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May 15, 2006

At first glance, Realtime Worlds’ game Crackdown appears to be “just another” GTA clone, but at the head of this project is Dave Jones, one of the original creators of the GTA series, so if anyone has the right to create a new game in the genre it’s him. Rather than focus on how tough you look or how many cars you can steal, though, Crackdown focuses more on the fun.
You play a genetically altered soldier sent by a secret government agency to rid a cluster of islands from seven gang bosses who have managed to completely take over the area. Being genetically manufactured, you have superhero strength, resistance to pain and the ability to jump incredibly high.
Crackdown Xbox 360 screenshot
A single jump will get you quickly to the top of most any three-story building, and you can jump down from what appears to be any height without taking any damage. These abilities really open the sandbox gameplay, because there’s so much more you can do without facing negative consequences (like dying).
Around you the city is brimming with life. People and cars move everywhere, with gang members harassing civilians and shooting one another. As you jump into the fray, causing mayhem and destruction, experience points in the form of colored glowing balls zip toward you and increase your ability in whatever activity you just performed.
Crackdown Xbox 360 screenshot
Like shooting people with guns? Your gun skills will get a boost and your accuracy will improve. Increase it further, and you can pick specific points of the body to target, or even blow up cars by hitting their gas tanks. Like to get physical and kick people around? At the start of the game, a single kick will send guys flying into the air, but after building up that skill you’ll gain the strength to pick up cars and throw them at people. Keep in mind, the car you just picked up may also have people in it, and you can see them moving around and looking out the windows as you toss the vehicle down the street.
Crackdown Xbox 360 screenshot
Unlike the GTA games, the graphical style in Crackdown has a colorful, almost cel-shaded, look to it that helps express the over-the-top feel of the game. You won’t be picking your jaw up off the floor when you first see it, but keep in mind that there’s an insane number of moving people and cars on the screen at any one time (the developer claims more than 200), and the framerate stays steady throughout. By the time Crackdown ships, Realtime Worlds hopes to accurately simulate a city rush hour, and from what we’ve seen they’re already close to achieving that.
Crackdown Xbox 360 screenshot
You can go after the seven gang bosses in any order that suits you, and using certain tactics you may even be able to just take down the kingpin first. In addition to being an ego stroke for you, the player, this will also have an effect on the remaining gang members based on what that boss supplied. Take out the boss that supplies cars, for example, and gang members will start driving clunkers or be forced to walk.
Crackdown Xbox 360 screenshot
As a secret super-soldier cyborg, you yourself certainly won’t be forced to drive a clunker, because what would a secret agent be without a cool car? There are three different types of vehicles in the game, each of which has special abilities. The agent car is the fastest, and it has a special ramp-like front bumper that causes oncoming cars to flip up into the air rather than crash into you. The semi truck, meanwhile, transforms when you get into the cab, and everything you hit with it explodes. And the SUV, which has a wild design, can climb over most anything on the map and do insane tricks.
Crackdown Xbox 360 screenshot
A lot of love was put into the game’s explosions, as you can set up chain reactions and blow up a whole traffic jam worth of cars with a single grenade. Everything goes flying in unrealistic but entertaining ways, and of course you receive experience balls for every explosion you set off. Consequently, once you’ve built up that skill, you gain the ability to set charges and really make things go boom.
Two player co-op play is supported on Xbox Live, which looks to be a riot, and Realtime Worlds plans to make heavy use of achievements. More than likely the company will also offer additional goodies over the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Crackdown Xbox 360 screenshot
Crackdown is a sandbox game that promises crazy fun, with an emphasis on the “crazy.” Yet tts simulated world is intricate enough to get tactical and let players plan strategies to take out bosses or other targets in the game’s 21 assassination missions. With its colorful style and open-ended gameplay Crackdown is shaping up to be a really fun game, even if it is perceived by some as “just another” GTA clone.
— Robert Dusseau

By Sara

My name is Sara Anslee, I live in Colorado. I am very fond of gaming, writing, and blogging. I share the latest news and tips about sports games, video games, gaming movies, gaming devices, and accessories. I also love watching movies and traveling.