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Monday, October 4, 2010

First Impressions: Crackdown 2

Crackdown 2 is a strange game. In many ways, it is very much like playing the original Crackdown. Graphics and gameplay all look and feel very similar. And most changes made for this sequel feel detrimental to the whole experience. All that aside, I can't stop playing the damned game!

On two separate occasions over the weekend, I turned to my wife and announced that I was "done" with Crackdown 2 for a while. The repetitive gameplay and huge open-world were getting to me. I needed a change of pace. A few hours later, I would find myself still playing Crackdown 2.

There are a number of things that I like about the game. Jumping around Pacific City and blowing everything up is as fun as it sounds. That's all there was in the original Crackdown and it worked beautifully! Crackdown 2, however, changes things up with the introduction of "protect the beacon" missions. These missions put the Agent in charge of protecting a beacon from enemy attacks while it "charges". If you've been playing games for a while, you're no doubt already smelling that sweet stink of the dreaded "escort mission". There is nothing worse than having your invincible avatar handicapped by the failings of weak NPCs or fragile in-game objects.

I'd managed to put off doing any beacon missions until last night. I finally had to tackle these awful missions in order to finish the game. Thankfully these missions aren't too bad to finish with my nearly maxed-out Agent. I knocked off four beacon missions in about an hour before bed. My weapons of choice for beacon missions are a turret rocket launcher, grenade launcher, and a fistful of quackers (a rubber duck that explodes with the force of multiple cluster grenades).

I'm hoping to finish off Crackdown 2 in my next couple of gaming sessions. I'm going to resist the urge to collect all Agility and Hidden orbs. There are way too many of them and I have other games to play (Alpha Protocol and Alan Wake to name a couple).There are a few remaining achievements that I may try and pick up before putting this game away. I'll see how I feel after a couple hours of frustrating beacon gameplay.

Have a good one!