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Blog Banter: Why I Couldn’t Beat the Game

April 29, 2008

This is my first post after joining a group of bloggers, lead by bs angel, who write collectively on the same specific topic, pertaining to video games. With many writers and one topic, the results are endless! Any inquiries on Blog Banter should be directed here. Please check out the other articles at the bottom of my post!

There I was, jogging around the streets of Pacific City, and drawn as if I had walked off the pages of a comic book. I was like RoboCop, but much cooler and more badass. The game was Crackdown, and it allowed me to have an entire city at my disposal. Criminals, innocents – I could do as I please!

So of course, five minutes into the game my GTA habits kicked in and I drove around running people over. I put my high jumps to use and scaled buildings like a mini King Kong. And at the top, there it was in front of me – a green orb. Glowing and calling out my name (I was only known as “Agent,” as far as I could remember), it beckoned me. I grabbed it. On the next rooftop I could see another one. I jumped for that too. Before I knew it, orbs consumed my entire gameplay experience. I forgot about the crime on the streets, and my job! And I didn’t care to do my job because I didn’t care about me.

Who the hell was I? A pseudo-superman, probably just a clone sent to do the cops’ work. I worked for “The Agency,” and they were… who? No clue. Crackdown seriously lacked a storyline, and story is what pushes me to play from start to finish. Also, my character had no personality and although his powers advanced gradually, he showed no compassion or remorse for anything I made him do. There were no smiles for taking down bad guys or apologies for accidentally running over pedestrians (because sometimes, it really was an accident).

I never beat Crackdown because the lack of a storyline didn’t encourage me to move on in the game. I took down one gang leader and that was it. All I wanted was a reason to go after the bad guys, because these days, just being a criminal doesn’t warrant me waging a deadly weapon at you.

So that’s where the game ended for me – at the top of a skyscraper, looking out at the city below me. Visually pretty, but after looking closely, I could see people murdering each other, and police needing my help. I jumped, and turned the game off before I could land.

Check out these other Blog Banter articles! Silvercublogger, Unfettered Blather, Triage Effect, Gamer Unit, Delayed Responsibility, Man Bytes Blog, CrazyKinux’s Musing, Zath!, Draining Souls.net, Game Couch, 8-Bit Brigade, thoughts and rants, Hawty McBloggy

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6 comments

  1. Lack of a plot is a pretty glaring error in a game. Lots of people tried to copy GTA’s success without realizing that the plot is pretty integral to the game.

    That was one reason I loved Vice City so much. Not only was I Tommy Vercetti, but everything revolved around me getting the drugs and money back that were stolen at the start of the game.


  2. I loved Crackdown myself, mostly because I could choose my own narrative and the “missions” were just part of the world, unlike GTA or Mercenaries that had missions in the world but pulled you out of the sandbox and back into normal linear gameplay.

    I think it could have used a stronger focus though. While one of my favorite games, Crackdown is still inferior to Mercenaries in my eyes simply because Mercenaries was goal oriented enough to keep the player moving forward.

    I finished Crackdown, something I never bothered with GTAIII, Vice City, or Saint’s Row. I still felt like the lack of a coherent narrative hurt the game. Great, let me make all the choices, but a little motivation would have been nice as well.

    I also think the agility orbs actually hurt game immersion to, but that might be a different topic altogether.


  3. Lol at the ending!

    I played Crackdown too.
    I completed it, but wow was it boring and repetitive.


  4. P.S. – Welcome to blog blanter! ^_^


  5. Story lines are so very important, which is one of the reasons why I am looking forward to playing BioShock. It sounds like that game in particular has an engaging story with well developed characters. How often does that happen? Clearly not in Crackdown, eh?

    One game I didn’t complete due to the lack of an interesting story line was Lost Planet. It really was a fun game that had a quick learning curve, but you never cared about where the story was going or what the characters were doing. It’s a shame more priority is not given to something so basic.


  6. Being currently so game-focused on EVE Online, I truly miss the storyline driven RPG of the good old days. Baldur’s Gate II was one of those truly immersive games.

    I only hope that CCP’s acquisition of White Wolf will bring a bit of that storyline and lore magic into EVE.



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