In the original Crackdown, you fought to wrest control of Pacific City from three criminal gangs. Despite your efforts, though, things have gotten worse 10 years later. The remnants of the gangs have coalesced into a terrorist group called The Cell, and a runaway pathogen has turned half the population into vicious Freaks. The once radiant metropolis is crumbling, but your employer, The Agency, has a plan to stop the chaos.
The essence of that plan, called Project Sunburst, is to expose the Freaks to light. First, you have to seize three generators from The Cell; then you have to drop a beacon into one of the Freaks' subterranean strongholds and defend it until it detonates.
Pulling off that mission once is challenging enough. Crackdown 2 asks you to do it nine times, and by the fourth or fifth go-round, you'll start to wonder when the story gets interesting.
You can break the monotony with vehicular side missions, which require you to drive through checkpoints or pull off stunts, but they won't cause the designers of Need for Speed to lose any sleep. There are also hundreds of floating orbs scattered around town; collect enough, and your cop will finally be able to leap from roof to roof (provided he can get on one in the first place).
RATING M for Mature
PLOT It's your job to take down the Freaks
DETAILS Xbox 360, $60
BOTTOM LINE Too many flaws