by Mat Ombler
previewed on X360
Pacific City is rife with crime, violence and gangs and that's just during the "off season". The last thing it needs is yet another threat piled on top, and yet it arrives without paying heed to the already insurmountable problems. The gangs have released a freak virus into the city and, as you will have guessed by now, it is up to you to fix things up again.
You play the part of a character simply known as "Agent", a super-human officer who boasts a range of powers impressive enough to force the whole of Marvel into early retirement. In fact, there isn't really a super power this guy doesn't have; he is a combination of everybody's favourite super heroes forced into a shell of armour. As the Agent, you have got the power of super strength, jet-packs in your hands and feet, the ability to jump massive stretches of distance equivalent to the Grand Canyon. On top of that you boast the ability to rip up any object you see; Lampposts, cars, a guitar... if you can pick it up, you can use it as a weapon.
Wreak Havoc together
Moving on from the first game, Crackdown 2 boasts an impressive drop-in, drop-out Co-Op mode. Whenever you are playing on your own, a friend can join via Xbox live and you will see things becoming a whole lot more fun. You can tackle the main campaign with four players and four players means four times the carnage. Even more impressive is that the game supports an online versus mode for sixteen players consisting of three different game-types. The first is your Standard Death-match and Team Death-match. These modes visually looks something akin to what World War 3 would look like; Cars explode and get launched into the air and a seemingly infinite supply of rockets is ricocheting from each corner of your screen. To spice things up, there is the odd bit of guitar bashing. The third game-type, Rocket tag, is where one player picks up an "orb" and has to hold onto it for as long as possible. The person who holds the orb in his possession for the longest amount of time is the winner.
Another impressive thing about the game is the sheer amount of AI players on your screen at once. You are literally fighting between fifty to one hundred enemies at times, which can all be dispatched in a variety of ways. Launching a car at them, for example, will clear out the crowds and allow you to progress through the city or mow them down with a Gatling gun in seconds. Alternatively, you can just find the nearest explosive object, shoot it, and then watch as your screen flashes in bursts of orange and yellow and the corpses go flying. That's another really cool feature; whack someone with a lamp-post or other heavy object and they will literally be sent flying miles over the horizon, it looks awesome.
In with the new
Fans of the first game will be pleased to know that there are new enemies in the game called The Freaks. These are effectively zombies, created by Shai-Gen gang members who are experimenting on citizens in Pacific City. The game seems to strongly focus on these enemies, and you meet them in massive packs. In the first game, you were limited in the kind of attacks you could perform, especially when it came to hand to hand combat.