Experiences from Pacific City
Loren "AgtFox" Halek
Unlike the rest of the gang, I wasn’t so high on the original Crackdown. It was enjoyable, but at some point it just became boring to me, even the addicting orb collection. Also unlike the rest of the gang, I generally play and enjoy single-player games over co-op/multiplayer ones. Even when I played with the gang, I ended up going my own way because I wasn’t leveled up in my agility like others were and they were able to get to the top of a building whereas I couldn’t. The great thing is that Crackdown 2 allows you to go anywhere in the hosts’ game and there is no invisible fence or anything.
Playing co-op was quite enjoyable and anything you pick up from an orb perspective translates to your own game whether you play single-player or enter into another co-op game. The only bad thing I noticed in co-op play was where there was a lot going on and all four players were in the same place, there was some major slowdown. Outside of that, play was quite smooth. As I play through by myself I find there are some areas that would certainly benefit from additional people helping you, but I was able to persevere by myself.
From a co-op perspective I think this is a really good pickup and the overall story is far more tight. Gone are the assassination missions and the divided gangs. Now there is only the Cell and the Freaks with the ability to go after any available mission you want. The game plays much the same as the original, the same concept is there.
Mike "pheriannath" Katsufrakis
Crackdown is my favorite example of a sandbox game. While there are some loose guidelines for how to “complete” the story, the real star is the fun you make for yourself. The same is true of the sequel. Though we’d often get four players into our sessions, we’d waste a ton of time powersliding though freaks during the nighttime hours, orb hunting, cackling at each other when we’d miss a jump and fall 50 stories to our death. It became especially fun once I acquired the homing rocket launcher, which I would use with flagrant disregard for the safety of my nearby co-op buddies. Luckily, Ruffian included the ability to revive your co-op partner.
It’s great fun to revisit old areas of Pacific City, especially when you don’t recognize a location at first. During our co-op sessions, we were constantly remarking about how a place has changed, or how we remembered that a particularly tough to get orb was hidden in a place that is now easily accessible in the sequel.
I don’t really miss the gang structure of the original game, and while the Cell faction isn’t particularly interesting, the dynamics of capturing their territory makes taking them out more pressing than the gang leaders in the original. To lock down an area, you’ll have to take between 1 and 3 Cell-controlled areas out, and failing to capture all three within a certain amount of time will allow Cell to recapture them. It forces you to focus on completing the objectives, as we found out when we decided to start hunting for green, glowing crack rather than finish the job we started.
This is a worthy sequel for anyone who was a fan of the original, and I can only hope Ruffian releases some more keys to this city.