Welcome to Crackdown’s Pacific City, a town that makes Camden, New Jersey seem like Beverly Hills. In this burg, three gangs — Los Muertos, the Volk and the Shai Gen Corporation battle for control and in the process, murder countless innocents. Armed vigilantes roam the streets, make fools out of law enforcement and play their music really loud, but not for long. The Agency (the police) just unleashed its latest weapon onto the criminal underworld, tough-as-nails hombre responds to smack talk with bullets to the face.
"I told you I could outrun your car!"
At its core, Crackdown plays like Grand Theft Auto in the sense that players explore a large and dynamic world, bouncing from mission to mission executing kingpins and stocking up on ammunition. Except developer Realtime Worlds discards the overused "be a criminal" theme in exchange for playing a good guy, the muscle bound and genetically engineered cop known as Agent. The mission? To eliminate the gangs from the bottom up, targeting their kingpins and eventually, their gang bosses. That’s it. No escort missions. No need to avoid the fuzz. Hell, in this game, the police happily relinquish their rides. They even respond to incidents and open fire, giving the player a much needed assist against swarms of enemies. With that being said, the game features less content than most sandbox video games, but this lack of variety doesn’t significantly damage the experience.
The Agent’s five skills — Agility, Driving, Explosives, Strength and Weapons — evolve over time, making him a more effective killing machine. Increased Strength allows him to lift heavy objects like trucks. In addition, Agility boosts increase his jumping skill, letting gamers scale buildings and leap hundreds of feet into the air, sailing over rooftops and blasting criminals. Realtime Worlds further expands the concept by dropping races into the game, timed challenges that force people to reach green markers by climbing and vaulting over things.
"Gimme your best shot."
Gamers can also cause quite a ruckus. Running over criminals gives way to stacking vehicles, planting explosive devices and blowing the entire pile, sending debris and fire flying as hundreds of innocents scramble about in terror. We expect creative people to post thrilling stunt videos online.