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Crackdown 2

Crackdown 2

Crackdown 2

Crackdown 2 is a sandbox-style third-person shooter video game developed by Ruffian Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released on Xbox 360 in July 2010 and is a direct sequel to the 2007 video game Crackdown.

Crackdown 2 Plot

A trailer was unveiled at E3 2009 revealing that the player-controlled Agent roams over Pacific City, which has fallen into anarchy, assisting the Agency in the battle for Pacific City against the Cell. An article from Game Informer magazine stated that Pacific City is infested with mutants from the research facility in the first Crackdown. These mutants have overrun most of the former Shai-Gen territory and completely overrun the city at night. The remaining civilians, forming a group called The Cell, revolted against the Agency and the mutants. The Agents are tasked with sabotaging key Cell structures and raiding underground mutant tunnels. In addition, a Webcomic Series started on May 19, 2010. Since its release, there have been 5 episodes, each showing a different part of the plot in Crackdown 2.

Crackdown 2 takes place 10 years after the events of Crackdown. After "saving" Pacific City, there was a short time of peace. Then, according to the Agency, a new medical student named Catalina Thorne was accepted into the Agency as a scientist. However she was found to have been performing her own unauthorized experiments and was kicked out. Afterwards, her life was ruined, with her blaming the Agency. Later, she broke into the Agency cloning facility which housed the original agents, and introduced a virus into them which mutated the already genetically modified Agents, who became mindless and enraged, going on a killing spree before dying hours later. She then went on to destroy the research labs, sending the project back to square one and single-handedly destroying the Agent program.

Soon after, Catalina unleashed the "Freak" virus into the populace of Pacific City, turning the infected into mindless mutated monstrosities that kill anything they find. With no agents to combat them, the Agency and the city were left helpless as criminals also began to resurface in the absence of the agents and the weakness of the Agency. While the people were weaker and more desperate than ever, Catalina rallied their support, claiming the Agency has a cure for the virus but is keeping it secret. Desperate for hope, they formed the "Cell", a terrorist group devoted to destroying the Agency and making them give up the cure.

That's when the Agency unveiled Project Sunburst, in which a large bomb of direct sunlight is planted and detonated inside "Freak" lairs. The light is perfectly harmless to normal people, but the sunlight burns and destroys the Freaks. These bombs are dependent on generators to gather sunlight. Upon hearing of these generators and Project Sunburst, the Cell took over and stole the generators. The Agent must reactivate all of the absorption units, three per beacon for a total of twenty-seven. The Agent must visit each freak lair, summon air support with the beacon, and defend it against the freaks until it detonates.

During the final few beacons, Catalina Thorne hacks into the Agent's comm system and pleads with him to cease the beacon re-activations, but eventually is silenced by the Voice of the Agency. After the last beacon is detonated, the Agent must return to the Tower and activate the final beacon: the Tower itself. During the process, ex-agents turned into freaks, which were kept for research, break free and attack the three cores which must be defended by the Agent. After the beacon charges, Catalina herself attacks in a stolen and repainted Agency helicopter, firing at the core.

Ordered to stop her, the Agent, though damaged and bruised, leaps from the tower, firing at the helicopter as he falls. Catalina turns the helicopter when it is fired upon, causing the agent to hit the rotor blades rather than the cockpit. He is torn apart, sacrificing himself, succeeds in stopping Thorne. His hand lands in the helicopter as Thorne spins out of control away from the tower. The beacon fires and kills all remaining freaks in Pacific City, with the Voice of the Agency admitting he feels sorry for anyone who tries to stand in the Agency's way now. After the credits, a short video shows Thorne performing research, with the hand of the Agent in a test tube on the table in front of her.

The plot, as given above, is not necessarily the true story in the game. Audio Log collectibles found in the game give a different story, which paints the Agency as evil and manipulating. This alternate story matches the twist at the end of the first Crackdown game.

Crackdown 2 Gameplay

The game is modeled similarly to its predecessor Crackdown, a third-person shooter in open world game play. The player character is an advanced super-powered officer for the city-funded "Agency", known simply as the "Agent". This time around, players choose one of four faces and armor colours (eight colours if you pre-ordered it), instead of just the preset heads offered before. Along with that, the orbs have been carried on from the first game, and the Agent's powers are expanded and enhanced such as the Agility Skill which now allows the Agent to jump higher than in Crackdown, glide, and gain access to the helicopter landing pad at the Agency Tower. Driving is also available in Crackdown 2. You’re able to commandeer any number of vehicles in the game, including Agency vehicles, Peacekeeper Cruisers and a large number of civilian vehicles that the Cell have armor plated. Checkpoint races are back, both Road and Rooftop versions. Like Crackdown, the game will allow for on-line co-operative play in the main game, but will now support up to four players. The game will also feature competitive multiplayer modes for up to sixteen players. While the original Crackdown supported System Link playing for co-op, Crackdown 2 won't be featuring the same option. Microsoft Producer Peter Connelly stated: "It would've taken a half-day of work, for something that only a tiny percentage of gamers will ever use." The player will fight both the Cell, a terrorist organization, and "Freaks," strange infected mutants. Both can be killed with melee attacks, explosions, and bullets but there are special UV weapons made for the Freaks, who can't survive in sunlight. There are 5 skills to be leveled up: Agility, which the player increases by collecting Agility Orbs and Renegade Agility Orbs, by doing Rooftop Races, or by killing enemies from a highly elevated location; Firearms, which is increased by shooting both handheld and mounted guns; Driving, which is increased by running enemies over, power slides, handbrake turns, completing Road Races, jumping through Stunt Rings and collecting Renegade Driving Orbs; Explosives, which is increased by using explosives, both Launchers and thrown Grenades; and Strength, which is increased by using hand-to-hand attacks, throwing objects, beating people with those objects, or using the moves you unlock as your Strength increases, such as the Charge or Ground Slam.

Reception
The game has received mixed to positive reviews. GameSpot gave the game a 7 out of 10, praising the game's exploration, orb collecting and four-player co-op, while criticizing its similarities to its predecessor. IGN gave the game a 7.5 out of 10, also faulting it for similarities to its predecessor and its absence of a true story, but also complimenting its orb collecting and cooperative campaign. Giant Bomb gave the game 3 out of 5 stars, stating that while the game was enjoyable, too much was lifted from the first game and little new was added. Destructoid gave the game a negative review, rating it a 4.5/10 and criticizing its similarities to the previous game, while also noting new issues not present in the original. The writer said that the game "has no real reason to exist." GameTrailers praised the game's addictive Orb collecting, but criticized its lack of story or structure. The game currently holds a 70 out of 100 rating on Metacritic based on critic reviews.


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