Crackdown 2
Crackdown 2 Hands On Preview - The First Few Hours
Written Wednesday, May 26, 2010 By Dan Webb
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Sleeper hit. Unsung Hero. Dark horse. Those are a few descriptive analogies that could be used to describe the original Crackdown title and all aren’t far off the mark. A unique hand-crafted experience that definitely came as a shock to most people. Myself included. With the development changing from Realtime Worlds to Ruffian Games, it’s a move that definitely only exists in studio names, as a large proportion of the development team has switched homes so that they could continue work on the cel-shaded franchise. Unfortunately, if our hands on time with Crackdown 2 is anything to go by, not enough has changed over the years and the improved mission structure is nothing but a carefully woven PR line.

That’s not to say Crackdown 2 is a terrible game. No, that couldn’t be farther from the truth, in fact, it is a definite improvement over its predecessor, but it feels largely similar and I’d probably go as far as to say that the mission structure is more repetitive now than it was in the first. If you’re looking to play Crackdown 2 this coming July, you most definitely won’t want to pick it up for its mission structure... well, that’s if the first two or three hours are indicative of the rest of the game.

The mission structure seems to have evolved from one that had a lack of purpose and drive, to one that is incredibly repetitive and acts as more of a distraction than anything else. “Project Sunburst” is what Ruffian are calling it, but if the first few hours are anything to go by, “fun-burst” is probably more appropriate, as you’re tasked with turning on 3 absorption units, to then activate a beacon, only to rinse and repeat until the end of time. Obviously, I can’t speak for the whole of the game just yet, but first impressions aren’t good.

It doesn’t help that it’s set in the same city either. Everything feels unbelievably similar, from going out to the refinery at the south-east of the map to do a “mission,” to attempting to cross into the north island of the map via the huge sewage pipes and falling off, leaving yourself with a mammoth task to get to where you were previously heading. It all feels a little too familiar, and not in a good way.

Those looking for another boost of Crackdown are sure going to love it though, if only for the 4 player co-op and the newly added “mutant” fodder that descend upon the streets at night. Those are real changes in the sequel and whilst there is also the addition of some competitive multiplayer, it honestly doesn’t have the same pull as the full-on co-op experience.

While cruising the streets of Pacific City and knee deep in mutant remains – the game copes surprisingly well with amount of on-screen enemies at once – we did get the chance to sample the new “Renegade Orbs” as well; mostly in the form of the agility and the racing orbs. Interestingly enough, the agility renegade orbs actually force you to follow them on a route that takes you in the region of the standard agility orbs, so they are perfect to chase if you need an agility orb or two to level up your character’s agility. And chances are, sometimes you’ll come across a few that you just won’t have the skills to catch up with, so it’s also a method that gets you well on the right road to success. There are even “Online Orbs” this time around as well, that require you to be playing online with a partner and some carefully hidden audio logs. It’s most definitely a collector’s paradise.

Standing head and shoulders above all the other newly added features – or tweaks as I call them – is definitely the four player co-op. Taking advantage of the host’s game world, you can now invite 3 other friends into your game and take advantage of some outrageous open-world fun. There is something mildly amusing, and admittedly quite sadistic, about using the UV Shotgun to fling your co-op teammate into the nearest stretch of water. Or in flinging their car off a cliff while you stare at the wreckage that you’ve just created, and because there is no punishment for death, you don’t feel one bit guilty in doing it.

Other than the 4 player co-op and the street-fodder to have fun with, it’s clear that Ruffian have put added emphasis on the gadgets of the world – the toys so to speak. Before our hands on we managed to catch a glimpse of the Flocket Launcher which shoots a flock of rockets, the Mag Grenades which allow you to string to items together with a giant elastic bungee, and the aforementioned UV Shotgun which can knock opponents flying or dissolve the mutants of Pacific City in an instant. Unfortunately, along with the helicopter and the tank – which has an avatar award tied to it for something we weren’t quick enough to catch – they require a lot of experience and such to unlock.

Our first hands on with Crackdown 2 was definitely an experience that triggered emotions from differing ends of the scale. Yes, the title is undoubtedly Crackdown, but with more substance in terms of toys to play with, but the mission structure was a disappointing step backwards. If you and 3 friends are just looking for a playground with no limits this coming July, then this is surely the title. If you’re looking to collect the heck out of a huge world with an impressive draw-distance, then again, this is may be the title for you. However, if you’re looking for an engaging story and some interesting missions to pile through, prepare to be frustrated with oodles of mundane repetition. Personally, I wanted all three, but two out of three isn’t bad, right?

Crackdown 2 is out July 6th and July 9th in North America and Europe respectively.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 360
Comment #1 by Justin Case
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 12:17:27 AM
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This game is going to be sicktastic!

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #2 by sVx Shadow
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 12:21:36 AM
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Cant wait for it to be out

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #3 by Momenot
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 12:23:58 AM
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this game is mentaly gay cuz it blows my mind!

Forum Posts: 2098
Comment #4 by Filter x360a
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 12:42:54 AM
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I'm kinda sad to hear this. I knew it was going to be set in the same city, but never really thought about it feeling too much like the first one, and maybe not in a good way.

I liked the mission style in the first game, so to hear it's more repetitive kinda sucks. Still, I will pick this up and give it a go. Thanks for the preview Webb!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #5 by jordanwireman
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 12:53:31 AM
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i cant wait to climb skyscrapers!

Forum Posts: 1185
Comment #6 by Ingles
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 01:06:02 AM
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@ #3- I've got to say... I almost died laughing when I read that! lol

I'm definitely looking forward to Crackdown 2. I had a lot of fun with the first and I'm sure the second will be no different. I hope the achievements are as diverse and intriguing as the ones in the first game were. :)

Forum Posts: 155
Comment #7 by Tommy English
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 01:48:24 AM
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I'm looking forward to this mostly for the 4 player co-op but I hope that this 2nd attempt doesn't affect the warm fuzzy feeling I have for the first game...

Forum Posts: 650
Comment #8 by E vee dub
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 01:52:14 AM
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I'm playing Crackdown 1 right now.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #9 by Muscle Blade
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 02:13:41 AM
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The game sounds like it wont be as fresh and fantastic like the original, but 4 player coop is always the best.

Forum Posts: 235
Comment #10 by Allen Poe
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 02:40:26 AM
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LOL WTF @ #3

Forum Posts: 211
Comment #11 by Zerowind117
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 03:58:15 AM
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Sounds more like an expansion pack than a new game by this review. Might be a rent for me.

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #12 by l.maciver
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 04:11:48 AM
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more of an expansion but its a future buy non the less. crackdown is one of the best and repedative games around

Forum Posts: 36
Comment #13 by Big Ben
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 05:40:04 AM
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hhmmm... dunno bout this. i hate games where you have to collect stuff lol

Forum Posts: 222
Comment #14 by Brengun
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 06:35:18 AM
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nice write-up, the words 'mundane repetition' dont exactly have me chomping at the bit though. @13 All games make you collect stuff, even if they do it in an abstract way. Its all about the sense of achievement and the quest for something more.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #15 by NINJANUT
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 08:03:10 AM
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Never finished the first one 100% but did enjoy it, don't know what to think about this one now
@13 I understand what you mean over the top item collection is just a cheap way to get you to play longer, also a pet hate of mine

Forum Posts: 1830
Comment #16 by InkedUp
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 10:49:41 AM
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Can't wait to jump off of a 24 story building and drop kick a motherf*cker. Its gonna be so awesome. I just hope the co-op doesn't have the same problems with story and achievement progress that games like Saints Row 2 had.

Forum Posts: 178
Comment #17 by Blue Thunder28
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 02:11:25 PM
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#3 Bo Burnham FTW!

This is going to be the best Co-Op world ever.

Forum Posts: 1068
Comment #18 by The Bum-Mobile
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 02:45:26 PM
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Had mine reserved for months now. I really wish they kept the same structure as the first Crackdown. The first was so brilliant because what were basically the missions of the game could be completed within the sandbox. You didn't have a state of play where you were in a mission, or where you were in the sandbox. Everything was just there.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #19 by Fata1Stryke
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 05:38:05 PM
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Too bad the missions aren't more interesting. But I'm thinking this game is gonna be all about the co-op mayhem, and that's perfectly fine. I just hope some of my friends actually get it, though.

Forum Posts: 176
Comment #20 by Dredgon
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 05:56:18 PM
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Thought they said the missions would be less repetative, but regardless it looks great and I am glad there will be Avatar Awards. Bring on July, Crackdown 2 great summer fun!!!!!

Forum Posts: 137
Comment #21 by Voxael
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 @ 07:37:07 PM
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Really? People played the first game for the 'engaging story' and 'interesting missions'?

Don't get me wrong, I loved Crackdown for what it was but the writing and the missions weren't the strong points of the experience. (It sounds like I was the only person on the planet who bought the game because I wanted to play it in the first place).

Forum Posts: 160
Comment #22 by Jmashed
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 09:55:39 PM
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I loved crackdown back in the day when I was an achievement and collecting addict (over 500 orbs? sounded like a serious challenged, one of my biggest accomplishments in collecting history) but now that I no longer care for those things and no one I know wants this game the coop is a bust as well. I most likely wont pick this up but I'll give it a rent, kind of disappointing to hear it only improved a little and still uses the same environments considering I pretty much searched every square inch of the last one looking for those orbs. Loved the draw distance and jumping around though, so I haven't lost hope in it yet, should be interesting to see how it turns out.

Forum Posts: 160
Comment #23 by Jmashed
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 09:57:51 PM
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agreed, I loved the whole aspect of the enemies are there, you can kill them all, or just the boss, its up to you because it was completely sand box, and the added feature of adding shit in yourself was fantastic, ultimate sandbox experience but that was two years ago, the standards have changed (play Red Dead and be prepared to be blown away, free roam style).

Forum Posts: 345
Comment #24 by mksystem74
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 09:43:37 AM
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Don't you love how they are MUTANTS and not zombies =)

Forum Posts: 242
Comment #25 by iBean
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 03:15:34 PM
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Sounds great!

And it may sound like a more of a expansion pack. But Modern Warfare 2 sold a lot, so it's a proven method.

Forum Posts: 369
Comment #26 by iJon72
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 05:21:32 PM
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they shuda set it in a new city but whatever still gunna be amazing. whats not greate about you and your mates killing loads of mutants with rocket launchers and running your friends over with tanks =]

Forum Posts: 95
Comment #27 by Aragorn
Sunday, May 30, 2010 @ 04:04:19 AM
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Can't wait for this, loved the first game.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #28 by Argoff
Sunday, May 30, 2010 @ 04:36:36 AM
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I think I will wait for the demo before I buy it.

Forum Posts: 341
Comment #29 by Evol Error
Sunday, May 30, 2010 @ 05:40:22 AM
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Yup can't wait for it.

Forum Posts: 471
Comment #30 by dang racoons
Sunday, May 30, 2010 @ 11:09:48 AM
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I dont think i for one second though i wont egt this game if it has a bad stroy crackdown is and always will be about mayhem in co-op.Also great to hear about avatar awards heres hoping for the agent armour.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #31 by pms clueless
Sunday, May 30, 2010 @ 11:20:21 AM
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I absolutely cannot wait till this comes out! I sent in graffiti to Ruffian as well!

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #32 by jlay720
Sunday, May 30, 2010 @ 12:33:43 PM
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kinda gay...

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #33 by Price
Sunday, May 30, 2010 @ 10:45:32 PM
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I think that the first one was great, only problem was co-op was 2 ppl, which they fixed, and the new armors look sick!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #34 by hispanicplaya
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 12:55:43 AM
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epic comment #3

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #35 by sniper Elite
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 08:09:28 AM
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going to be the best game of 2010

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #36 by Stealthcake
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 11:13:33 AM
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Dosent sound like this is gonna be as good as the first sadly...

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #37 by chaps17
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 06:26:50 PM
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looks pretty sick. the first one was crazy. everyone was on steriods

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #38 by firestorm12121
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 08:48:45 PM
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Im probably still gonna get it.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #39 by Sc_Conviction_Sc
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 10:21:41 PM
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I can't wait for this game! I loved the first one an this one looks so gooood! 4 player co-op? I wish more games were like that. Co-op makes so many games so much better!

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #40 by Reaperxslayer
Wednesday, June 02, 2010 @ 11:44:20 AM
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Never got on with the first game, i much prefer games such as GTA IV and Red dead redemption, also saints row 2.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #41 by Daz!
Wednesday, June 02, 2010 @ 01:44:23 PM
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Jizz :L

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #42 by Samurai_King
Wednesday, June 02, 2010 @ 05:37:33 PM
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Has anything majour been said about the characters appearance? because on the 1st one your character changed and "evolved" based on the level/experience you had gained.

can you choose colours? or armour types? or anything like that?

Forum Posts: 14789
Comment #43 by Webb [STAFF]
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 04:05:25 PM
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@#42 - It was very limited from what we experienced. Very limited. The pre-order armour can let you choose the colour though, if that helps.

Forum Posts: 206
Comment #44 by GHLougar
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 08:29:26 PM
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@43 thanks Webb really needed to know that cause i was looking foward to the customizing of armor
anyways ill still buy this game but is it true that there will be avatar awards? that will be awesome.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #45 by imgnarycreature
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 07:40:16 AM
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After reading this, I'm not sure if this is really my type of game...OTOH, it does make me want to dig out the first game and finally finish it. So I guess its still a maybe for me.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #46 by CaptainCaterpie
Monday, June 07, 2010 @ 06:40:46 AM
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It just sounds like so much FUN.

And that's all that matters.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #47 by Allen Bosscher
Monday, June 07, 2010 @ 08:44:02 PM
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Not sure if I want to get this game yet, but it definitely is looking better and better

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #48 by KillerCrumpets
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 @ 04:16:10 AM
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More of the same's a good thing. The original's easily in my top 3.

Forum Posts: 279
Comment #49 by Krisko Disko
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 @ 07:32:28 AM
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I don't get it, why aren't people making a bigger deal about the different colored suits you can get by preordering? How else could you ever get a GREEN SUIT?????

I'll either wait for this to hit the $12 bin like it's predecessor, or I'll rent it, have my way with it, and send it back leaving it feeling like the cheap whore it is.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #50 by Ninja Noodle
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 @ 02:53:32 PM
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Loved the first one and definatly getting this one pre-orederd. But i never understand why the first game is always better than the second, an hope its not a BIG let down :)

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #51 by natetodamax
Wednesday, June 09, 2010 @ 05:03:11 PM
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How does Webb know that the mission structure is repetative when he hasn't played the entire game?

Forum Posts: 141
Comment #52 by Snakes117
Sunday, June 13, 2010 @ 05:42:00 AM
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Will there be a demo to this game.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #53 by TheAwsomeMax
Sunday, June 13, 2010 @ 03:12:38 PM
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Forum Posts: 2
Comment #54 by Darkdefiler84
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 04:17:54 AM
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I bought my 360 for Crackdown. Really enjoyed it despite it's simplicity. Can someone please clarify this for me - is the city literally identical?

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #55 by ChogRocker
Sunday, June 20, 2010 @ 04:29:07 PM
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the person who reviewed this is a twat. you dont buy crackdown to be boring and ONLY get on with the story. you get it to HAVE FUN WHILST DOING THE MISSIONS. in my opinion, the story is 2nd place to the amount of gameplay both crackdown 1 & 2 have. and the similarity ISNT a problem. the 1st game was the most fun game to ever hit the 360, and if the sequal wasnt in anyway similar to the first, it wouldnt be a true sequal now would it?


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #56 by Marzey
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 06:16:12 AM
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Hey just played the demo for this game I have it on pre-order and I must admint that I cannot wait to recieve my game . . . OMG, this game is awesome. I orginally bought crackdown as it looked fun and once complete i was still having fun regardless of the storyline. The dynamics are totally different in the form of the HUD, but it helps the story along as this is Project Agent 2.0 - A fab game definately cant wait to own my copy XD

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #57 by SinBegins03
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:27:06 AM
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Playing through the first Crackdown now and I'm finding it to be repetitive. Unless things change between now and its release, I'll definitely be waiting for this to be reduced in price.

Forum Posts: 14789
Comment #58 by Webb [STAFF]
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 04:12:03 PM
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@#51 - I can only report what I'm told ;)

Forum Posts: 219
Comment #59 by miiiguel
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 08:33:12 AM
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I don't think reviews of public (free) demos are the smartest thig to publish.
The demos is there for everyone to give it a try.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #60 by rocketjsquirreil
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 11:52:57 AM
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Game Info
Ruffian Games


US July 06, 2010
Europe July 09, 2010

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