Game Review: Crackdown 2: Toy Box DLC
Release: September 2 (DLC)
Developer: Ruffian Games
Available Platforms:Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: Rated M
When I played Crackdown 2, I was seriously concerned about the fate of this DLC. Crackdown 2, in my opinion, wasn’t nearly as good as the original. It seems like the developers hit Copy, Paste, then used the Burn tool judiciously. The game had been streamlined, sure, but it was streamlined into oblivion. Unfortunately, you weren’t taken to Cyrodil. (HA HA ELDER SCROLLS JOKE) But the Toy Box DLC really dispelled my fears that this game won’t be supported as well as its predecessor, which had the best DLC support of 2007. Valve games are the exception, as we all know.
The first game’s DLC consisted of two packs. There was a free pack which added a couple of features, including the Keys to the City mode, which I still played in co-op right up until the sequel’s release. It was a cheat mode on steroids, letting one basically do everything, forever. Then, a premium pack which added new vehicles, weapons, races, and a lot of multi-player modes. It was amazing. Best part: if you played with someone who had the pack, and you didn’t have it you could still play with those new toys! It was great.
Now comes the rough equivalent of the Crackdown 1 DLC, with the first of Crackdown 2’s two planned DLC, named Toy Box. Again, the pack is split in two, with a free and a paid component for 560 MSP ($7 USD, $7.38 CAD, €5.45). There’s no reason not to get the free component, so I’ll discuss it first.
Keys to the City is back, and this time, it’s better than ever, they add a shortcut to max out all your skills (including the Super Agility and Super Strength), which saves a nice bit of time. You can turn off Cell, Freaks, Peacekeepers, have them all ignore you, or have them all destroy you. Where the CD2 improvements really shine is in the spawn menu. You can spawn any object in the game ever forever all the way across the sky. Individual enemies, weapons, toys, explosives, citizens, vehicles, Keys to the City literally makes Pacific city your toy box.
Next is the new multi-player mode, Vehicle Tag. If you’ve played Rocket Tag in a Crackdown game (possibly in our P*N Community Playdate for Crackdown 2), you know the basic gist. There’s an orb placed in an arena. Everyone spawns in vehicles, and whomever grabs the orb is hunted down by the other players to tag them by running into them. What’s nice compared to Rocket Tag, is that it’s not so boomy and explody around the orb. When someone grabs the orb, they are given a few seconds of invulnerability to run away, which is pretty necessary in this mode, far moreso than in Rocket Tag.
Also, as a gift to players who hit “Level 6” (maxed out their top level skillz), one gets Thruster Boots, which propel you up into the air. They’re sweet, and give you enough lift to deploy and fly with the Wingsuit. Bonus: you can light enemies on fire with them when you’re low to the ground.
In the premium pack, instead of getting a toy box, you’re just getting a lot of toys. You get the Mass Driver, which is effectively a Gravity Gun from Half-Life, and a whole slew of grenade-slot items: Stickler Grenades, which bounce around and leave behind grenades on each bounce, Portable Launch pads (you know those purple pads from multi-player?). Set your own jumps! You also get access to the thruster boots before Level 6, but you also have to give up a grenade spot.
The DLC also adds vehicles. Two of them, to be precise. The Agency ATV, which is kind of like a fusion of the Agency Tank and the Agency SUV, on account of its firepower and its stick-to-the-road ability. It is also amphibious, and can drive around the water like you’re taking a Duck tour. Finally, the Agency Squad Chopper is added. Not only is this useful because you can now get helicopters anywhere, but it also seats four, each with their own weapon. It rules the skies.
But can I recommend this pack? I can’t say for sure. The new stuff is pretty sweet, but $7 for what is just a small weapons pack? For $10, Realtime Worlds gave us double the weapons, and tons more features. A lot of those features seemed tacked-on (did anyone play Stockpile?), but what was there was as good, if not better than this pack. Then again, it’s cheaper than the original pack. Here’s what I say: if you have a regular Crackdown co-op group, and someone already has it, and you don’t feel bad about being a cheapskate, don’t buy it. But if you don’t have someone like that, and you really want those newfangled fun things (let me tell you: the Mass Driver is super-cool. You can fly using it with a little ingenuity), then pick it up, especially if you have some MSP anyway.