aka: Riot Act
Moby ID: 26725
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It's time to take back the streets! With Pacific City under the iron grip of three ruthless gangs: Los Muertos, the Volk, and the Shai-Gen Corporation; the last hope rests on The Agency, a highly skilled group of law enforcers. But the situation is dire, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Using technology from one of Shai-Gen's scientists, The Agency is creating superhuman Agents to combat the crime and take back the city. With constantly evolving skills which increase as you use them, you've certainly got the upper hand... but these gangs won't give back Pacific City without a fight!

Crackdown is an action game from the creator of Grand Theft Auto; and presents the player with the fully explorable world of Pacific City. Your main goal is to defeat the gangs that have taken over various parts of the city. You're quite welcome to tackle each gang's head honcho straight off; however, it's to your advantage to take down the lower rungs in the gang ladder before you head for the top. Doing so will cripple various parts of the gang, such as vehicles, cash flow, and new recruits.

Your Agent can upgrade particular types of skills: Agility - your running speed and jump height; Driving - your control of different types of vehicles; Explosives - your skill and damage radius of explosives; Strength - your physical strength, which allows you to punch, as well as lift and throw heavier objects; and Weapons - your skill and accuracy with assorted types of weaponry. Each type of skill is increased by performing the associated action. Drive around and your Driving skill will increase, punch people in the face or throw garbage skips at them to increase your strength, and keep up the shooting to improve your weapon skills. Agility is measured differently - scattered throughout Pacific City are green Agility Orbs. Nab these, and your Agility will increase. The higher up the orb is, the more it's worth. You can also increase your Driving and Agility skills even further via special races which can be found around the city.

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Credits (Xbox 360 version)

176 People (153 developers, 23 thanks) · View all

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Average score: 82% (based on 63 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 46 ratings with 6 reviews)

For the few of us who didn't like GTA III, possibly

The Good
I'm surprised to say I'm quite taken with Crackdown, a game which sounded in premise like a lot of other games I dislike. After talking with a friend of mine who, like me never saw what the fascination was with Grand Theft Auto III, I downloaded the demo and was nearly instantly hooked. I will do my best to put my finger on precisely what it is that wins me over in Crackdown that GTA never managed.

Firstly, the obvious one - the graphics are really stellar. Use of color is varied and vibrant (especially for a game of this type), animations are excellent, textures are possibly over-slick and slightly unrealistic, but it's still a great looking game. Secondly, the powering up of your character really helps to keep the game interesting to me. Acquiring orbs and the ability to run faster, jump to insane heights and the like sort of includes a super-hero element that GTA never had. Thirdly, while both games are "open" and allow you to do whatever you want whenever you want, Crackdown just feels more purpose-driven and less pointlessly exploratory somehow. Admittedly, all of the missions that are piped in really boil down to "Now kill this guy" or "Now kill this gal", and they're not very interesting in and of themselves, but it does keep the game moving at a good pace somehow.

And one final thing that's hard to truly pin down - I really liked how believable the world is in Crackdown in little ways, and how dynamic the events are. As a car of gangsters pulls up, I start shooting at it. The car stops, and two or three baddies get out and we have at it with some gunplay. Possibly, a car or two of police officers shows up to help out. Possibly, a car or two of gangsters arrive to heighten the battle. Often, it becomes a scene of real carnage and destruction, all at random. You often come across scenes of battle between gang members and police, and can pass it by or stop and join in. Throw a grenade into the fray for fun, or run right in and start using some melee attacks, or drive on by if you choose. It's all very intriguing, very free and yet not aimless or pointless.

The Bad
I did think that nearly all of the music in Crackdown stunk. I realize that the music may possibly be appropriate for the area you're in, but I just personally can't stand 99% of the tracks they've selected. They're all in the metal / rap fusion category which I often like, but just not in these cases. I wish the game gave you more choices for music style, but it's easy to get over as I spent a lot of the game on foot when there's not much music anyways.

The Bottom Line
In all, I'm surprised by how much I like Crackdown. It doesn't seem on any level to be my kind of game, and yet I find myself playing it a lot. It's easy and fun to hop into, shoot some baddies for a while, climb some buildings and leap from rooftop to rooftop, clear out an area of town from crime, get in a fancy car and smash it up, level up the character and take out more baddies.

Xbox 360 · by Greg Mitchell (37) · 2007

Parkour the Safe Way

The Good
In Crackdown you are a genetically engineered cop with the task of breaking down three criminal gangs controlling Pacific City. Genetic engineering has given you superhuman abilities: the ability to jump incredible lengths and land safely, inhuman running speed, incredible strength that allows you to pick up cars and throw them at your enemies and so on. You will also improve your five core skills (agility, driving, shooting, strength, explosives) by using these skills or by other means, such as collecting orbs. There are 500 agility orbs (which, as the name implies, increase your agility) and 300 hidden orbs which give a small boost to each skill. But there are many other ways of improving these skills, as well, most important being killing gang members and by finishing certain tasks and achievements. These skills have a profound effect on game play. Agility, for instance, increases your jump height which allows you to reach even higher locations.

The logical way of getting rid of these gangs is to start by killing the lower level bosses first because this weakens the bigger bosses. By killing the guy responsible for the gang's weapons, for instance, means that their bodyguards are less heavily armed. Killing the guy doing the recruiting decreases the numbers and so on. But there's nothing stopping you from starting from the top if you want, it's just a lot harder. Once all the bosses are dead you still need to destroy a stronghold and after that the gang is no more and the streets of that part of the city are safe again. Repeat this three times and you have finished the game!

You can also pretty much choose your preferred method of entry: you can crash through the front, sneak in from the back or maybe jump across rooftops. In any case you will meet quite a few enemies, this guy is no 47 (from the Hitman series). Machine guns, rocket launchers and grenades along with fists and feet are the chosen tools of his profession. Most guns have to be confiscated from the gangs first and brought to a supply point before they are available. And these supply points also have to be freed first before they can be used. Or you can also do hand-to-hand combat either with your hands and feet or with items found lying around. After a while these can, as previously stated, include even cars and other heavy stuff.

In between razing the gangs the player can also collect those orbs, do rooftop or car races, try car acrobatics or stunt jumps, hijack gang vehicles and so on. Most orbs are in pretty easy places, but some of the races can be quite tricky to finish in time to get the achievement.

What really sets Crackdown apart from other FPS's is that this game is truly 3D - you will be scaling the height of Pacific City unlike you have ever done. The height difference is dizzying and you can really feel when jumping from one building to another in your stomach. This is the best simulation of parkour I have ever seen, nothing even gets close. And it's surprisingly interesting. You find yourself jumping across rooftops just because it's fun. Imagine being at the top of a 200 feet building and jumping across the street to another, 100 feet high building, only just making the distance. And this is not just a gimmick, you can use this ability to help you defeat the gangs, too. There are lots of places which the enemy can't reach, these are perfect to heal yourself or just simply ambush the enemy. Just beware of those pesky grenades. There is just something in the fact that you are not tied to certain approaches, just come up with your own! After this game any game where you have to go from point A to point B to point C looks unimaginative. And the controls really help moving around, the agent automatically grabs ledges and the controls are responsive. It's easy to jump, turn and fire a few rockets mid air and land on small platform.

Co-op is also supposed to be great fun, although I haven't tried it yet.

The Bad
Controls are almost perfect, but only almost. Sometimes you are left wondering why you couldn't grab a ledge, and there is no simple way of looking up, which would be very useful in this game. The camera also can get funny in small spaces, sometimes the camera is behind the wall, sometimes so close to the character you can't see him, which makes aiming your jumps a bit hard. Cars are also a bit tricky to drive, at least at lower skill levels (I have only reached a one-star rating at this). Most cars seem to slide all over the place and brakes feel weak. In the end I seem to mow down half the civilian population if I try a race.

What really started bugging me in the end, however, was the ridiculous amount of enemies, especially in the last territory. There are so many of them you just get numb after a while. Dozens and dozens of them attacking you. Running through the streets you are shot all the time, no point in shooting back because you'd never get to where you were going. And trying to jump across the rooftops is even worse because you WILL get hit by rockets. By the time I had three or four bosses left, I was getting bored and had to grind the last ones. This task was not made any more interesting by the fact the last boss was at the top of a very tall skyscraper and the entire way up was defended by gunmen who re-spawned if you died or left the building. I made it to the very top three times just to die and then on the fourth time I killed the last kingpin almost by mistake. This was the time I was happy the game isn't as long as the GTA series, as finishing Crackdown took maybe 20 hours in total, although I hadn't maxed out all my skills.

I also have a small gripe about the music track. You can only listen to it when driving but that's just as well because frankly it's quite bad, at least to my taste.

The Bottom Line
Crackdown is close to being a classic. Little more game play (interesting side quests, rather than just races), slightly better controls and this would be a truly great game. Now it's only a very good one. If you have a friend, then this game will give plenty to play - you can first finish this solo and then co-op and even compete the races and time trials. Even collecting the agility orbs is great fun, even though I usually don't like to do stuff like that (collecting stars in GTA:Vice City was a total bore).

Think GTA with an added dimension but with less side quests and being on the right side of law. There is a sequel coming and even though I got bored at the end I'm going to buy it.

Xbox 360 · by Marko Poutiainen (1151) · 2008

Crackdown, Smackdown, Beatdown......

The Good
Pretty much everything! graphics were pretty cool, gameplay was awesome, I played this game for three weeks straight before I started gettin bored, then.....they added more to it from XBOX Live. running around rooftops with a sniper rifle was my personal favorite.

The Bad
one thing that got old fast was the green orbs, there are way too many to find to gettem all, it was sorta annoying like the pokemon saying, "gotta catchem all" cause the a lotta of them and the mystery orbs too!

The Bottom Line
Crackdown, Smackdown, Beatdown, any of these names would have worked for this game. You get to show lil thug wanna-bes what happens when they cross the line, then when you get bored of that, do the same to civilians, then (lol) when you get bored of that show the cops whos boss.

Xbox 360 · by Lucky 13 (39) · 2007

[ View all 6 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Crackdown appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


The game comes with an invitation for the multiplayer beta of Halo 3.


  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – #10 Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2007 – Robocop of the Year


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  • MobyGames ID: 26725
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Ben K.

Xbox One added by Eufemiano Bullanga.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack, Kennyannydenny.

Game added February 22, 2007. Last modified January 20, 2024.