Crackdown 2 Update - Hang Gliding, Mission Objectives, and Zombie Hit-and-Runs

The sequel to 2007's stellar sandbox action game is out for release this year, and we've got an updated look.

Crackdown was one of the unsung heroes of the Xbox 360's early years, garnering more attention for the included invite to the Halo 3 multiplayer beta than for the game itself. That was a bit of a tragedy, because the game was a whole lot of fun, showing what you can do when you combine an open-world action formula with a maddeningly addictive progression system that has you seeking out agility orbs up and down buildings to become an ever-more-powerful force of destruction. The sequel, developed by Ruffian Games, is due out for release this year, and we just had a look at it earlier today at Microsoft's X10 preview event.

The demo was divided into two distinct halves. The first showed how some of the new story missions will work, while the second was of the free-form sandbox variety, showing what sort of trouble you can get up to when you cast aside any preconceptions that you're a force for the greater good. The story mission involved a relatively low-level agent (that is, before you've picked up too many of those agility orbs) attempting to infiltrate the stronghold of a group called The Cell. This faction is a sort of militia made up of people who are angry at the Agency (you, in other words) and blame them for the zombie freak outbreak that has plagued the city. With the city totally cleaned of gangs after your work in the first game, these two groups are your only enemies in the sequel.

The mission involved gaining entrance to a Cell stronghold in order to procure a piece of valuable technology that they'd stolen from the Agency. It all took place in a shipping yard filled with steel crates and hinted at a couple of the new features you can find in story missions. One is the new goal structure that has you going through multiple objectives and sub-objectives, as opposed to the extremely minimalist approach to mission design from the first game that was more or less just "Go here, kill these thugs, and then kick the gang leader off a building to win!" Now there's a bit more variety to these objectives, and you'll find some storytelling during the missions as well. Another new feature: midmission supply crates, so that you can stock up on weapons and vehicles without having to run back to the Agency building.

With this mission over, the demo turned to the type of activities you can pursue when you take things at your own pace. Crackdown 2 offers a day-night cycle that changes the world substantially when darkness hits. The zombie freaks take over the city at night, turning the streets into an ocean of shambling monsters. Ruffian producer James Cope, who was manning the controller for the demo, made it a point to hop into a car and quite simply plow through this wave of freaks. They bounced off the front fender like pinballs, which, well, might be something you can technically do with civilians in the game, but now you can do guilt-free with freaks. Later in the game, you'll eventually take to the freaks' underground lairs and fight them on their own turf, where you might find some more-powerful enemies. As an example, Microsoft Game Studios lead designer John Noonan hinted at the idea of former superpowered agents becoming infected. All we know is that if there's one thing scarier than a guy who can climb skyscrapers, it's a guy who can climb skyscrapers and has a thirst for human flesh.

After violating every traffic rule known to man, the demo moved on to some high-flying antics. One of the new pieces of equipment available to you when you progress to a fairly high level is the wing suit. This beauty effectively turns you into a flying squirrel when you leap from a tall building. You can glide, swoop, or simply dive-bomb straight to the earth below, with different-colored contrails coming off your limbs to denote whether you're delaying or accelerating the effects of gravity. As in the first game, you can strike the ground with a devastating thud and clear out a large radius of enemies.

The team also managed to get their hands on the new agency helicopter, which looks like an average helicopter until you stop to realize that, like the rest of the agency vehicles, its look and function will drastically improve as your driving level ranks up. We're eager to see what else Crackdown 2 will offer in terms of the leveling up and agility orb system, as the original game seemed to have struck a great balance with those progression elements. You can expect to see more coverage leading up to the as-yet-unannounced 2010 release date.

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44 comments
Ninnio
Ninnio

What is this ? A cheap version of Tony Stark ? :)))

DIOSNY
DIOSNY

@ crazy098 "Zombies? They couldn't think of anything better than zombies?" Yea because there weren't any on the first one, oh wait

ZombieReaper33
ZombieReaper33

Looks HIGHLY addictive like the first! Really enjoy keeping busy with all the missions and side quests. Why does everyone pick on us Zombies?? We were people too....... once.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

I seriously cannot wait for this game... this to me is the AAA exclusive title to the 360 that most people think Halo is. The Halo franchise has gone downhill since H2 in my own opinion, but I know there are millions who think I'm wrong. For me, Crackdown was just an amazing game, regardless of whether it sold because it had the H3 beta on it... so what? I didn't bother with it, I was too busy having fun Crackdown!!

conan6980
conan6980

The first one was great and this one looks like it's shaping up to be the same....with that being said, I really wish developers would get more creative and quit pimping the zombie apocalypse so much.

crazy098
crazy098

Zombies? They couldn't think of anything better than zombies?

GamerBrett08
GamerBrett08

Gliding looks sweet! loved the first Crackdown cant wait for this.

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

Another new feature: midmission supply crates, so that you can stock up on weapons and vehicles without having to run back to the Agency building.

You didn't always have to go back to the Agency building in the first one. You could also restock at the savepoint buildings.

mbrown333
mbrown333

Can't wait for this. Crackdown was one of the most under-appreciated games I've ever played. SO much fun. The only thing I don't like is the zombies. We don't have enough zombie games already? It's so lame. Why couldn't they just stick with what they had in the first game? Still, if it's even a tiny improvement on the original, it should be a great game.

1ARACE
1ARACE

I really liked the first one, but my first impression is this seems a lot like Prototype.

wavey_gravey
wavey_gravey

I am genuinely really excited about this game. The first one was a real surprise for me, it was a bundled game when I bought my xbox. I had a blast playing it. If it is like the first with co-op as well then it is a must buy for me.

DEATH775
DEATH775

The explosion need some improvement. Everything else looks great.

PNG_1
PNG_1

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Lionoversusking
Lionoversusking

@ grasshopper6: What do you want with a game thats promising to give you so much in gameplay value if you enjoyed the origonal you'll enjoy this :)

Psy_m_on
Psy_m_on

This game will be good, just hoping on a high difficuly :)

Hugo_Fahkov
Hugo_Fahkov

I loved in the first game how the vehicles would go through the little cool morphing animation, from lame to badass, according to how leveled up you were. Cool little touches like that are nice.

koospetoors
koospetoors

A helicopter that changes according to your skill level in vehicles? like having zombies wasn't cool enough, this game definitely is an instant buy.

jason231
jason231

Oh , this is going to be fun.

Amauris96
Amauris96

Ooohh this looks like it's gonna last years [: of course till crackdown 3 haha ;D

KO4U
KO4U

Honestly the only 360 exclusive I'm looking forward to.

rickatick
rickatick

looks like pure fun, picking this one up for sure

aahov
aahov

first one was hella fun but none of my friends ever played it so no coop for me :( hopefully i get some buds for some awesome 4 player coop this time around. cant wait

paulliddell
paulliddell

if you're game isn't gonna top the charts throw in some zombies. Really why does this keep happening

Rummy500
Rummy500

Wow what a week for game news!

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

This is gonna be great. I wish they would just hurry up and release the demo on Xbox live already and stop talking about it. Followed by a solid release date. The first one is loads of fun to this day, 4 player co-op and more just makes this deal that much sweeter. Is there gonna be civilians? Or is it just you and the cell and the freaks? One of the things from the first game that kind of made the world feel a bit more substantial is that there were all these people wandering around and driving and such. My only fear with this game is that it may feel empty and dry, and is the cell the last of the humans? Will you be able to customize your dude, or at least pick from pre-sets like in the first one? Ahhh so many questions and so much waiting!!! I think no matter what this game will be amazingly fun.

bigbuckool
bigbuckool

Best part was the agent firing at the goons on the tower, who then get smashed by the other agent carrying a car (I think it was a car.) Let's hope it pans out.

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

@ekultus Your commenting needs a bit of improving, but your picture is priceless.

payne6705
payne6705

when I first heard about this game I was like mehh but now I am excited

Trogeton
Trogeton

man and just waiting is bad enough but then short gameplay movies

Aidan125
Aidan125

The first one was a lot of fun in co-op. The only thing that would make me buy this game is the 4 player co-op, that would kick ass :p

Bashers79
Bashers79

I bought the first game because after playing it on my brothers Xbox I was addicted, not because of Halo 3 beta (which wasn't available when I got my copy). In fact it was one of the reasons I bought my Xbox.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Im looking forward to some co-op