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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Crackdown 2 Preview

Blake_Morse By:
Blake_Morse
03/22/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Shooter 
PLAYERS 1- 16 
PUBLISHER Microsoft Game Studios 
DEVELOPER Ruffian Games 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Holymotherfuckingshitballs! Crackdown 2! Crackdown 2!


Yes! It's real and it's happening. The first game that I ever bought for the Xbox 360 is finally getting a sequel and I could not be happier. For a person who gets more free games each year than he knows what to do with, that's something. I would play the first one until I got a headache and felt like vomiting. And from what I got to see of the upcoming Crackdown 2, my head will probably explode in a geyser of puke at some point this year.

click to enlargeIt's been ten years since you helped the Agency rid the streets of Pacific City of its self-made threat. But things haven't really gone as planned, it would seem. Crime is still rampant... in fact, if anything, it's gotten worse. And if that weren't enough, hordes of freaks are running rampant everywhere. Looks like it's time for the Agency to call in its top agents. That's where you come in. They've got a plan called Project Sunburst that should destroy all the freaks, but they need to take over specific locations in Pacific to make their plan work.

The same core gameplay elements from the first seem to be prevalent once more. But things have definitely been improved upon in very pleasing ways. Just like before, you'll be able to free-run or, rather, free-climb and leap all over the city. As you may recall, the first title was a sort of precursor to Assassin's Creed in that just about everything was climbable. The "not-so assassin-y but still fun has hell" high-jump ability is getting some new tools this time around with the addition of a gliding suit. So now not only can you climb to the top of the highest buildings, you can also base-jump off them too.

Is that not high enough for you? Maybe you should take a spin in one of the Agency's new helicopters. That's right, in addition to three different cars from the original game, there are even new vehicle types. They weren't showing everything off just quite yet, but they did say that these vehicles will gain new abilities as they level up as opposed to waiting for you to reach the level cap, which I hope means I'll be driving a monster truck up the side of a building sooner than later.

click to enlargeThe same goes double for your agent's personal abilities. You'll probably be hearing more about powers, such as the gliding skill, as development continues. When I asked them if there would be higher level caps for the tree this time around as well, they weren't ready to talk just yet. But they did say that it will have the same categories for abilities as before and that there would be new orb types, such as the renegade orb that runs away from you as you try and catch it. On top of your own skills, new weapons are being added into the mix too: Sniper rifles and hyper-charged gauntlets will augment your superman-esque powers through your adventure.

You'll need it all too, because the aggression meter has been amped up in a frenzy. The more you stop to fight gang members, the more things will start to look like a warzone. And just as '80s hip-hop star Whodini said, “The freaks come out at night." Zombie-like hordes of them will appear when the sun goes down, adding an angry mob on top of already frantic gunfights. At least this time you'll have some extra help as co-op has expanded to support four players online. And unlike in Borderlands, vehicles will support all four of you.

The build I saw looked good, and is not near finished yet, but from what I saw, it's looking to be even more of a pleasing action-packed experience than the first one. No release date has been announced yet, but it is scheduled for release later this year.

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