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Crackdown First Impressions

So what's Crackdown best known for?...undoubtedly the Halo 3 Beta. You have to tip your hat to Microsoft on that brilliant marketing move...a game that was receiving only mediocre hype and attention boomed to one of the most discussed games on the 'net. The question is how do you evaluate Crackdown as a result? For some Halo 3 fans, the Beta itself is worth the $60 price tag. Well, maybe the value of Crackdown/Halo 3 Beta package will have to wait till the Beta is actually available. As it is right now, Crackdown is $60 for Crackdown, so how is it?

I have logged a considerable amount of time in Crackdown over the weekend...both alone and online. The coop option is an immense feather in Crackdown's cap. If any other GTA-style, Sandbox games come out that do not offer some sort of similar online option are just stupid. Playing with a friend is so fun in that not only can you complete the missions and murder mobsters, but also just enjoy the world of this game. Let me share such an enjoyable moment with you:

Playing on my friend's game (from the beginning...we both just got it- though I had played around some and level upped earlier in the day) we start off in the Los Muertos Gang area, quickly acquire a supply point and kill a plethora of gang thugs. Now info comes in on a Gang Boss...we want him dead and after collecting some green orbs, proceed to the Boss's facility. Now the game picks up and gets intense and we're jumping, blasting, and hurling partner dies and I'm on my own. I am talking on my headset pleading for backup...he says, "I'm coming." Minutes pass and my low life indicator is chiming at me. "Where are you?"...I get back. "Almost there, don't worry you'll see me." At this point, the gang has amassed in full force and hot rods and big ass trucks have surrounded and barricaded me in. Boom, my friend rolls in with a Semitruck with a car rack on the back, destroying the barricade and allowing me to proceed through and waste the Gang Boss. Laughter ensues, mission complete...but then the real fun happens. I tell my friend to drive straight while I hop in and floor a gang hot rod. I use the ramp on the back of his truck as we both fly down a highway to propel my care up into the air over dozens of moving cars, enjoy a sec of success before all out destruction on the highway. Cars crash, and explosions soon rock the bridge throwing bits everywhere. At this point, my friend and I both knew we'd be playing together soon.

The above experience cannot be reproduced in any other sandbox game to my knowledge, and that's a shame. Crackdown doesn't have a story, doesn't have very many side missions or tasks, but does offer you the chance to play with a friend in an environment where your character levels up and starts to take on super hero abilities. Driving around is Ok. The agency vehicles are significantly more fun than any you can find on the street (and they level up with you). I guess driving is necessary, but what's really fun is scaling rooftops. You can leap like Neo, Trinity, and the best of them in Crackdown and it is damn fun. I have spent more time looking for green orbs than I have looking for gang members, driving or anything else. The game is fun to play and the controls are easy to learn. As a solo game, Crackdown is probably shallow, but as a co-op game this game, so far, seems fantastic. I mean look at the fun that can be had:

Crackdown is about Explosions, Superhuman abilities, and pure funfactor. Did I mention I like the campy announcer too? Granted I payed a fraction of Crackdown's full price, but I am confident in saying that it is worth checking out and if you're a Halo fan you may find yourself playing Crackdown more than you expected while you wait for the Beta. Look for a full review later in the week, but if you can't wait you can buy Crackdown from Amazon below (and save some bucks as well):

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