by Mat Ombler
previewed on X360
In with the new (cntd)
Now, however, players are rewarded with a load out of Jackie Chan and Jet-Li type moves. The improved combat system means you can now string together different attacks to perform a variety of combo style moves, which is extremely effective when it comes to tackling large groups of enemies at once.
If you don't want to crack on with the main campaign, it is easy to find something else to do. Although you can jump to the height of buildings and cover a ridiculous amount of space in little time, your character also comes fully equipped with the super power ability of... wait for it... "I can drive a car". It's another cool feature that allows you to race with your friends, mow down massive groups of enemies and turn the streets of Pacific City into a stunt course. However, this all seems pretty pointless considering you can make your way around the city much quicker jumping from building to building than you could in a car. Throwing them at people is more appealing.
Return of the old
Crackdown 2 also sees the return of the hidden orbs from the first game. For all you gamer score freaks out there, you probably know how frustrating yet rewarding it was to try and track down all of the orbs in the original game. Those who did managed to reap a cool 1000G. The developers of Crackdown 2 wanted to make the experience even more challenging by giving the orbs the ability to run away from you. To catch them, you will have to pursue them, turning the tracking down of orbs into a wild scramble, chasing them down over buildings and down alleys until you catch them.
Visually, the game looks amazing. Don't be fooled by the cartoony effects of the cel-shading as there is nothing kiddy about Crackdown 2. The game prides itself on violence and destruction and pretty much every enemy you kill bursts into a cloud of red vapour after dying. This in turn evaporates into the air which looks pretty damn fine when cel-shaded. It fits well with the superhero like aspects of the game, so much even that it sometimes feels like you are playing a video game that has been designed by Stan Lee. Each explosion in the game looks like a small war within itself; they are huge and beautifully animated.
By looking at the direction of the way this game is heading, it is almost impossible to disappoint. The developers have taken every aspect of the first game and improved on it dramatically. If anything, my only criticism would be that somewhere down the line Pacific City has been deprived of natural gravity. Sometimes this works just fine. It looks amazing when you launch an enemy over buildings with the swing of a pole. On the other hand, it looks and feels strange when you hit another car whilst driving and fly 200 feet into the air and pulling off 30 spins on the way up. It gets even more confusing when you then land safely back down on the ground. Saying that, with a game that is shaping up to look this amazing, who really gives a toss about realism?