Crackdown is a franchise that’s built on a hollow structure. It’s unapologetically open-ended, encouraging the player to get distracted by whatever flashes across the screen. Crackdown doesn’t funnel anyone toward anything.
This approach prevents Crackdown itself from being anything more than a distraction. There’s little of substance, as this series willingly trades weighty and meaningful moments for the short-lived-but-constant euphoria of snagging another orb. It’s gaming junk food and that can be perfectly fine as long as no one expects a Michelin-starred meal.