Crackdown 2 is the sequel to the original Crackdown and was developed by Ruffian Games, whose team included many members of Crackdown developer, Realtime Worlds. The game features both co-operative and competitive multiplayer, and a returns to Pacific City. The game timeline has advanced though, and the city consists of mostly new map.
The game continues the story from the first Crackdown where the actions of the first Super Agent in taking down the three gangs in control of Pacific City, have caused a chain reaction that nearly destroyed the city. While assaulting a research facility belonging to the Shai-Gen Corporation, he let loose a group of medical test subjects infected with a virus intended to create the Shai-Gen's own "Agents", but instead transforms the hosts into super-strong, super-durable mutants with no intelligence and have a constant animal aggression. Making things much, much worse, anyone who is not killed in an attack by the infected, becomes infected.
Ten years have passed since then, and though the Agency was making major headway into clearing the city of the creatures, charmingly dubbed " Freaks" by the populace of Pacific City, they took a major hit when a terrorist group known as the Cell attacked Agency medical research stations, preventing them from making any more Agents. Between Cell aggression and constant Freak attacks, the Agency was ultimately forced to retreat back to the Agency Compound in the center of Pacific City.
The game begins as the Agency finally gets the Agent program up and running again, with the player cast as a new Agent, fresh from the genetic engineering lab. During the daytime, Pacific City survivors are protected by the Cell and scavenge for anything with which to defend themselves against the Freaks, who come out at night. Crackdown 2 was built from the ground up as a four player co-op experience. Besides the addition of two new players, a new aspect of co-op is the ability for each player to be completely free in regards to mission choice. In the original, two players could take on one mission at a time, now 4 players can take on any number of missions independently.
As before, orbs which provide upgrades to the five major skills (Agility, Strength, Firearms, Explosives, Driving) are rewarded to the player for performing actions related to the skill (with the exception of Agility, which requires the player to hunt down the famous Agility Orbs scattered across the city). New "Live Orbs" will be present during co-op games; these provide a small boost to all skills, similarly to Hidden Orbs, which also make a return, but Live Orbs require physical contact from all players at once before they are collected, encouraging teamwork in the otherwise chaotic game.
There are a variety of vehicles in the game, including helicopters, a vehicle not available in the original game. Players can also use the new gliding ability to glide around the city.
The Agency Director, who provided the narration voice-over from the original game, and was voiced by Michael McConnohie, makes a return in both single-player and multiplayer.
After the Agent left Pacific City in Crackdown, the Agency once again gained control over all the islands of Pacific City. However, this was not for long. Soon after the Agent was told it was all a test to see if Dr. Baltazar Czernenko's Super-Human Agents and cloning program were successful, things started to go downhill. The reason of the downfall of the Agency was Agency ex-employee Catalina Thorne. She had just come out of medical school when she was hired by the Agency as a research assistant on the Agency's cloning program. But research files started going 'missing', and soon her involvement came to light. The Agency fired her, and she swore to take revenge on the Agency and Pacific City.
What the Agency didn't know was that Thorne created the M2448 virus, capable of creating the Freaks. Thorne broke into the Agency labs and contaminated devices used in the Super-Human and cloning programs, resulting in the Agents to rapidly transforming into Freaks. For the genetically modified Agents, the transformation was too much for their bodies and minds, resulting in imminent death. Still unaware of Thorne's involvement with these events, the Agency's Super-Human and cloning programs suffered major setbacks. To make matters worse, the labs were completely destroyed by the Agents during their transformations into freaks.
Due to the lack of Agents, crime and destruction grew rampant in the city. The Agency did everything within their power to get the cloning programs up and running again, but without the help of Dr. Baltazar Czernenko, who was killed by the Agent when he was employed by Shai-Gen Corporation, this would turn out to be harder then they thought it would be. During the time the Agency was pulling itself together, Pacific City was vulnerable. Thorne saw this as her chance to take over the city. Her resistance group, the Cell, gained massive support from the Pacific City residents, because it seemed they were the only ones trying to fix the Freak problem, unaware of the fact that the Agency could have had it all under control if the leader of their so-called "heroes" had not sabotaged their operations. The new Agent in Crackdown 2 is the first of the new line of Agents who need to weaken the Cell and fix the Freak problem to regain the trust of the Pacific City residents.
In order to get rid of the Freaks, the Agent must plant light powered beacons in the most active Freak zones in Pacific City. Before being able to do so, the Cell starts taking over Absorption Units, which are being used to power the beacons and give them enough energy to destroy the Freaks. The Agent must now regain the Absorption Units before being able to activate the beacons.
After getting back the units from the Cell's control, the Agent manages to set off nine beacons around Pacific City, but must activate one more in order to completely purge the city of the Freaks. This beacon turns out to be the Agency Tower itself. While the Agent powers up the tower to go off, it is revealed that previous agents were turned into Freaks and that the Agency had been doing tests on them. These Freaks have now escaped and are trying to destroy the entire tower. The Agent fights off the Agent Freaks while the tower powers up and eventually holds them back long enough for it to reach full power. Thorne arrives in a helicopter, and tries to ruin the Agency's plan, for no apparent reason other than bitterness. The director tells the Agent to hold her back no matter what, so the Agent throws himself into her helicopter blades to destroy it, dying in the process. The tower finally goes off and removes all Freak activity from Pacific City while Throne's helicopter falls into the ocean. The director then claims that the Agency can now continue its plan to expand around the world now that it is done with Pacific City.
A final cutscene is shown of Throne in her lab examining the Agent's hand, which had fallen into her helicopter after he was killed by the blades. It seems that she may be trying to find out how to make a clone from the hand and use the Agent to her advantage to finally defeat the Agency once and for all.
Crackdown 2 features both 4 player co-op and competitive co-op. There is also 16-player competitive multiplayer, which has been described as a "fast death, fast re-spawn" experience similar to the fast action experience in Modern Warfare multiplayer.
On 21st June a demo of 'Crackdown 2' was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo gave players 30 minutes at a time to do what they want in Pacific City. Like it's predecessor the demo included 'Accelerated Skill Progression' meaning players could level up there agent faster and gain access to weapons, vehicles & abilities that are unlocked at higher levels before the demo ended. The demo allowed players to play in 4 player Co-op and allowed players to find 'Renegade' Orbs and also play some of the missions. The demo was long enough so players experienced day & night, meaning they could fight the Zombie-like 'Freaks' at night but also play in the daytime.
The Crackdown 2 Demo was also the second demo on Xbox Live which allowed players to 'pre-earn' achievements, also called pre-chievements. There were 10 pre-chievements available, and once a player booted the full game up the pre-chievements awarded in the demo would automatically unlock. This addition to the demo was praised not only by fans of the game, but also people who had never played Crackdown before.
The game was playable by the public for the first time at PAX East 2010.
The game has the following avatar awards that you can obtain:
- Orb Shirt - In Crackdown 1, Unlock the achievement First Rung of the Ladder
- Freak Slippers - Unlock the achievement FirstHurdle
- Ruffian Hat - Unlock the achievement Hope Springs Savior
- Level 1 Agent Suit - Unlock the achievement Light Bringer
- Agency Hoodie - Unlock the achievement Jack of All Trades
- Green Agent Helmet - Purchase the Toy Box DLC
- Green Agent Suit - Complete 'Fly Swat' (Toy Box)
- PVP Agent Helmet - Purchase the Deluge DLC
- PVP Agent Suit - Complete '15 Minutes of Maim' (Deluge)
There have been two DLC releases for the game named "Deluge" and "Toy Box" both released for 560 MSP. Free versions of both of these releases have also been released providing players with a limited set of the new features provided in the full release.
The Deluge DLC provides:
- a new Horde style mode where players fight waves of enemies
- a new 16 player capture the orb mode
- new achievements and Avatar awards
The Toy Box DLC provides:
- a new "Keys to the City" god mode similar to the mode in the original Crackdown
- a new vehicle tag game
- 2 new vehicles
- 5 new toys/weapons
- new agent armor colors
- new achievements and Avatar awards.
There are four different suits of Agency armor obtainable by pre-ordering the game at a participating store (such as Gamestation or Amazon).
- Gold - Gold plated armor pieces
- Gunmetal - A lighter gray color with a metallic shine
- Black - A matte color and has no luster or shine to it
- Xbox Agent - A green and orange chameleon type finish that changes changes between the two colors depending on the lighting conditions