Pacific City is under siege. Terrorized nightly by a legion of mutated monsters and daily by the rebellious Cell insurgents, this metropolis needs your help. As a superpowered law enforcement agent, you traverse the city with great leaps and subdue your enemies by any means necessary. Your abilities increase as you explore and complete objectives, bringing you new powers, guns, and vehicles. Sound familiar? If you played its predecessor, then you have a good idea of what’s in store for you in Crackdown 2. This sequel retains the appeal of Crackdown while adding a few twists that help make things feel different. Yet none of these additions are terribly innovative, and there are plenty of issues with which to contend. The scant plot leaves the campaign devoid of momentum, and as you spend most of the game accomplishing the same handful of repetitive objectives, Crackdown 2’s problems become more and more noticeable. Though almost every kind of fun you can have in this game is tainted by flaws, the fun of running amok as a supercop remains remarkably addictive, making Crackdown 2 an entertaining open-world romp.
Pacific City is not exactly a quiet little hamlet.
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Geographically speaking, this is the same Pacific City that players explored in the first Crackdown. It is still quite large and full of places to go, but time has not been kind to it. Buildings are crumbling, roadways are disrupted, and it generally feels like a more conflict-torn environment. The visuals are improved, and once again the cel-shaded outlines mix well with more realistic textures, creating a distinctive look. Yet Crackdown 2 looks grittier than its predecessor, and while the environments are richer and more complex, the effect isn’t always good. Environmental details don’t stand up well to close inspection, and explosions, of which there are many, don’t look very good at all. Still, it is fun to explore the city and blow stuff up, and the absence of loading times makes doing both easy.