[UPDATE] Activision has since confirmed that True Crime will ship for the PC, 360, and PS3 in Fall 2010. It has also confirmed the game will let players explore Hong Kong on foot or in cars. As in the original True Crime, players will be able to engage in martial-arts-based hand-to-hand combat or ranged combat with weapons. The protagonist will be an all-new character called Wei Shen, and the game is modeled on Hong Kong action cinema. Original story is below.
Activision's True Crime series hasn't been seen since 2005, when True Crime: New York City flopped critically and commercially. The publisher is taking another stab at the franchise, though, hoping to add a Grand Theft Auto-style open-world action game to its product lineup.
At the VGAs tonight, Activision debuted a trailer for the next iteration in the series. The game is simply named "True Crime" and is being developed by ModNation Racers developer United Front Games. The trailer--viewable on YouTube--featured plenty of action, but only sketchy details as to the plot and gameplay specifics.
"When you're undercover, you have to make sacrifices," a voice-over explains as the camera gives glimpses of Hong Kong and the game's protagonist. "These people are ruthless. Whatever happens, just remember: We are the good guys."
The rest of the trailer is a montage of strip clubs, car chases, fistfights, and shoot-outs. Some clips hint at possible gameplay mechanics, showing the main character jumping from a speeding motorcycle onto a cop car, before dropkicking his way through the passenger-side window. Another shot of the motorcycle has the rider popping a wheelie in order to use an oncoming car as a ramp, while yet another sees the protagonist jump off the speeding bike as it hurtles toward a blockade of enemies and then shoot it as it slides toward them so it will explode.
The open-world action franchise began with 2003's Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, and PC game True Crime: Streets of LA. Developed by Luxoflux (except for the GameCube version), the game fared well with critics and was notable both for its faithful replication of many LA neighborhoods and for its branching storyline, which allowed players to be good or bad cops. Although never properly announced, a previous attempt at a third installment of the game had reportedly been canceled.
The trailer for the new True Crime didn't state a release window or platforms for the title, but United Front's Web site indicates that it is a developer of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games.