Crackdown 2 Demo Impressions

I was a big fan of the first Crackdown game when I found it, later than most, on the Xbox 360. The little teaser trailer for Crackdown 2 that was shown at E3 2009 was probably my highlight of the press conferences. In February this year I got to see it in action, briefly, at X10. Yesterday I finally got to play it.

The demo is a timed, half-hour, blast of pure Crackdown madness. Everything is still there that I loved from the previous game. The dulcet-toned announcer calling me “Agent”, the faux-cell-shaded art style (although this has been tampered with slightly) and the sense of hectic, unhinged joy are all present.

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Crackdown was a game which had copious amounts of fun coursing through it and, judging from the demo, the sequel is sticking closely to that ethos. I was dropped straight in to a fight between The Agency (my side) and The Cell (one of the gangs that make up your enemies). Within seconds I knew what I was doing. The game controls just as simply as its predecessor, running around, jumping, targeting and shooting are all intuitive. The down side to this is that driving control is still a little stiff but it does seem to be slightly improved on the first iteration.

The look of Pacific City is now one of a crumbling metropolis, filled with a new wave of gangs and a dusk-loving breed of mutant-zombie things. The geography is recognisable and familiar to those who played the first game but it is decayed by the passage of time and the ravages of all-out gang warfare.

It’s impossible to judge whether improvements have been made to the somewhat thin narrative that permeated the original so there is still a slim chance that they haven’t addressed the one thing that was most criticised. Luckily, it is plainly evident that they have retained and improved upon the things that made the first game brilliant. You can’t ask much more from a sequel.

Within my first thirty minutes I had completely and utterly fallen for the Crackdown universe all over again. I am even more excited for the game’s release than I had been up to this point. Overpowered, super-heroic fun has never been so distilled, so pure or so much fun.

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13 Comments

  1. Loved the first game, but i’ve got a PS3 now so i’ll probably not play the sequel :( hopefully mates will buy it!

  2. I rate the first game higher than halo, gears of war and nearly as high as mass effect, so looking forward to this :)

  3. I’ve never played Crackdown but have read the reviews / opinions for the 1st game. I hear its quite a good laugh. I have a question tho. The graphics don’t look like they’re up to much but from what I have read with this game its all in the fun factor.

  4. Meh…its not really a question but a “outloud” thought!

  5. Cheers, Peter! Never heard of this title (didn’t have access to a 360) but will now go look it up. Yay to exciting sequels and their trailer-goodness.

  6. At last, i thought TSA had gone on holiday! :b
    I haven’t played Crackdown but a 360 owning friend of mine has and it’s one of his favourite games.

  7. I was one of the many many people that only bought Crackdown to play the Halo 3 beta.

    Turned out that it was easily one of my favourite games on 360. Can’t wait to play the sequel, even if it means buying another console (RROD :( )

  8. I tried the demo for the original and was a little disappointed after all the plaudits but after reading some of the comments and your write up, the enthusiasm for the game is infectious so I will keep my eye out for it at a bargain price.

  9. Crackdown co-op was cool. Looking forward to this.

  10. Wow, one news story for Saturday ….

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