Release Date: 22-Feb-2007
Developed By: Real Time Worlds
Published By: Microsoft
ESRB: MatureOfficial WebsiteWhere to buyAdd review
Crackdown is a free-form urban action game. It is known as "Riot Act" in Japan and developed by Realtime Worlds, Crackdown was created by David Jones, who helped create the original Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings.
Containing the sandbox-style gameplay featured in Grand Theft Auto III, Crackdown features co-op play in the same open environment as in the single-player mode. Features include the ability to start races with a friend in co-op, for example, a race across the rooftops. Cooperative play can be played online and will allow for entrance and exits by friends or other Xbox Live members. Depending on your settings, you can receive join requests from only friends or from everyone online.
Crackdown will be released on February 20th, 2007 in the United States and Canada, February 27th in Japan, February 22nd in Australia and February 23rd in Europe. Anyone who purchases Crackdown in its first shipment will get automatic entry into the Halo 3 beta. The game will, however, not be sold in Germany due to the USK's decision to not give the game a proper rating.
Sometime in the near future a crime fighting organization simply named "the Agency" has taken over as the main line of law enforcement to protect Pacific City. Three major gangs have taken root in Pacific city, the militia Volk, the drug trafficking Los Muertos and the advanced genetic power of the Shai-Gen Corporation. The three gangs are continuing to take over larger portions of Pacific City. With their forces constantly growing stronger, both in ranks and in strength from genetic enhancements, the Agency has started putting forth more effort to stop the gangs by enlisting genetically and cybernetically enhanced officers. The player takes the role of one of these officers to fight the Gang major leaders and Kingpins to bring back justice to Pacific City.
The game is set in a large sandbox environment, akin to the Grand Theft Auto series. The game starts with one portion of Pacific city open to the player. There the player must either take out the Kingpin of dominant gang, or take out the bosses that preform specific acts for the gang under the Kingpin to weaken the gang's production or the forces immediately protecting the Kingpin. It is the player's choice to kill the bosses, or skip them entirely to defeat the kingpin.
Much like other sandbox styled games, you mainly use guns and explosives to fight the opposing forces, as well as a vehicle to get around the city's landscape. Unique to Crackdown is a series of character based skills that can be upgraded to increase specific traits that can be used in combat, driving, or on foot agility. Unlike games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where increased skill is more realistic, Crackdown's skills are more exaggerated similar to something seen in comics or cartoons. These skills are trained by utilizing them frequently. For example, killing a gang member using a car, gun, explosive or melee skill gains experience orbs, which go towards increasing the skill's level, the highest being level five. Each skill increases said trait or gains a new ability/weapon in that trait.
Much like Gears of War, another popular Xbox 360 game published by Microsoft Game Studios, this game features online co-op. Also like Gears of War, friends can be invited to join one's game, or to "jump in", while a person playing through the campaign mode without having to quit and change playing modes. Both players gain the advantage of beating a mob boss in the game, but are required to obtain specific buildings in the game that distribute weaponry and ammunition called "supply points" and gain experience of their own accord.
* Driving: This skill increases the player's control over all of the vehicles in the game. In the later levels it can also allow for limited control over a vehicle while it's in the air, by making it roll or do vertical flips. One of the notable focuses in this skill is the character's influence on three select agency cars, which change both the vehicle in terms of cosmetic appearance and power. These changes become drastic at the fourth level where each of the cars gains a unique trait, such as car mounted machine guns, the ability to jump, climb up walls and a large nitro boost that destroys most oncoming cars on contact.
* Explosives: Training this skill increases the impact radius of all explosives in the game(grenades and rocket/grenade launchers), starting from small explosions to large (15 foot radius) blasts. Along with the larger impact radius comes increased damage inflicted by the explosions.
* Firearms: The firearms skill focuses on damage given by all non-explosive firearms. It also aids in precise targeting speed, decreasing the time needed to completely target an enemy. With specific guns this skill can increase the ability to see and shoot enemies from longer lengths from a first-person perspective.
* Agility: Of the five skills this is the only one that isn't specifically obtained by killing enemies. It is increased mainly by finding some of the agility orbs placed around the map in the game. Agility can also be attained by sniping enemies from buildings over long distances. This skill is also notable for being one of the few skills to change the character's physical appearance, in this case changing the avatar's facial and armor appearance. These changes range from hair length and color, to the appearance of tattoos or piercings. Increasing this skill's level greatly increases the running speed and jumping height for the player. The highest running speed is slightly faster than A.I. controlled cars and the maximum jumping height is around 40 feet.
* Strength: Like the agility skill, this one changes the character's appearance; however, unlike the agility skill, the appearance is always the same. The character's muscle mass increases drastically in all of the characters as this skill is trained. Increasing this skill changes how much a character can lift and how far a specific object can be thrown. In the later levels of this skill it is possible to kill an enemy with one kick, kick a car several dozen feet through the air and lift a weight of over 10 tons. Another noteworthy advantage of training the strength skill is the increase in health - with each level gained, another bar of health is obtained, adding four extra bars at level four for a total of five full health bars.
A demo was released via Xbox Live Marketplace on January 23, 2007. It was originally dated for January 18, however it was delayed due to Microsoft's certification process.  This demo includes both single player and co-op play. Silver account members received the demo one week later.
The demo lasts for, at most, 1 hour, with a timer starting when either player trains a skill to the second level. At that point a 30 minute timer will start. All of the in game skills can be trained up to the highest level at an accelerated rate. Four bosses of Los Muertos are possible to take down, but are not required to fight through the length of the demo. The demo allows for online co-op playing, but does not allow for jump-in co-op like the retail version.
The Crackdown demo quickly broke download records for Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace by becoming the most downloaded demo over a 24 hour period and a seven day (week-long) period. In the week after its release, the Crackdown demo was the second most played Xbox Live game after Gears of War.
Halo 3 beta test
Every pre-ordered and specially marked package of Crackdown will include an invitation to the beta test for the highly-anticipated Microsoft game Halo 3, possibly to encourage sales of Crackdown simply for the beta test invitation. A similar tactic was used to promote the PlayStation 2 game Z.O.E, which came bundled with a demo of the first level of Metal Gear Solid 2 - many bought Z.O.E specifically for the demo disc.
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