The first Crackdown is one of my favorite games published by Microsoft. Despite it’s tired mission structure, barely there story and pretty short shelf life I had a stupid amount of fun with it. It was more enjoyable than Gears and Halo 3 even with it’s abrupt ending. Hell I’d put it right behind Mass Effect, Forza and PGR (R.I.P.) when it comes to exclusive games from the Bill Gates Mafia.
So when I heard that Crackdown 2 was in the works I did back flips. Well I wasn’t THAT excited but the kid was cheesing.
Crackdown, to me, wasn’t just an overly entertaining experience that got exponentially better via co-op. It served as a model that showed games get their money with gameplay. There’s a certain standard you have to reach with visuals in this day and age and I don’t frown on having a story (unless it’s awful.) These points can enhance the experience overall when done right. But if the game isn’t fun then what’s the point? Add replay value to fray and you got yourself a winner in my book.
Crackdown wasn’t much of a looker and like I said before the story didn’t really matter. I ran around, leaped to great heights, blew stuff up and caused absolute mayhem throughout the city with my friends. It was mindless as hell especially considering how you did the same mission (go kill that gang leader/boss) 20 or so times. But the upgrading system along with the level design kept me playing until I maxed out my cop.
The trailer for Crackdown 2 dropped yesterday and it seemed to add a grip of new features I’m anticipating. The most obvious addition is the four player co-op. The first one only let you play alongside one other person. Co-op shined in the first game so I bet it’ll be even better this time around with 3 allies. Plus it looks like you can fly in the new game. While it was something I wanted them to add it has me somewhat concerned as jumping was a key gameplay element in the previous iteration. Then again the devs already talked about incorporating vehicles more in the sequel as they didn’t matter much in the first game. I’m willing to assume they’ll tweak flying so that jumping is still important. On top of that I’m hoping they put in more new abilities to keep things fresh.
The new eight player firefight mode sounds cool enough as does the 16 player online multiplayer. I doubt I’ll spend much time on these modes as I could only take but so much Horde in GoW 2 and the game doesn’t look like it’s “right” for multiplayer in the early going. Still they’ll be decent time wasters. If anything I’m more concerned about the missions and reusing the same city from the last game (now with “mutants.”) They really need to spice up the campaign and add a myriad of side quests. Moreover I thought they’d create an all new playground Supposedly it’s changed and they have a whole new underground section to it. Whatever, just make it good. And let me create more than one agent. You couldn’t have more than one agent at a time in the previous game so I’d like to have that option for multiple playthroughs.
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(Edit: I found the latest trailer *above.* It’s still in the oven but it looks better than the earlier vids. That campy 50’s Doo Wop-esque music in the background was worth a chuckle too.) Crackdown 2, while crazy early, has the potential to be much improved over the last one. Unfortunately there’s no release date yet but it’s supposed to drop sometime next year. 2010 is going to be a great year for games anyway so I’m optimistic that it’ll fare well against the competition.