I've heard about this game for ages - being a listener of the Weekly Geek
podcast, I know all about Chris's addiction to agility orbs and whatnot. But generally, I brushed it off as a Saints Row or Driver type of GTA clone. But a few weeks ago while picking up a copy of Project Rub
(also another great fun game. Stylish and fun. I don't know what all those reviews were complaing about back in the day.), I got Crackdown from the same seller for around 20$. Popping it in yielded a hideous sound from my 360 as the disk loaded, horrible, horrible disk spinning noise. I thought that well, I'm going to give it a quick go and place it on my shelf for ever, since that loading noise was so loud I quite literally drowned all other game sounds. Surely I couldn't stand playing more than minutes. Boy was I wrong.
First off, the game looks amazing. The semi cel-shaded look is awesome. And I'm a sucker for things that are heavily stylized - working in advertising has taught me that the style over substance isn't an issue - sometimes style IS the substance. But Crackdown has more meat than that. At first, I was a bit confused when thrown in the city. But wandering around and boosting my stats, the whole thing just clicked. The first impression of it being a generic GTA clone was blown to bits, it's got a whole different mindset behind it that really sets it apart. As Tim Schafer put it, games should be wish fulfillments, and Crackdown is just that.
It does what my friends did in GTA -- turn on all the cheats and go nuts using the sandbox, but you can't really do that in the main game. There is a set of rules in place that you can't break.
As I was playing, it all seemed really familiar and it hit me -- Crackdown is an open world, next-gen Final Fight. A logical continuation of the brawler genre. Light on story, tons of cannon fodder, weapons and moves and the occasional boss fight. I think I would have shat my pants 12 years ago if someone had told me this game would come to be.
So now I'm fucking addicted. I haven't even played Castle Crashers of Geometry Wars 2, because I just want to go jump on roofs and collect orbs and barely even notice the horrible disc screeching while the game streams. Fortunately I hear the whole main game is quite short and when it's done, I hope to get back to my regularly scheduled programming. Now if I can just get a few more orbs first...