What We Know: Microsoft didn't need to say much more than "hey, Crackdown 2 is coming" to get people excited at E3. A Crackdown sequel has been a long time coming, but thankfully, the wait is nearly over, as Ruffian Games, comprised of many folks who worked on the original game, is hard at work at making Crackdown 2 a playable reality. Other than the game's new focus on a viral outbreak amongst the citizens of Pacific City and a night and day mechanic, however, gamers have been simply living off the knowledge that Crackdown 2 is in development.
What's New At TGS: I expected to walk into Tokyo Game Show and see more of Crackdown 2, but I did not expect to walk into the hotel where Microsoft and Ruffian were holed up and be handed a controller for a few rounds of Crackdown 2 deathmatch. After walking us through several of the major feature additions to Crackdown 2 -- four-player online co-op, more orbs, a much more robust melee system, missions with sub-objectives to keep all players busy -- a series of Xbox 360s were turned on and we were let loose.
Let it be known: Crackdown was made for a robust, sprawling series of multiplayer options. Deathmatch is a perfect compliment to the Crackdown gameplay and the sense of verticality means the eb and flow is completely different from anything else out there. Unlike a great many other shooters coming down the pike, Crackdown 2 doesn't have to worry about the monster that is Modern Warfare 2; this is another beast entirely. Players are rewarded with varying point values depending on the kind of kill they pull off, whether it's a head shot, a melee attack (which awards the most) or a straight run-and-gun. The environment I was exploring had a few scattered power-ups and weapon pick-ups, but it felt more like a proof of concept than anything else. It proves its point, though: Crackdown 2 multiplayer works really, really well and the more toys they add to the mix, the better it's going to get.
What I Want To See Next: Though it's clear Crackdown 2 single and multiplayer have a long ways to go -- Ruffian was saying development is roughly at 60% completion -- it's already giving off very good vibes. The only ding against the multiplayer that was shown here at TGS is a lack of sandbox toys to play around with, but it sounds like that's assured. More Crackdown 2, please.