orbs. The crack of Crackdown. Not much has changed in the sequel. Their glowing green forms still scattered across the city like luminous breadcrumbs. Joining their ranks are the Renegade Orbs, of both the Agility and Driving variety. You'll have to chase them, on foot or in a car, although they're extremely fast and nippy. It's a great addition, however, as the sense of reward once you've caught them, greeted by the familiar sprinkling soundbite, is immensely satisfying.
With my mischievous desires sated, I returned to the locations marked on my map to remove Cell soldiers and begin activating 'beacons' for Project Sunburst. If you've missed the recent Crackdown 2 animation videos, then in the wake of the original Agent's exploits, Pacific City succumbed to a mutant outbreak. 'Freaks', as they're so lovingly referred to, emerge at night to shuffle around the streets, ostensibly in search of new victims to add to their ranks, but really just for your own amusement.
So, Project Sunburst. Essentially, an attempt by Ruffian to include a smidgen of strategy to the game, and an overall narrative arc, too. Scattered across Pacific City are 'beacons', which, once activated, pinpoint a 'Freak Lair', located underground, and hold off wave after wave of 'Freaks' so an Agency super-weapon, can power up and unleash a purging burst of UV light. Activating all the beacons and subsequent super-weapons will, presumably, remove the 'Freaks' from Pacific City, and allow the Agency to resume its totalitarian regime plans once again.