Crackdown 2

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 July, 2010, 12:00am

Crackdown 2
(Ruffian Games)

One of the most popular Xbox 360 games to date makes a return with cooler guns, gear, vehicles and an overly friendly zombie horde. There are plenty of things to shoot and pummel for the action adrenaline junkie and budding sociopath.

Crackdown 2 can best be described as Halo meets Grand Theft Auto meets Resident Evil. The game is set 10 years after the original game (released in 2007) and unfortunately Pacific City is not doing very well. Due to a virus outbreak, a large section of the populace have been turned into zombies and in the ensuing chaos a group of criminals and thugs called CELL have taken over parts of the city. In an attempt to regain control of the city 'The Agency' and its high-powered Agents have been tasked with taking out the trash.

The game is similar to its predecessor in many ways: it has an open, sandbox environment, the player can achieve superhuman powers and jump to incredible heights, and anything that twitches can be annihilated.

Gamers start off with a basic Agent who has limited abilities that over the course of the game can be boosted through use of those abilities and by collecting upgrade orbs. There are five abilities that can be upgraded: agility, strength, firepower, driving and bomb blasts.

The main objective is to take over CELL bases and destroy zombie nests. These strongholds then become Agency bases that allow the player to request vehicles and weapons. The player can also drop off vehicles that have been appropriated for future use.

One of the more interesting additions to the game are the mag grenades, which can be attached to any surface or object and at least two must be used to have any effect. Generally gamers will attach one grenade to a wall and another to a car. A magnetic string then appears, pulling the objects together and causing damage to anything in the way. Gamers can also use them to lift and move extremely heavy objects.

One serious glitch with Crackdown 2 is the auto targeting that consistently locks on to the wrong targets such as non-threatening vehicles rather than enemies intent on turning the player into Swiss cheese.

Crackdown 2 is enjoyable and can be addictive. The main problem is the lack of depth: yes, it's fun to shoot mindless zombies and blow away bad guys, but that gets old rather quickly.