Monday, June 21, 2010

Crackdown 2 (Demo)

I still think Crackdown is one of the very best games of the current console generation. It was wildly exuberant and incredibly entertaining.

So why don't I like this demo?

If memory serves (often it doesn't), the demo for the original Crackdown started in an amusement park. It was colorful and quite silly, and the world felt incredibly expansive. It felt vast.

The Crackdown 2 demo takes place on the docks, right in the middle of a few thousand packing containers, many stacked in tiers for your convenience. It's claustrophobic.

Shooting in this demo feels quite strange, really--when I shoot, there doesn't seem to be any tangible feedback that I'm hitting or missing something. I just seem to hold down the trigger long enough, and an enemy is dispatched. That's just with a machine gun, so maybe it gets better with a different weapon, or perhaps there's a more advanced targeting mechanism, but the default feels clunky and very, very detached.

The agility orbs are still fun to collect, but my character no longer feels light on his feet when he lands, because the sound effect chosen must have been recorded by an elephant jumping on a tin roof. Seriously, I feel like I must weight five hundred pounds.

Wait, I didn't mean that an elephant jumping on a tin roof recorded the sound. Damn my dangling whatevers.

This is entirely subjective, and like I said, memory often doesn't serve me, but the original Crackdown felt inspired. Compared to that inspiration, this demo feels lacking.

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