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Crackdown 2
X10: Crackdown 2 Hands Off Preview - Now With Added Mayhem... and Wings
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“It’s blow shit up, that’s what Crackdown’s about,” mused Crackdown 2’s Producer, James Cope, with a somewhat sadistic grin on his face. The funny thing is, you couldn’t help but grin back as Ruffian Games showed off their latest build of their upcoming sandbox title at this year’s X10. The sequel to the sleeper hit of 2007 was stomping onto consoles sometime in 2010, and this time, Ruffian have a solid foundation to build on and they’re going full steam ahead.

Throughout the short 20 minute hands off presentation, Ruffian were keen to push a few of their main features of Crackdown 2; namely the primary objective of the game, the new enemies, the new features and of course, orbs and co-op.

Crackdown 2 takes place in a familiar Pacific City – think Saints Row 2’s “reimagining” of Stillwater, something I still believe is a cheap recycling of assets. It does have a somewhat darker, dingier look though. In a scan of the local area, Cope points out the new skyscrapers in Unity Heights, a decimated Wang’s Tower, plenty of turreted weapons and new purpose built supply points – that can store weapons, refresh ammo and spawn vehicles now. The city though, thanks to an outbreak that we helped fuel in Crackdown 1, is overtaken by what Ruffian like to call, the “freaks” – think mutated beast, zombie hybrids. And it is these freaks that have cast a much darker overtone over Pacific City. The city is a dilapidated and dank cess pit that’s seen better days. That’s where you come in.

The Agency, after a rough few years, have been assigned the task of something Ruffian are calling, Project Sunburst, which is basically the assembly of this giant energy network in order to create an energy bomb that will put an end to the freak’s reign of terror. “You can assemble that network in any order,” added Cope, saying you can expect the same “open ended Crackdown experience” in the sequel. Variety, which was one of the original’s fundamental flaws, has also been tackled. Cope continued, “Absorption units are the things you’re collecting and organising; some of those are like heavily defended, some of them are blocked, you know, it’s about capture/defend, so it gives more variety than just killing bosses over and over again... It’s a much more central focus to the game.”

Don’t think assembling this energy network it going to be easy though, as you’ll have to also contend with a local terrorist group, the Cell, who are hell-bent on stopping the creation of this weapon. “Day and night is really important in Crackdown 2,” stated Cope, “at night the freaks come out; in the daytime the Cell kind of dominate the areas,” so when the sun sets and the environment is under the mask of night, the freaks come out to play.

“Like Crackdown, it’s about penetrating an area of the environment, destroying the enemy and reclaiming it in the name of the Agency,” said Cope as his Ruffian colleague secured a tactical location from Cell dominance in the very first mission. “Crackdown was a very stylistic game,” he continued, “it was very vibrant... In Crackdown 2 we wanted to keep that vibrancy and really go to town on the fidelity... We wanted to have nice lovely sunsets, great contrasting colours; dark and light play a key role.” Whilst Cope is giving this spiel about the game’s new focus on fidelity, the sun sets on Pacific City’s bay in a little awe-inspiring moment as the first mission comes to a close. 

As Ruffian takes the action downtown to show a night time sequence, as the camera pans in, the streets are lined with freaks and the Cell in what can only be described as a mini battle of sorts. What looked like hundreds of freaks ran ragged on the streets in the Unity Heights area – incidentally where the outbreak began – whilst a heavily outnumbered Cell group used all the fire power at their disposal to hold their own.  This escalating conflict and battle for territory is something that you’re going to see a lot of in the final version. While stepping in to dish out your own brand of Agency justice will have no direct impact on the story progression itself, there is hours of fun here alone just using the tools at your disposal to cause oodles of wanton destruction.

So what else can we expect to see new in Crackdown 2? Well of course helicopters are always going to be popular, especially considering that they can hold up to a crew of 4 as well, so they’re perfect for planning an assault... or just group sky-diving. Then there is now the ability to glide, like a flying squirrel if you must. “There is a skill to it” commented Cope, “you have to be able to use the momentum, use the lift... It is gliding, not flying. It’s a real sense of super hero action.” Throw in a handful of new weapons, like the UV Shotgun, that is like a powerful pulse rifle that ripples through the air throwing everything out of its path on the way, and Crackdown 2 is giving you more toys for the wide-open, co-op enabled playground.

It wouldn’t be a Crackdown preview if I didn’t spend a minute to talk about orbs – yes, those equally loved and hated humming spheres of joy. They’ll make a return in Crackdown 2 and they’ll be bigger than ever. In our hands off preview we did notice that there will be indeed another 500 agility orbs to collect, but possibly more interestingly, Cope talked about these new “renegade” orbs. Orbs that will actually run away from you as you try to collect them; an idea that actually pleases the orb hunter in me and is a novel Crackdown-esque approach. Cope likened them to the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter, but being a staunch opposer of all things Potter, I had no idea what he was talking about. Just expect them to be “angrier looking” than the other orbs.

Obviously co-op is a huge part of the Crackdown franchise and with its “completely open” environments and a totally “seamless experience,” it’s plain to see how much importance Ruffian are placing on this element. What’s the best way to show off the co-op? By taking to a helicopter and climbing to a ridiculous altitude and then sky-diving down together; taking advantage of the glide and the dive mechanic on the way down. Super stuff!

Admittedly, I was a huge fan of the original Crackdown and if it wasn’t for the mission structure and general repetitive nature of the title, it would rank as one of my favourite games of this generation. It was fun, had co-op and was all-out mayhem. Whilst we didn’t really see much of the new mission structure in action, hearing about it means we’re hopeful that Crackdown 2 is doing what every great sequel has done recently – I’m talking about Mass Effect 2 and Assassin’s Creed 2 especially – and that’s take some interesting ideas, scrub out the things that didn’t work and mould them into a much more user friendly package. Ruffian sound like they’re on the right path and Microsoft must be rubbing their hands together.

Crackdown 2 is scheduled for a 2010 release. No specific quarter has yet to be named.




 
 

User Comments

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #1 by Puselmuckel
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 06:48:51 PM
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Nice one. Crackdown 1 is one of the best sandboxgames.


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #2 by L3gendary92
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 06:52:50 PM
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Gotta admit, this looks pretty great!


Forum Posts: 26
Comment #3 by sVx Shadow
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 06:55:50 PM
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I think this will be way better than the first one.


Forum Posts: 82
Comment #4 by dementedlullaby
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 06:56:45 PM
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omgwtf. That looks sick.


Forum Posts: 745
Comment #6 by Butters
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 07:09:01 PM
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It's nice to hear most of this but my only hope is that there will be some type of tracker or something to help with the orb collecting. Not knowing how many you have can be a pain, and not knowing at all where to start looking for your last one is also a pain as well. I'm hoping they fix that somehow.


Forum Posts: 82
Comment #9 by dementedlullaby
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 07:14:24 PM
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5 is lookin' for a ban I'm guessing. Or he has an idiotic friend who thinks its funny to post the most ridiculous things anyone can possibly think of saying on the internet on a friends account.

Faith in humanity -100


Forum Posts: 53
Comment #10 by SENTACOLIS
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 07:14:56 PM
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#5 you are a waste of oxygen...... game should be great


Forum Posts: 36
Comment #13 by DarthViscer
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 07:30:33 PM
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#5 Has posted that on more than one article. Anyway I would be excited for Crackdown 2 if I wasn't met with a corrupted save game on Crackdown the other day, and I had found all the agility orbs and was making my way for Hidden, had about 295, son of a bitch.


Forum Posts: 283
Comment #15 by B1GgYsMA1lz
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 07:34:33 PM
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game looks awsome hopfully those renagade orbs arent to pesky


Forum Posts: 231
Comment #17 by Infomouse
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 07:40:45 PM
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Efficient banning there Webb :D
Starting to get excited for this one.


Forum Posts: 200
Comment #18 by Insane Sugar Rush
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 07:51:25 PM
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Pre-ordered. Golden armor here I come...


Forum Posts: 1299
Comment #19 by Chuppernicus
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 07:58:21 PM
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Stoked about this one.


Forum Posts: 1460
Comment #21 by SideDish120
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 08:20:41 PM
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can. not. WAIT. first one was so much fun. wasnt planning on getting 1250. then i kept wanting more and more. and did it. cant wait :)


Forum Posts: 801
Comment #22 by qu1ck2sh00t
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 08:41:31 PM
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Please no collecting, please no collecting, please no collecting, please no collecting....


Forum Posts: 893
Comment #23 by DaChiefOfOwnage
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 09:58:41 PM
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As long as they give us some sort of orb radar/tracker when we collect like 75% or something, i'm sold.


Forum Posts: 1707
Comment #24 by Emfulz
Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 10:22:01 PM
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@23, amen to that! I had almost all the orbs collected but didn't want to hassle finding my last 100. When there is a game world that big and you are looking for small glowing things, it's kinda hard to get them all, for me at least.


Forum Posts: 3530
Comment #25 by MediumMelanin
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 12:35:57 AM
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@#22 - fail...there's orbs in CD2, so most likely an achievement to go with it...

Anyway, game's looking fantastic...no release date yet?!

Btw "Hands-off" preview!!? I thought it was a "Hands-On" preview? 0_o'


Forum Posts: 208
Comment #26 by stevie vip 99
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 03:59:50 AM
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looking forward to this, crackdown was awesome


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #27 by SorahartsKairi
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 05:12:47 AM
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@25

It would've been "hands-on", though from the sounds of the article, they didn't technically get to play it, they had to watch instead.


Forum Posts: 561
Comment #28 by MakoBallistic
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 06:23:48 AM
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Certainly looking forward to this, loved the first one. Glad to see that this game has skydiving aswell now, cant beat a bit of that in a sandbox title. And i would just like to say Assassins Creed 2 sucked balls, most boring game of the year.


Forum Posts: 189
Comment #29 by tsydrown
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 06:32:58 AM
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Looks amazing. Still have 1 more Hidden Orb on #1 which is bugging the hell out of me! :-S In fact, i'm tempted to throw it in the tray and play some today :-D

CrackDown 2 is going to be amazing! No doubts, and if they can top the first one we're in for a real treat!


Forum Posts: 174
Comment #30 by speed gun
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 06:53:45 AM
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i just dont like collecting orbs


Forum Posts: 221
Comment #31 by MADxMONK3Y NL
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 08:39:12 AM
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@30, Well you don't need to. I don't like collect achievements, so I don't do them, simple. (Well some games I do, Gears of War, CoD and Halo for example)

This game is gonna be awesome and I'm curious what the date is gonna be. Hopefully August. Crackdown is a great summer-game.


Forum Posts: 337
Comment #32 by Phenoviral
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 09:59:31 AM
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31, he probably means that he wont enjoy having to go after them, but will have to go after them, because he wants the achievement(s) for it.


Forum Posts: 262
Comment #33 by II M1CK3H II
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 10:16:32 AM
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Looks very 'meh', Just Cause 2 still looks miles ahead of this. The first crackdown was fun, for about the first 2 hours, then you get bored of jumping at rediculous heights and realise how shallow the game actually is. Absolutely no variety at all in the missions, it was basically Grind > Kill generic boss > Repeat.


Forum Posts: 2286
Comment #34 by Daiphyer.
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 10:23:37 AM
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Can't wait for this baby!


Forum Posts: 77
Comment #35 by Grim
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 12:44:50 PM
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can't wait, really, most anticipating game this year, next to DR2

@29, I've got like 3 blue orbs left, it's driving me nuts


Forum Posts: 1896
Comment #36 by Joker0fLife
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 01:55:14 PM
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@#33

If you did read the article, your slow as a MF.


Forum Posts: 1
Comment #37 by XW3 AR3 L3GION
Sunday, February 21, 2010 @ 02:20:31 PM
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I want that Raging Red Hand Of Death, without a doubt. Loved the first one but i could not get the last four orbs and I eventually grew just bored of trying to find them.


Forum Posts: 326
Comment #39 by Dynamite Andy
Monday, February 22, 2010 @ 12:33:57 AM
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I just hope there isnt as many orbs..


Forum Posts: 2099
Comment #40 by mjc0961
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 12:19:44 PM
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Can't wait for this game! Two things though:

1. It may be recycling assets, but I'll take this kind of recycling assets than the kind seen in every new Guitar Hero and Rock Band release. How many times can they release the same "press the colored button at the proper time" game before people realize it's not worth another $60? Those games need to take a page out of LittleBigPlanet's book: stop with the unnecessary new releases (Media Molecule says no LBP sequel because there's no need) and just stick to DLC. At least there's a hell of a lot more stuff to do in Crackdown 2's recycled city instead of just "same shit, different background track."

2. I too am a staunch opposer of all things Potter. Not to be confused with those idiots who think it's all devil worship and whatnot though.


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Game Info
Developer:
Ruffian Games
Genre:

Release:

US July 06, 2010
Europe July 09, 2010

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