A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.