(2007, Xbox 360)
(2007, Xbox 360)
The funny thing about Crackdown was the desperate ploy Microsoft used to sell it. The game came with a code to access the Halo 3 beta, and while it might be easy to forget now that everybody loves Crackdown, at the time the beta was all anybody was talking about. It's even easier to forget now that Crackdown didn't really blow people away at first. A Metacritic score of 83 is good but not great. Most of the complaints seem to be that it's too short lived.
This is why making predictions is a bad idea. Years later, Crackdown is one of very few non-new games that I still take the time to play, and so do some of the people I see on my Live friends list. Yes, you can bomb through the campaign in a relatively short period of time, and powering up your character all the way isn't too arduous, but it seems to me that those reviewers were discounting the staying power of Crackdown's most enjoyable feature: the platforming.
If there were nothing to do in this game except climb buildings looking for agility orbs, it would still be more fun than most games. It's that good. (Unfortunately, I'm still looking for one last agility orb, and the accompanying achievement. Alas!) In the time since it came out, there have been plenty of other games that tried to give you a similar freedom of movement, inFamous and Prototype chief among them, and none of them managed to replicate Crackdown's joy of movement. Every game designer should give his game this test. If you remove everything but the action the player will be performing more than any other, is it still fun?
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