Crackdown 2

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Crackdown 2 Game Poster Image
Parents recommend
Bloody super-cop shooter sequel for mature gamers.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 25 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

"You are the judge, jury and executioner" says the game's marketing materials and as with the first Crackdown, this is indeed the case -- with a strong emphasis on execution. You're a "good guy" trying to take down the "bad guys," so you might think the message is a good one, but the amount of violence in which players engage can't be easily justified. What's more, your Agent's assumed "good guy" status is called into question as the story progresses.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game puts players in the boots of an Agent, a cop out to stop two warring factions -- the Freaks and the Cell -- from destroying Pacific City and risking the lives of innocents. But you go about this task by taking on deadly missions to blow up, shoot, and eliminate these human (and humanoid) characters. Plus, narrative hints suggest that the organization for which our Agent works might not be not be as benevolent as it claims. Therefore, the lead protagonist is not a good role model.

Ease of Play

The game is fairly easy to pick up and control, plus it gradually introduces players to new moves and abilities over time. Players will learn to navigate the city, including many vertical levels, as well as many vehicles, collect orbs and try out new and creative ways to snuff enemies.


In Crackdown 2 players take on the role of an Agent who has free reign to crush mutant freaks and gangsters in Pacific City. This includes using guns and other weapons, setting off explosions, and other over-the-top carnage. Blood sprays and limbs and gobs of flesh go flying off enemies. Innocent civilians are killed by both baddies and the player's character. For example, you can drive into pedestrians and you'll see a huge spray of blood from the crowd.


Characters can be heard saying "f--k," "s--t," "asshole," "bitch," "hell," and "damn." It's not too excessive but it doesn't take long to hear this strong profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crackdown 2 is violent, gory, and bloody. If the picture on the cover of the box -- which depicts one Agent firing down from a building rooftop and another leaping with a concrete block, as if to pounce on someone's head -- doesn't give it away then take heed of the ESRB's "Mature" warning in the corner. As an Agent, players must sweep the streets of crime. It sounds noble enough, but instead of apprehending the criminals you are blasting them away -- and seeing bloody bits fly and spatter the environment. Clearly, this game is not for kids. Sometimes you're killing human-like baddies (The Cell) or mutant creatures (The Freaks) that don't look human, but parents should know both exist in this game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMr.Joyus January 30, 2012

Good for mature kids

This game is a bit gory but it would not effect you at all it is so cartoony that it is not disturbing, the language is....well, ok for a kid as long as he/she... Continue reading
Adult Written byvern4 August 20, 2011

frickin good

it is really frikin awsome
Kid, 9 years old December 3, 2010
This Game Is From Neopets
Teen, 14 years old Written bycon56zef February 12, 2020

let down sequal

to be honest it is good but no where near as good as the first one... id recommend just playing the 1st one instead

What's it about?

The sequel to the blockbuster 2007 game, CRACKDOWN 2 delivers an action-heavy open-world experience for Xbox 360 owners in which players assume the role of an Agent -- a super-cop, of sorts -- on the dangerous streets of Pacific City, ten years after the first game. You’re tasked with controlling (read: destroying) two warring factions, the Freaks (mutants) and The Cell (terrorists). As a sandbox game, you can take on any objective in any order you like (and explore the city to find the best approach to the task), collect orbs and unlock more powerful weapons, vehicles and abilities (such as jumping from rooftop to rooftop or throwing huge objects). As with the first game there’s a heavy online focus, and this sequel boasts many cooperative and competitive modes from which to choose.

Is it any good?

Yes, it’s a solid “B”-grade game, but fans of the original Crackdown should be aware that developer Ruffian Games didn’t add too much to this sequel. Except for some new multiplayer options and other minor tweaks, it really is just more of the same. Those expecting a new direction for the series might be disappointed. Also, the missions become repetitive after a short while.

That being said, the game’s over-the-top gameplay, emphasis on verticality, tight control, and colorful art style all help make this action game a good pick – especially for those who prefer taking to the streets alongside (or against) friends online. Crackdown 2 won’t be one of the best games of 2010, but it delivers a lot of gratifying gameplay for mature Xbox 360 owners.

Online interaction: The game supports a number of multiplayer game modes -- including four-player co-op and 16-player competitive play. Gamers with a headset microphone can chat during gameplay if desired, which means it's possible to hear profanity spoken by others as well as communicate with strangers in online matches.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether they're happy with game franchises that simply maintain the status quo. Many players have expressed disappointment that this sequel does not differ significantly from its predecessor. Do you expect/want to see series evolve or receive an entirely new spin from one game to the next?


  • Families can also discuss the violence in the game. Why do some players find violent games enjoyable? What makes the violence in a game like this inappropriate for everyone but adults?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Microsoft Studios
  • Release date: July 6, 2010
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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