Crackdown Xbox 360
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Released on 23/02/2007
Players roam a virtual city built to encourage and allow the full width, depth and height of the space to be explored and exploited. Free form gameplay, over-the-top action and for the first time ever in this genre, players can join up with a friend to take on crime in online cooperative play.
- Brilliant Experience from a Legendary Game Designer: From Dave Jones, the creative mastermind behind Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings comes Crackdown, an explosive masterpiece set to define open-world, free form gaming in the next-generation.
- True Next-Generation Visuals: Harnessing the power of Xbox 360, Crackdown players enforce justice against the backdrop of a crime ridden metropolis, massive in scale, monstrous in scope and meticulous in detail. The unique presentation style employs a highly stylized rendering technique that turns the game into a living graphical novel.
- Cooperative Gameplay – Double the Mayhem: From its initial concept, to final design, Real Time Worlds focused on delivering dynamic, engaging cooperative gameplay for double the carnage, action and intensity.
- 3-Dimensional Free Form Gameplay: For the first time ever, an urban playground has been created to encourage players to explore and exploit the full width, depth and height of a city. Players wage war on the syndicates by taking part in high-octane chases on foot and on wheels while using any appropriate route along, around, across, over, under or through the environment. Freedom abounds as it's up to the player to determine how best to complete the non-linear objectives in a myriad of wild and creative ways.
- Over-the-Top Action: All strategies and tactics are acceptable provided players reclaim the streets by unleashing the awesome abilities inside each Agent. As players develop and hone their gameplay skills, their Agent's genetic tendencies will increase allowing players to realize their Agent's full potential. Players will be able to run at dazzling speeds, take death-defying leaps, handle the most incredible weapons, perform impossible vehicular maneuvers, move massive objects and deliver bone-crushing blows.
- Music as Environment: Over 100 licensed tracks, spanning a wide range of styles and genres, give audio identities to characters and locations in Crackdown. Coupled with a next-generation use of 5.1 surround sound, gamers will know just from the music and sound effects they hear which crime syndicate is headed their way.
- The Environment is Your Weapon: Low on ammo? No problem. Thanks to an amazing amount of props and a deep physics system players can use whatever they can get their hands on as weapons – from trashcans, vehicles, even people – to clean the streets of crime. In Crackdown the actions you take last longer than when the player runs a block away too. If the player wants to stack up vehicles and then run away to corral vehicles toward an obstruction, the players 'masterpiece' will be there when they return as the game reacts to how the player plays. In Crackdown, players use the world as one huge chemistry set where the possibilities are endless and the outcomes are wild.
Master Chief aside, can Crackdown cut it?
Poor old Crackdown is going to suffer some unfair assumptions before people have even played it. For starters – and let’s not beat around the bush here – plenty will, somewhat understandably, look at it as ‘the game which comes free with the Halo 3 Beta’, such is the Master Chief’s iconic status. On top of that, the whole sprawling urban environment, gun-toting, car-jacking, mission-taking gameplay will beget comparisons to Rockstar’s genre-defining Grand Theft Auto games, of which the fourth edition is due in October. Poor, over-pitched Crackdown.
Or: Happy, confident Crackdown. You see, despite sitting on the shoulders of such recognised gaming giants, the view from Crackdown’s perch is surprisingly rosy. Not content with by-the-numbers action or selling on a gimmick, Real Time Worlds' debut 360 offering has fun with the GTA formula in an explosive, unique, tongue-in-cheek way that embodies emergent pick-up-and-play fun. Crackdown could not only meet the Halo hype head-on, then, but may actually stand proudly on its own merits at the same time.
A unique visual style
It certainly justifies the vaunted ‘next-gen’ tag as far as visuals go. Indeed, the vistas offered up by Crackdown’s powerful engine combine with a unique visual style – it’s sort-of Cel shading, but not really – bold primary colours, and an almost limitless draw distance that really do imbue a breathless ‘go-anywhere, do-anything’ feel.
Unusually for this type of game, however, Crackdown would appear to deliver on much of this promise. Where GTA and its ilk revolve largely around horizontal streetwide exploration, Crackdown boasts a heavy emphasis on scaling the landscape in the vertical plain too; so you’ll be finding routes up to the highest points by venturing along stairwells, shimmying along ledges and even leaping from rooftop to rooftop in true free-form fashion.
Plummeting around at your leisure and wreaking sweet havoc-slanted justice on the criminal underbelly of Pacific City.
Yes, that’s right; leaping along rooftops. In fact, you can jump gigantic distances in Crackdown. Actually, that’s putting it mildly – to say you can leap tall buildings in a single bound would not be at all outlandish. In Crackdown, you see, you play a cop – or rather, a legion of bio-engineered super cops with Incredible Hulk style abilities, bred for the single-minded purpose of eliminating threats to the gameworld’s safety by… well, plummeting around at your leisure and wreaking sweet havoc-slanted justice on the criminal underbelly of Pacific City.
Helping you in this task is the experience system, which sees your character level-up their stats based on how you play the game. So, running and leaping everywhere and collecting the precious hard-to-reach agility orb pickups in the process is going to do their jump and speed stats a great help, while picking up and throwing objects, battering enemies hand to hand, or shooting them to high heaven will develop strength and accuracy as a result.
Ludicrously over-the-top selection
Of course, it’s beneficial to action-hungry players that Crackdown boasts a large and ludicrously over-the-top selection of guns, grenades, rocket launchers, cars, trucks and general myriad metallic means to unleash quasi-cartoon fury on all they survey. A neat over-the-shoulder lock-on targeting system that’s far superior to any of GTA’s efforts renders it all very fun to use, and a good balance of un-marshalled exploration, on-map objectives and side missions – such as race missions dotted liberally throughout Pacific – create variety and balance that makes progress immediately rewarding.
At least, that’s the impression from the Demo currently available on Xbox Live. It’s playable both offline and in co-operative over Xbox Live, allowing a friend to leap into your city – or you into theirs – for double the carnage and explosions aplenty, and this mode looks likely to be a big selling point of the final release. Indeed, this is possibly the way the free-roaming genre should always have been done; fast, free-form, fun and eccentric , Crackdown’s own idiosyncratic approach to the action/driving hybrid is looking every bit as exceptional as it was unexpected.
Preview by: Mark Scott
Preview Published: 15.02.07
Crackdown 2 developers hard at work again
Remember Ruffian Games, the Dundee-based developer of the brilliant Xbox 360 exclusive Crackdown 2? What with the game's barnstorming release last summer, the team has been a bit quiet of late, but now they've just announced they're hard at work on new games. Yep, games plural.
According to a blog post - thanks, Eurogamer - the developer said it's cracking on - sorry - with two new games, and it describes them as "high action, visceral titles," that are "heavily focused on online."
"Rather boringly as is the case for most nascent projects we're unable to talk about them in any detail right now," apologises studio head Gaz Liddon, before signing off.
Let the speculation begin! Crackdown 2 was a huge hit, which suggests that there's a good possibility that one of those new games would be Crackdown 3. The series, which casts you as an acrobatic agent mopping up crime in a futuristic city is both high action and visceral, and with four-player co-op in the last game, it would be great to see a further emphasis on online play.
Maybe there's a new Crackdown on the way, and maybe there isn't, then. As for the second game, however, we can only wait and see.
Crackdown Preview (15/02/2007)
Master Chief aside, can Crackdown cut it?
Poor old Crackdown is going to suffer some unfair assumptions before people have even…
The Crackdown 2 team has been a bit quiet of late, but now they've just announced they're hard at work on new games. Yep, games plural.…
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