So I played the first Crackdown on my Xbox and loved the series. If you don’t know what it is, I’ll break it down really quick. Imagine you were playing Grand Theft Auto, but instead of being an abnormally awesome gangster, you’re a super human cop that can jump across several sky scrapers while firing rocket launchers. What is even more awesome about the world of Crackdown is that the world is already in a shit storm of chaos when you enter the game. The gangs run everything and strange corporate genetic experiments have created something they call “freaks” out of want for originality, but it’s basically just hardcore 28 Days Later style zombies with some Resident Evil mutation thrown in. But this is not about the series console counterparts. Microsoft’s software division took platform to mind in building this game and it’s one of the best smartphone game experiences I’ve had yet. Even if you don’t buy it, the game is definitely worth the trial.
The basic premise of the game is that the “freaks” have broken out across the world and you have to set up bases to defend your location. Now when I say “your” location, I mean it. The game pulls up your location via GPS and the game plays out as a layer over Bing maps. Android has a game called “Zombie, Run” that has a similar GPS based game play, but is not tower defense. I’d link you to it but I can’t browse the Android market in its entirety from my PC. Lame. Anyway, like I said this is tower defense. You set up a base at a real live location on Bing maps. You can search for locations as well. I have a base set up where I’m staying, at the Best Buy I work at (terrible idea because there are so many roads,) and one at my mom’s house. The zombies and other enemies run down actual streets to get to your base and you’re able to build turrets based on the bases and your level.
Leveling up the base takes around 8 hours for the first level so this game is something that basically operates at all times once you’ve started the upgrades. Gaining base levels allows you to build more turrets, further away from the base, with stronger defenses. There are always zombies running around in good numbers but they also come in concentrated waves as well. These waves come complete with larger enemies like larger zombies and another group called “The Cell” that either shoot at you or drive kamikaze vans that blow up your towers and base. It also throws out some missions in the form of saving individuals, supply trucks (different materials needed to upgrade certain towers), other agents, and a handful of others that give you considerably more experience for completing. Experience allows you to level up your own character level, which gives you access to higher turret levels. There are 8 different types of turrets and at least four different kinds of enemies that I have seen so far. Turrets have both offensive and defensive upgrade levels. The game is pretty simple from a game play perspective. The turrets operate automatically but do a generally crappy job unless you have some Xbox live buddies. If you have enough social skills to have friends you can assign them to individual turrets which makes them more effective and gives you more XP. Nothing is quite as effective as just taking control of the turrets yourself, depending on how dexterous you may be. The game employs multi-touch as well, allowing you to zoom in and out to see more objectives or zombies. It also allows you to pivot the game in whatever orientation you’d like. The whole thing is smoother than melted butter being poured on a lubed up super model’s ass. Trust me, I’m not exaggerating. The game grabs the time when you upgrade so when you start the game back up your towers were still upgrading.
The game is featured right now on the marketplace so it’s easy to find and has a trial you can check out. If you have a WP and 3$ or the ability to give a hand-job then you should have this game. It’s an extremely unique way to tie in the phone’s functionality into the game world. The game play is as simple as any other tower defense games with a few good challenges sprinkled in. The upgrade system keeps you coming back and has plenty of depth to satisfy more demanding gamers. Give it a spin and let me know what you think.