Crackdown 2 Features

FeatureCheap This Week - 13/07/11

Crackdown! EDF! Child of Eden!

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Three years on from its release and Realtime Worlds' Crackdown still commands an incredible level of respect from committed Xbox 360 gamers, and we count ourselves among its many fans. Indeed, the very first Digital Foundry feature in the now-regular Saturday slot was a tech retrospective of this very special game.

Crackdown 2

Freak in the morning.

Pacific City has seen better days. It once was a thriving metropolis filled with sleek skyscrapers, a booming oil and gas industry and highways buzzing with traffic. Now it lies broken, destitute and for the most part eerily devoid of pedestrians. Things were hardly better when the place was run by three massive crime syndicates, but at least you wouldn't get shot by terrorists who claimed they were fighting your corner, and you could go out at night without being stomped on by a mutant.

FeatureCrackdown 2

Killing in the name.

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.

FeatureCrackdown 2

Part 1: James Cope and Gareth Noyce explain the trailer's implications.

Crackdown, famously, snuck up on people. Saddled by a Halo 3 multiplayer beta, everyone assumed it was a bit cack, only for it to be anything but. We loved it.

Crackdown 2

Sequels equals kills, Agent.

Perhaps the best way to define your more violent kind of game is by whether it gives you tools or props. Uncharted 2, dynamic and enthralling as it is, gives you props. Even its guns seem to have been designed specifically to get you through the next bottleneck of set-pieces, before the developer flings you in another direction. Crackdown, however, provides tools - items and ideas that are good for all manner of experimentation or chaos. Or perhaps that should be toys rather than tools - its developers, after all, insist on calling Crackdown 2 a toybox, rather than a sandbox.

FeatureCrackdown 2

Double agent.

Making the sequel to a blockbuster hit must be tough. On the one hand, you've got to keep the existing fanbase happy by offering more of what made it a hit in the first place. On the other you're expected to be all innovative and bold, and come up with fresh ideas which will attract new admirers without annoying the old ones. And on top of all that you've got to fix everything that was wrong with the original, make the visuals prettier, construct a new plot, create new characters, invent new weapons... No wonder George Lucas struggled.