Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Crackdown (XBOX 360) with Halo 3 Beta

- I played the demo for about 45min.
- 1.25gb download.
- Loving this game so far. I've already got my pre-order in. I took down the first gang leader and a few resupply points but I haven't noticed any interiors. Does this game support gun fights/missions inside of buildings? That was one of the cool things about Saints Row.
- I can't figure out how to shoot while driving. Could they have possibly left this out of the game? Maybe you need a certain weapon proficiency or maybe a specific weapon.
- Renderware engine looks nice but I can't help but wonder how it would look using something like the Unreal engine. I usually don't like cell shaded games but this one actually looks pretty good.
- The lock on system works ok. It's better than GTA but I think Saints Row still does gun play better. It's nice that once you lock on you can aim for specific body/car parts. You can also manually aim while sniping.
- The demo has accelerated attribute power up progression. This is where the game really shines. They really nailed the big jumps and super strength letting you throw around big objects. There is a lot of vertical scale to this game. It's a bit like a puzzle trying to figure out how to reach some of the higher placed power up orbs.
- I miss the GPS that Saints Row had.
- It has jump in/jump out co-op that I still need to try.

Definitely go check out the demo. I thought it was very impressive. I just wish they would have stole some of the better ideas from Saints Row.

UPDATE: 02/20/07
I just picked up the retail copy. I'll have more impressions soon. If you were curious here is how the halo 3 beta items look. On the outside of the box is a sticker:

and the card on the inside of the box:

UPDATE: 2/21/07
- a bit over 4 hrs of play. Single player only. I want to level up my character before doing some co-op.
- Finished killing off all of the Los Muertos gang, all attributes at 2 stars except driving is at 1 star. My agility is just a couple of orbs shy of three stars.
- I highly recommend you level up to 2 stars on agility before you really start taking out the gang bosses. Try and mix in melee kills with guns and explosives so you can level all those attributes up to 2 stars rather quickly. It doesn't take too long to get to 2 stars. 3 stars takes quite a bit longer. Time trials are also a good way to level up strength, explosives, and firearms.
- Finding orbs are just addicting. The mesh between the best of acrobatic platforming (think Prince of Persia X 10 meets blade meets the matrix) with sand box makes a really simple yet addicting game play element. Getting the secret orbs helps all your attributes not just agility. This game is as much a platformer as it is a sand box gta clone.
- Once you up agility enough you run and jump so fast it's almost not worth driving much. It's just quicker to leap around the city.
- Try and grab a grenade launcher early and stash it into a resupply point so you can use it at any time. It's the easiest way to level up explosives. Also, watch out for collateral damage since killing innocents will lower your rating.
- Driving felt a bit too floaty for me. I think saints row really nailed the driving physics for a gta style game.
- Draw distances are incredible, frame rate is good most of the time.
- I think if you save the races for until after you clean out that part of the city it should be easier since there won't be any hit squads coming after you.
- Save at anytime, and it also auto saves at key moments in the game. There is very little penalty for death. Since there aren't any "instanced" long chain missions (like gta and saints row) there is ZERO frustration when you die. You just jump back over and try to take out the boss with a different approach (and there are always several options available depending your your attribute levels). I never finished gta because of the frustrating rigid mission structure. Saints row improved on that but there were still some missions you had to replay over and over. This game doesn't have that issue. You never have to repeat a set chain of objectives just because you failed the last one in the chain. Here you are just tasked to take out these gang bosses in any order and in any way you see fit. This makes a HUGE difference and really separates this game from all the other gta clones.
- When playing co-op, only the host is actually completing the game. The person that joins is helping the host clean up the host's city.
- No load times once in the city.
- I've learned to like the auto targeting system more. Zooming and targeting the head makes a big difference (love that sniper rifle). I also like that once you are locked on you can jump/move any way you want and it doesn't affect accuracy that much (crouching does give you a bonus to accuracy). So you can make these hulk like jumps while targeting and taking out multiple targets while in the air then land in the middle of a mob. When you land hard you crack the ground (oh yeah you have to fall pretty darn fall to get yourself killed). Let loose a few roundhouse kicks then toss a few grenades. It's all seamless, and all these abilities just work great together.
- You have a pretty tough shield that auto regenerates just like in halo. It's a pretty tough shield and will take multiple targets concentrating firepower on you before it goes down. Just make sure you hide and recharge if it gets low because once that shield goes down your health drops off rather quickly. Health will also recharge but at a slower rate.
- One of the few games that gives you a real sense of vertigo.
- Not much of a story.
- I wish activities like races, etc showed up on the map. I still miss the saints row awesome gps/map system.

VERY HIGHLY recommended!!!

UPDATE: 2/22/07
- played another 2-3hrs this time co-op.
- So somebody joined in and helped me pretty much finish the Volk. It was really smooth and ran problem free until near the end of our couple of hours of play. We were down to the final main kingpin on the the oil rig. Not only would the boss not spawn but neither of us could trigger the dossier. I walked all around the oil rig and the enemies would never spawn. We tried leaving the area for a while and came back but still no luck. After quiting the game and going back in solo sure enough the dossier triggered immediately and I was able to complete the mission.
- I like how in co-op the orbs are tracked completely independently. You only see the orbs you have left to collect and the other player only sees his orbs left to collect.
- Music is entirely forgettable.
- I'm level 3 agility,strength, and explosives. I've got a ton of agility orbs to go collect now.

UPDATE: 2/23/07
Another late night with crackdown (about 3hrs from 12:30am - 3:30am). Dang this game is addicting!
- Agility, strength, explosives are all at 4 stars now. firearms and driving are still at 2 stars.
- Agility hit 4 stars right around 300 agility orbs and 60 secret orbs (cleared most of the visible orbs in Los Muertos and Volk). I have not completed any races yet so this is just from orb collecting.
- Working on the Shai Gen. 2 bosses down so far.
- Favorite weapons: firefly rocket launcher, HMG-90, Cluster Grenade. You can get the hmg-90 in the Volk. Firefly (guided rockets) and cluster grenades I picked up in Shai Gen. Head to the top right of the map. Grab the supply point. There should be a low level boss in a giant dome. You should be able to get the cluster grenades in there. After I finished that boss and went back to the supply point a bunch of gang members spawned with firefly rocket launchers. You'll know if they have them b/c I got hit 3 times in mid air before I even knew what happened.
- I picked up a few achievements.
- For body juggler I started with a body on top of a building. Throw it up in the air. Shoot 5 firefly rockets after it. Done.
- Shot-putter: just throw a body off a tall building
- global impact took a while since the guys kept dodging
- high flyer/base jumper: took me a while the first time. Once you get to the stairs of the first tower look up and see where the catwalks don't overlap. Just jump up to the next set of catwalks and then run around the tower and jump over to the second tower. The rest was pretty easy. Now I can make the trip in under 5 min (which is the race time). The base jump is pretty easy since you've got a good few seconds of free fall to guide yourself into that little pond.

UPDATE: 2/25/07
- 4 stars on all 5 stats
- completed 33/43 achievements. The only other achievement I might go for is master agent.
- Once completed you can head back into the city with either enemies or no enemies.
- The points help push me over the 1500 gamer points I needed to complete the old spice challenge so I cashed in on my level 2 awards.

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