aka: Riot Act
Moby ID: 26725
Xbox 360 Specs
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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)

A supercop game that delivers

The Good
When I recently got an Xbox 360, I went browsing for deals. Crackdown was a game I wouldn't have got unless it was quite cheap. All I knew about it was that it was compared to Grand Theft Auto and was initially a big deal because it let players into a Halo 3 beta. However, the chance to try out a B-tier open world game on a high-def console for $10 seemed fair enough, so I went for it. I'm so glad I did. While the freedom is GTA-esque, in many ways Crackdown is like Grand Theft Auto in reverse.

Let me apologize if I go too heavy on GTA comparisons, but as it's by far the most popular game of this type and the one I've spent most time with, it seems the obvious way to frame things.

In Crackdown you don't follow a set mission structure. In fact, you could try to complete the game's main objectives almost immediately. However, you will probably fail. Your ultimate goal is to take out the leaders of Pacific City's three main gangs, but at the beginning they'll be heavily guarded. By taking out the lesser gang generals and kingpins (in any order you please), the gang will become less powerful and the final gang leader less well protected. This actually reminds me of the way battles work in the Dynasty Warriors series, but in this case it's on a much larger scale.

In GTA you can improve certain stats, but it's a fairly gradual thing. Crackdown kicks it up a very enjoyable notch. At the beginning the Agent you control will run and jump much like any game character, but as his agility increases through several levels he'll be able to run the speed of slow cars and jump dozens of feet. He'll go from being able to throw a trash can to being able to throw a truck. Other stats that improve are gunmanship, explosives, and driving. Eventually you get to feeling like quite the superhero. When I think Crackdown, I think racing along the city bounding from rooftop to rooftop and having a blast doing so.

GTA's on-foot and shooting controls have always been a bit clunky. Luckily since Crackdown is more action-packed and with a more agile and able character, the controls keep up. I'm more of an RPG guy, but after a while I was having no problem leaping around, targeting and taking out gang members in mid-jump, or smacking them around physically if they approached while I was reloading. Speaking of things that help me as more of an RPG guy, the game has multiple difficulty levels, though they still try to make one feel manly by naming the easiest "Tough". So whereas in many action game I'll just reach a point where I'm stuck forever, I was able to get through Tough without it seeming either taxing or patronizing.

In GTA you gain new weapons for your hideouts by finding hidden packages throughout the city. In Crackdown it's much more natural. You find a new weapon, you carry it back to one of your supply points, and now it will be available from any supply point. However, that doesn't necessarily make it easy--if you want a certain fancy rare rocket launcher, you'll first have to find someone who has it, take them out, drop one of the two weapons you can hold at a time in exchange for it, and then make it back to a supply point without being killed. There are still hundreds of objects hidden throughout the city to gather, but they have to do with increasing player stats.

As Crackdown is the first X360 or PS3 game I've spent many hours with, I'm not in the best position to compare the game to its peers in a technical sense. However, I can say this is the type of upgrade I prefer to see from a new generation. It's not uncommon for developers to get a more powerful system, but just go so wild that the frame rate still has problems. Not Crackdown. The frame rate is always great. The draw distance is near infinite. Unlike last-gen GTA games, you won't just have a few types of cars on screen at once, which disappear when you get a few dozen feet away--things stay in place pretty much until you've forgotten they were there. It's rare to find a texture that gets blurry. And as a matter of preference, I really like the outlined look objects have, rather than trying for photo-realism.

It's worth noting that the game has online multiplayer and for-pay downloadable content that promise more fun, but neither of which I tried.

The Bad
I've put above many of the ways being a reverse GTA can be good, but it sometimes can mean things that worked in GTA don't here.

One is driving. It feels largely superfluous. There are street races, but the driving controls themselves don't seem fun enough to bother with them. Perhaps they'd feel better if I leveled my driving stat higher. Going fast usually means some unintentional citizen casualties, which is sort of frowned upon in this game since we're supposed to be playing the side of law and order. The music also didn't strike me as worth listening to, and there's no attempt at things like fake commercials or radio station identities to keep you interested. Luckily, since the running and jumping is so great in this game, there's almost never a need to get in a car to go where you're going. It might just be more fun to carry it there.

Another is mission variety. In a game like GTA, you have actual varying mission types. Maybe you need to get in a car and knock someone else's vehicle off the road. Maybe a gun shootout. Maybe tail someone. Maybe drive a boat to various destinations. Not always handled well, but certainly mixes things up. In Crackdown almost everything boils down to infiltrating an area full of little gang goons until you reach the big gang goon and take them out. Doing so is plenty of fun, but it gets to being largely the same thing in a new location. The freedom you have can in some ways make it seem like the game designers wasted their time, as well. One gang general in particular looked to have a heavily guarded entrance, so I swam around to the back and the general was almost completely unprotected.

If there's one thing I really appreciate in GTA that's not here, it's just... messing around, maybe getting chased. In Crackdown, you can't really just pick on a civilian; you either do nothing or strike them, which in the latter case means killing them since you're such a superman. The law officials don't look kindly on that, but neither will they chase you around. I know it's not fair to expect this of every open world game, but as someone who gets a big kick out of doing that when it's there, it's worth mentioning to you readers that it's not. So when you've cleared out the gangs and everything is peaceful... well, it can be a little TOO peaceful. Though you can always use the menu to reset the gang members to try for them again.

The Bottom Line
This game was a real blast to play, and at the prices it goes for now if you've cared enough to check out my review of it this far you'd probably enjoy trying it out.

It's worth noting that I think the star rating attached to this review is I think a little low. Most of the categories I gave lower scores to are things that I didn't think were very important in the game, and so didn't detract from things to just be there rather than special. My pick for "Personal Slant" was the full 5.

Xbox 360 · by Joshua J. Slone (4666) · 2009

1/4 Spider-man, 1/4 GTA, 1/4 Mercenaries, and 1/4 True Crime = Crackdown. Crackdown = Awesome.

The Good
The free form game, or "sandbox" game, is an interesting idea for a game, the ability to explore an open area and experiment with your surroundings but is not always implemented as well as a gamer such as myself would like such is the case with the GTA franchise, which I never understood the mass appeal for I played it and even though there was some fun to be had I felt that something was missing some sense of what I was doing, more room to experiment with the game’s “civilization”. Having the ability to do things inside the world to make it feel more real like climb the tallest building and jump off and land in the water, or do what I call “pulling a Navy Seals” in which you ride the back of a truck, or hide the hood of a car and jump off and land in a nearby water mass all these things can be accomplished in Crackdown!

Crackdown, is a free form action adventure title made by Real Worlds, a new development company with Dave Jones. The creator of GTA and Lemmings. Has branched out and made a game like GTA but, much better the game's plot is very loose and simple. You play as a modified agent with superhuman powers for an organization simply called The Agency. And you are tasked with stopping 3 massive criminal organizations who are running amok in Pacific City. Los Muertos, The Volk, and Shei-Gen each gang has low ranking Generals that answer to the kingpin which sort of reminds me of 2005's "Mercenaries", you can try to take down the kingpin right away or get the underlings, crippling the gang and making the final confrontation much easier. And that you can take down the gangs in any order, but you will find it simpler to go in order. Furthermore, you can upgrade your characters abilities which consist of agility, explosive skill, driving, strength, and shooting you can collect agility orbs scattered throughout the city. And you can do checkpoint races, race in your car, run criminals over make sure they are criminals because you lose points for hitting civilians. Shooting bad guys, or melee hitting them you can get so strong you can lift 2 tons!

The missions are very loose all you do is find the crime boss, and go though the area and kill him. Then move on to the next one and unlike in a game like, "Mercenaries" in which there is very little to do aside from missions. In this game playing with the environment can be more fun than the missions sometimes!

I enjoyed the music of this game although it is very little the only music is when you drive around in your car the music is mostly electronica, dance, and hip hop some of the music is international like Hispanic rap.

The graphic style is interesting the character models look like something out of a comic book and the backgrounds like the buildings are traditional polygon graphics and it makes the game look interesting.

The controls and the superpowers are implemented well.

There are also nice additions such as, when driving in your car you switch to the next and previous song, turn the music volume up which is something I wish they had implemented into "True Crime: New York City", which suffered from low song volume.

And there are special cars in the agency garage that can transform as your car skills improve one of the changes looks like the Bat mobile!

The Bad
The problems with this game are basically the fact that certain missions are way harder than other ones. Like how the final kingpin is easier than the earlier gang leaders.

And also the ending has a very ridiculous plot twist which I will admit was not what I was expecting, but still not good.

The A.I. is horrible, the inhabitants never act realistically. It can often even be funny watching how dumb they are.

The Bottom Line
Overall this game is a very rewarding and fun experience that, any Xbox 360 owner should at least take a look at specially if they like the free form game genre.

Xbox 360 · by Classic Nigel (108) · 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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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.