This week's edition of Gamasutra's regular Critical Reception column examines online reaction to Microsoft's Crackdown, a free-roaming action title with strengths in character advancement and in online multiplayer modes.
Crackdown faced controversy in the weeks prior to its release, when it was announced that all retail copies would come bundled with an invitation to the Halo 3 beta test. Some criticized the move as being unfair to consumers, noting that the allure of an early opportunity to play one of the Xbox 360's most anticipated upcoming releases would inflate sales of what could potentially be a mediocre product.
As a result, Crackdown met with close scrutiny from critics, none of whom had the opportunity to be swayed by the as-of-yet unavailable Halo 3 beta test. Even without the advantage of a Halo tie-in, however, Crackdown still manages to rank in at an impressive 84% average review score ratio at Gamerankings.com.