On The Download Issue 10: What Is Cheating And When Is It Okay?
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On The Download Issue 10: What Is Cheating And When Is It Okay?

As gamers the temptation to cheat has been dangled in front of us for decades. Capcom and other companies gave us button combinations built into their games to give us extra lives or goofy characters, some games allowed us to "unlock" things like invincibility by beating a game, and others just had a gameshark or other outside device to alter our gameplay. But, is it sometimes okay to cheat? And what is cheating, anyway? This week I examine the possibility that it's okay to cheat with a buddy, as long as it's consensual and controlled.

For the purposes of On the Download, I will be mostly addressing the use of the internet with games. There are a variety of sources online that offer full achievement and trophy lists that reveal those pesky hidden rewards, as well as walkthroughs for finding items and tricks for unlocking those achievements or trophies from your games. Some gamers will say this is an absolute no-no. Others will go so far as to say that viewing the achievement list of a game in the game itself is cheating.

My philosophy with this is that it's okay to check the in-game stuff, but the online lists, tricks, or hints should be saved until after the game is finished. So, after playing quite a lot of Crackdown's DLC co-op, we started trying to get a few of the achievements from the DLC. Spoilers for those who can't read achievement lists: One of those achievements was pinning 5 enemies to one car with the harpoon gun, another was going through the time trials and defeating each boss on "Psychotic" difficulty. We even tried a few of the other achievements that seemed simple enough, like throwing something other than a grenade over 205 feet, or "bowling" with an observatory globe.

All of these things vexed us when we simply read the description from the in-game menu. "Pin 5 guys to a car with a harpoon? We got this," and we tried for nearly an hour with no success. We did this for most of these, except the time trials one. That achievement just sounded unattainable to us. So, I did a little research into how to get these achievements. Is this cheating? I guess it depends. We had already completed the main campaign, and spent a good amount of time afterwords trying to collect our rightful achievement bounty, so I'd almost say it's not quite cheating.

After doing a bit of research we tried a few of the hints given to us by various websites, some of them worked better than others, but the result was excellent. We combined our play-styles with the recommendations of a few helpful internetters to get several more hours out of the world of Crackdown together, and even learned a few interesting things. Including but not limited to: The DLC has harpoons. C'mon, HARPOONS! Amazing.

You see, when playing a game of co-op, all of the DLC weapons and achievements show up on both players lists, even if one player does not own the DLC pack. So, a helpful hint of my own: if you get a chance to play Crackdown again, play with someone who owns the DLC so you can get those achievements without buying it. To me, this is how DLC should work. Is this cheating? Well, I'll let you decide.


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