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Crackdown 2

Killing in the name.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

By now you've had time to read part one of our interview with Crackdown 2 producer James Cope and development director Gareth Noyce. Although, you know, fair enough if you haven't. It's only our livelihood.

Moving on, today's second instalment covers the progression from Crackdown 1 to 2. There was supposed to be some sort of theme to this, as part of a carefully coordinated PR campaign, so we didn't really pay attention to that and just asked some questions about things in game two, some of which were in game one. It's probably cool.

Read on to find out how the Freaks work, what the mission structure's like and what Crackdown 2 has in common with Harry Potter.

EurogamerOkay, I'm now officially asking you about whatever the second tranche of questions are supposed to be about. Will you need to take the Freaks and the Cell down in the same way as in the first game, bottom to top?
James Cope

There's a very similar approach in some respects. The mission hierarchy in the first game was just a bit repetitive - find the boss, kill the boss - and I think people rightly criticised it for being a little bit formulaic and boring, so one of the things we're trying to do now is the same freeform mission structure exists but within that mission structure there's a hierarchy of activities that create a system.

So effectively what's going on is that certain parts of the world are controlled by the Cell, the Freaks are running riot across the city at night, and the Agency is effectively working through Cell strongholds in something we call free tactical location, so it's a lot like destroy-capture-defend mechanics. That interplay of those three things is quite important to the way the mission structure works.

It's nice, but it's also very difficult to do because we've also got this design direction of needing to keep the game completely open so players can do things in any order. That's a very hard to try and structure. But there's a nice mechanic there that we're pretty pleased with, as ultimately the objective of Crackdown 2 is to retake the city and a big part of that is destroying the Freak population and the mechanic for doing that is quite exciting, and that brings in some of the new things like underground territories and things like that.

It's difficult [to describe] because there's a very big thing we've yet to talk about in the game and it's intimately linked to the mission structure [laughs]. It does involve the Freaks and the underground territories, and the ultimate objective in the game is pretty fundamental to that.

No Volk and all play.
Gareth Noyce

I think there's one difference [between Crackdown 1 and 2], I mean Crackdown gameplay was the primary gameplay of the bosses and everything else was secondary. I think Crackdown 2 we've got primary, secondary, tertiary and then Achievements and bits and bobs, so I think there's a few more layers this time.

Like Crackdown, you don't need to do everything, you can just tackle what you want, but there's more layers to it this time, which is one of the improvements we were trying to chase really.

EurogamerI was quite excited when Eurogamer contributor Christian Donlan visited you and told me he thought there were new orb types. Can you expand on that a little, or is it too early? Or was he wrong?
James Cope

Ha ha, no, he's totally right, there are new orb types. I can't really say what they are at the moment.

EurogamerCan you say what colour they are?
James Cope

Er, green ones. Purple ones. I tell you what... if people imagine in their minds the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter they probably won't be too far from the truth.