Crackdown Xbox 360

Crackdown Xbox 360
Ask the Scottish creator of Crackdown about Grand Theft Auto and he’ll probably get pissed (despite having developed the original top-down GTA games). Maybe not quite throw-a-car-at-your-head angry, but pretty close. Yet when something becomes that genre-defining, well, it’s their sandbox and everyone else just programs in it. So how is Crackdown different? For starters, you’re a cop. A violence-prone supercop, actually, one that is eventually able to jump tall buildings in a single bound, toss autos with the greatest of ease and slay gangbangers like it ain’t no thing. Another major game play shift is the elimination of novelistic storytelling via missions and sarcastic social commentary. Perhaps based on the theory that freedom doesn’t mean a thing if you still have to follow a linear path to progress, Crackdown has done away with set tasks. Instead, you’re simply plopped into a gorgeously drawn but far less satirical city where you must track down and destroy a series of gang leaders and their countless lackeys. It’s most definitely a blast to dip in and out of but the lack of an over-arcing narrative — this game’s clearly built for the gun-happy guys who spent their time in San Andreas staging shopping mall massacres — there’s no real goal to work towards. They get around that a little by enabling you to build up your skills RPG-style, so you can jump higher, throw farther and kill faster. But as fun as Crackdown is for a fairly long time — and it hardly needed the promise of a free Halo 3 Beta test to sell copies — eventually this sandbox starts to feel a little empty. (RealTime World/Microsoft)