First Level: Crackdown 2

The first Crackdown was a breath of fresh air on the Xbox 360, never taking itself too seriously and throwing open-world sandbox conventions out of the window; its bright, breezy attitude and superhero style leveling was innovative for the genre and was a blast to play through even though I still maintain it was at least partly responsible for the breakdown of my first console. Still, whilst a sequel was always on the cards, when I got the final disk through over the weekend I realised I’d had almost a complete blackout on information, and going into a AAA title blank is something I very rarely get to do.

However, despite my ignorance, once I’d installed the game to the hard drive I slotted right in – this is, in every sense of the phrase, a direct sequel to the first game. It controls the same (I really dislike the acceleration based aiming) and looks similar enough, albeit with the cel-shading amped up a notch or two. Furthermore, it feels the same, and from the few hours spent with it so far it’s structured the same too, with the familiar area capture missions playing out in roughly the same manner – after the first game and the likes of inFamous the formula’s a little tired, but it’s precisely what you’d expect. Crackdown 2, then, is looking like being exactly that.

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So what’s new?  Well, there’s a dramatic (and rather cool) boost to the online co-op mode that made Crackdown so much fun – you can now team up with three other players in a 4 player squad over Xbox Live.  Indeed, the game actively encourages this, because in addition to 500 more agility orbs the game also has Xbox Live Orbs that can only be picked up in multiplayer.  In addition, there’s now competitive play for 16 players, bringing huge amounts of additional value for those that like to battle their mates as well as team up with them, although we (obviously) couldn’t accurately test this feature for this First Level article.

Story wise, well, there’s an additional twist in that you’re now up against two sets of enemies, a splinter faction from The Agency known (amusingly) as Cell, but there’s also the virus-riddled Freaks to contend with too adding a cute little diversion to the game.  I won’t spoil the story here (not least because it was only just getting going) but it appears there’s going to be some nice twists down the line for those that want to get wrapped up in the plot.  The strengths of the game aren’t in exposition, though, Crackdown has always been about powering up your character and the five different sets of stats (agility, firearms, driving, explosives and strength) will provide plenty of life.

We’ll have the review up before the game’s launch on Friday.

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13 Comments

  1. Hmmm… still need to be convinced that I need this game. The first, whilst a refreshing addition to the 360, didn’t really grab me and I’ve yet to hear anything that suggests the sequel will manage to either.

    • Can’t wait to read the review and have the chance to play the game for myself on Friday.

  2. Loved the first one. Definitely going to get this but need for it come down in price for me to get it :(

  3. I remember buying the first, and it had me entertained for about 2 hours. It was a nice idea, but wasn’t really that amazing. I think I only bought it for the Halo 3 beta anyway. Then I played inFamous, and it kind of did everything so much better. I’l stick with inFamous 2, thanks :D

    • is it only me that didnt like infamous ? i thought it was rather boring and repetitive the parkour was pretty cool though

      • I loved both InFamous and Crackdown. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other though.

      • i don’t like infamous either, i hated cole the winy bitch, the best thing was then he killed his ex or current girlfriend? i got confused so i stopped playing.

  4. Played the demo…Not impressed with the graphics and the Demo level was not a good pitch by Ruffian to sell the game.

  5. it’s more crackdown 1.5 than a full blown sequel, but then i understand ruffian were given a short amount of time to make the game, so that can be somewhat forgiven, probably why female agents were considered too hard to put into the game too.
    anyway, it was lots of fun, just like the first one, in fact it’s almost exactly like the first one, with a few fixes here and there, the melee combat is definitely improved.
    didn’t get to try the new toys like that chain grenade thing, so the gun combat felt exactly like it did in the first game.
    one thing they have added is new objective based gameplay, featuring objectives other than go there and kill that person.
    thopugh the guard part of one mission seemed way too bloody hard on my own, i had to defend this device and there were a couple of dozens enemies crowding round it attacking, i know the game caters for four player in co-op mode but i’d hope they adjust for single players, because the mission i attempted seemed like it was designed for more than one, there’s no way i could keep up with all the mutants attacking.

  6. I got the tshirt xD

  7. does anyone know what won the graffiti competition ruffian were doing to put it into crackdown 2 ?

  8. Saw this in action last night. Ran well, but the visuals are pretty rubbish, aren’t they?

  9. I found the first one to be duller than dishwater, i dont imagine this will fair better.

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