As more and more news comes in about Crackdown 2, we here at Co-Optimus are often left with just one single question: when, exactly, are we going to get our co-op loving hands on the title? It seems we're not the only ones that have been asking, as IGN UK asked a similar question to the game's producer, James Cope, and got the following response:
You can definitely expect a demo to hit Live before the game is out but I can't say when that will be... yet.
Keep reading for more from this interview, as well as an interesting bit from an interview VG247.com did with Billy Thompson, the game's lead designer.
While the bulk of the IGN UK interview with James Cope focuses on the skill orbs and player progression within the game, they do ask about how the game's been designed for fun co-op play:
IGN: Aside from gearing the missions towards four-player co-op, what else is being done to make the Crackdown 2 fun as a co-op game? Are there any new side distractions to compete in?
James Cope: Primarily we believe that all the objectives, toys and gadgets we put in the game drive players to creating lots of fun, but there is a big set of specific secondary and tertiary objectives to do as well. From hunting Orbs all the way through to Rooftop and Road races, and then on to Freak Breaches and the general freeform mayhem of the night-time activities - as well as some other stuff we're not ready to talk about - there's going to be a lot of players to do, in any order and at any point they feel like. We certainly don't make it easy for ourselves!
IGN UK goes on to ask what, if anything, Ruffian Studios is doing to help cultivate the Crackdown community:
IGN: What's being done to help foster a Crackdown community? Will there be any replay video functionality or special leaderboards?
James Cope: Again, that's not something we're ready to talk about yet but I can say that the Crackdown community is a big deal for us. We've got a lot of fans and we pride ourselves on being able to listen and take action on the feedback they give us. There's a fairly hardcore fanbase that continues to help promote Crackdown and our only worry is that we can't always do everything they'd like. Games and their communities are coming closer together and that's something we're keen on doing, especially through Live. We also do the regular things like scour forums but we've also got an emerging fanbase of our own with the Ruffian forum and we like the general chitter-chatter they generate.
While there was a lot of confusion over Microsoft's decision to hand over the IP to the new studio, the most important aspect of that decision was that they were placing it in the hands of the first game's lead designer, Billy Thompson, and it seems he's been making sure that the second game improves upon everything that first game had to offer. That includes the game's combat system. In a brief interview with VG247.com, Billy had this to say about the new combat style for Crackdown 2:
Batman: Arkham Asylum, I thought, was really well done from a hand-to-hand combat point of view. That’s probably about as close as I would say our combat system is. I mean, it’s not as intense as that, it’s not as deep… but ours is certainly as fluid as definitely as much fun, but it’s not got quite as much depth as it’s a very, very small part of the entire game.
So based on all of this, I think it's fairly safe to say that Crackdown 2 is going to be a pretty big hit on the co-op front. If the game is able to implement even half of what Batman: Arkham Asylum did in it combat system, and then pair that with an amazing and fun co-op experience that's been improved upon to be even more fun and co-op friendly? Seriously, Ruffian... can we have this game already?