|Publisher(s)||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release date(s)||NA July 6, 2010
July 8, 2010 Asia
|Genre(s)||Third-person shooter, Sandbox|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Multiplayer, Cooperative modes|
Crackdown 2 is a sandbox-style third-person shooter video game developed by Ruffian Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios, due for release on Xbox 360 in July 2010. It is a direct sequel to the 2007 video game Crackdown.
The game is modeled similarly to its predecessor Crackdown, a third-person shooter in open world gameplay. The player character is a super-human officer for the city-funded "Agency", known simply as the "Agent". This time around, increased levels of customization for the character are allowed, unlike the presets offered before. Along with that, the orbs from last time are coming back, but the powers are expanded and enhanced, i.e, the Agility Skill allows the Agent to jump higher than in Crackdown, and provides a 'dash' maneuver, as well as opening up a special helicopter. Like Crackdown, the game will allow for on-line co-operative play in the main game, but will now support up to four players. The game will also feature competitive multiplayer modes for up to sixteen players.
A trailer was unveiled at E3 2009 revealing that the player-controlled Agent roams over Pacific City, which has become infested with urban-gang warfare, assisting the Agency in the battle for Pacific City against numerous crime lords who control the city. A recent article from Game Informer magazine stated that Pacific City is infested with mutants from the research facility in the first Crackdown. These mutants have over run most of the former Shai-Gen territory and completely over run the city at night. The remaining civilians, forming a group called The Cell, revolted against the Agency and the mutants. The Agents are tasked with sabotaging key Cell structures and raiding underground mutant tunnels.
Phil Wilson and Billy Thomson, respectively Producer and Lead Design of "Crackdown" had previously confirmed that the game was designed from the outset to be a long running series, stating that sequels for the game are very likely to be produced, especially if Crackdown performed well commercially. However, during the Industry All Stars event in September 2007, Wilson confirmed that Realtime Worlds was not working on a sequel to the game, saying "Microsoft [was] a little late in stepping up to the plate to ask for Crackdown 2, and by then we had already started working on bigger, better things". However, Shane Kim, a corporate vice-president for Microsoft, stated that Microsoft still holds the intellectual property rights for Crackdown and that a Crackdown sequel was still a possibility.
Realtime's Studio Manager Colin MacDonald clarified that if they have the resources after completion of APB, they could approach Microsoft to discuss a sequel. Prior to its announcement, industry rumors stated that the new start-up company, Ruffian Games, a Scottish studio formed from members from the Realtime Worlds team, may be involved in the development of a Crackdown sequel. This was confirmed when the game was announced during the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo Conference. The rumors of Ruffian's involvement with the sequel were initially dismissed by McDonald, saying he doubted "Microsoft would harm an otherwise fruitful existing development relationship by gambling on funding Crackdown 2 with a startup on RTW's doorstep, for obvious reasons." Following the announcement, David Jones, founder of Realtime Worlds, stated he was "a bit miffed" with Microsoft's decision, believing that Microsoft may have been looking at an internal development studio instead of the new start-up located in the same geographical area as his company and formed of many of his team's former members. Ruffian's executive producer, Peter Connelly, agreed that the situation that caused Realtime Worlds to move onto APB was unfortunate, but hold no animosity towards the company. Ruffian's Thomson noted that about half of their team formerly worked on Crackdown across all areas of game development, and felt their studio was the best choice to make the game's sequel.
The team chose to keep the sequel located in Pacific City as they considered that setting had a character of its own in the first game and wanted to preserve that for the sequel to keep up its familiarity with players, while still making it "bigger and better". The team also sought to preserve the same free-form gaming experience from Crackdown and opted to avoid any significant dialog-driven cutscenes, while improving on parts of the gameplay from the first game that were seen as weaker aspects. There are no significant mechanical changes to the game, though Ruffian continues to improve on the rendering engine to allow the display of the large vista of Pacific City. The game will have a unique music feature, currently under confidentiality with Microsoft, that helps to tie in all the sensory experiences of the game together.