GOONL!NE Advent Calendar 2010: #15 – Crackdown 2

By Jonathan Cullen.

Nearly three years ago, Real Time Worlds released a game that’s biggest selling point was a beta code for the multiplayer beta of Halo 3. However, in it’s own right, Crackdown was a fantastic game. It showed a crazy side of open world games, not even seen in either GTA: Vice City or San Andreas.

It was just a downright bonkers game: full stop.

Now, three years later – with RTW handling the release of their PC MMO APB next year – development duties for the sequel has been handed over to upstart developer Ruffian Games, who actually pretty much consist of former RTW staff.

But can Crackdown 2 be twice the game it’s prequel was in 2007? In one simple word: yes.

The game takes place ten years after the first game. Pacific City is still in a massive stranglehold over gang warfare in the city. The Agency has become public enemy number one literally. The civilians of Pacific has lost it’s trust with the organisation, with more gangs popping up in the ten years between Crackdown 1 and Crackdown 2. But it seems criminal gangs isn’t the only problem the city is dealing with.

It seems mutants have taken over the city, as well as the city’s sewage system. How did that happen? Well, you let them free in the first game, remember? In the first game, the Shai-Gen were Crackdown’s version of the Triads. Once you killed their boss, they somehow got out. Now, during the night-time in Pacific City, they roam the streets. Civilians are scared to roam the streets at night, with the freaks only able to come out at that time. During the daytime, it’s almost certainly gang warfare.

It’s not just above the surfice the Freaks seem to rule as well. Underneath, the city’s sewage system is ruled by the Freaks, with Ruffian promising up to nine levels in the game, which sees you go into the underground system in the game and do certain Freak-centric missions while you’re down there.

Other then the above, and the two trailers released so far, nothing else has been made public of the game. Oh, the gameplay. How could we forget that, and the leaked gameplay footage that came out of Tokyo Game Show back in September. From what has been shown so far, it does pretty much look like the same formula the original Crackdown had nearly three years ago. Then again, you’ve all heard the saying: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It was what made Crackdown a success. It was what made it fun, original and mental at the same time, and that ain’t no bad thing.

Real Time Worlds can be gutted all they want for Crackdown 2. They have APB to look after for next year, which does look good to be fair (and I’m no PC player, let alone MMO player), but if Ruffian can bring the charm that made the original just that bit awesome, Crackdown 2 will be a fantastically brilliant game. Although, this is Ruffian: the former RealTime Worlds staffers. In Ruffian, We Trust.