The megalopolis society of structure that is supposed to gladden the sprawling population of Pacific City has come to an utter brink of war. The streets are ravaged by a viral infection and what once was a unified Pacific City is now alienated between the Agency, the Cell and the Freaks for anarchy and domination. Crackdown 2 undoubtedly takes the pages from the comic book art style and combines it with improved gameplay compared to its predecessor through an unparalleled multiplayer offering, dazzling graphics and moreover the right balance of a serious mood with a humorous tone that makes it an exciting gameplay for anyone that loves freedom of choice and having the thrill of being a superhuman Agent. The Agency is has finally returned and this time with a need stronger than ever.
The events of Crackdown 2 start shortly after the first title. Despite not having established the famed New World Order in which The Agency rules through autocracy, there is a newer and greater threat leaving The Agency more evolved. “The Agency”, an organization that operates cybernetic soldiers, is located in the central part of the city. The gameplay starts off with your new Agent passing his diagnostics and being apace thrown out into the city via helicopter. The streets are ravaged, war is everywhere and there are no longer towns brimming with people on the street. Unfortunately, the sole reason Crackdown 2 is stilted in terms of a growing title is its narrative. Why? It simply does not have one aside from a simple introduction and a few cutscenes. While the gameplay is good in terms of minimal features that expand upon the Crackdown additions, it hardly holds its own in terms of a complete game.
The Crackdown 2 single-player campaign begins to reveal the minimal offerings of the title in the world of Crackdown 2 and the islands that encompass its hectic reach. The world is large for the most part and the sand-box style gameplay allows for an extended aspect of mission selectivity and the objectives that make a peacekeeper vastly needed. The mission structure makes use of a system of simplistic objectives from conquering gang hideouts, to blowing up beacons and collecting orbs to the overall mission of containing the Freaks and the Cells. While the general mission structure is lacking, it remains surprising that the amount of freedom and fun never feels limited. Aside from the typical territorial based conflicts from the main gameplay missions, there are plenty of side quests available including traversing the vast islands and deterring crime in a handful of creative ways all from simple hand-to-hand combat to road rage with an increased dose of acid reflux.
The combat structure integrates itself into the mission sand-box freedom through the use of newer powers and synthetic technologies. Players have the egotistical view of themselves as metaphorical powerful agents of justice, completing the task at hand with whatever is available to them. Strategies and tactics are vastly more improved in Crackdown 2 compared to the first title thanks to new weapons and agent skills that give carte blanche to agents to utilize their powers unsparingly and engage in ruthless force through any means necessary. Orbs allow the agents to level up their innate skills and abilities to fight with the Freaks and Cells of today and any other threat that looms for these synthetic clones. The primary types of innate abilities include Agility, Explosives, Driving, Firearms, and Agency Strength . Each of these are leveled up to a level of 5 and as such progress your character through not just different types of armor including the notable helmet, but also through their efficiency in leaping from buildings to using anything on a road to excuse their preoccupation for throwing objects at gangs from their resume. While Orbs are great, the visual appeal of orbs on the map and ‘renegade’ orbs that are flying throughout the map is extremely serving to an eyesore. Despite this, the combat structure works beautifully with these dependent gameplay elements.
Weapons, gadgetry and technology all make it possible for the Agents to take down the gangs and enemies out on the hectic and anarchistic streets. The most notable of these additions is the ability to glide in the Wingsuit. The wingsuit provides that extra aerial view appropriate for the big brother in the sky peacekeeper to take down anyone from above with a force of justice to be reckoned with. Aside from newer tactical SMG’s and other weapons including shotguns, and pistols, the ability to ride motorbikes has also been added. The best part about weapons is that whether apparent directly or not, the efficiency of the weapons system is based on the ability system of the central game mechanics. The skills, particularly Firepower, affect what types of weapons themselves can be used and how often those shots hit an enemy. This dynamic system is little underlined within the game itself, but it makes use of the full engine and the cross-API functions of the A.I.
Crackdown 2 brings the agency together through the function of unity. Unity is accomplished by a robust variety of multiplayer offerings for the toughest Agents to get together in a rampage of excitement. From the inception of the single-player and the onset of the first mission, players are able to engage in the 4-person campaign cooperative gameplay mode and allow a jump-in feature for any of their friends on either Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. To add to the feast of Agency justice, Crackdown 2 comes with the standard competitive multiplayer modes and an exclusive cooperative missions offering for those players that decide to play the campaign with a friend from the beginning. Regardless of what you choose, the Crackdown 2 multiplayer modes are an unparalleled experience set in the stylistic outline of a super-hero comic book influence. Crime and justice have met an extreme which can only be handled by the peacekeepers of the day.
Crackdown 2 comes with a parasychological element through the entire package. The single player campaign experience, while overly simplistic in mission structure design and terrible in terms of narrative value, still serves as a terrific experience combined with the rest of the multiplayer offerings that make the Agency a reality and the synthetic gregariousness of each member come alive. Time to go out there, throw some SUVs into a helicopter, and clean the streets of the infection, Agent!