Throwback Thursday: Crackdown – Time To Blow Up Crime (VIDEO)
Let’s throw back to February 20, 2007, when the original Crackdown was released for Xbox 360. The game offered an explosive scope of freedom with its open ended missions and seemingly boundless destruction. Superhuman mayhem was the name of the game and gamers were decidedly all aboard the hype train when it released on the Microsoft console.
Before Crackdown became a reality, developer Realtime Worlds was just starting out, with founder David Jones having previously overseen development on the do-whatever-you-want franchise known as Grand Theft Auto. With a fresh studio at his disposal, work soon started on a new project aiming to take the GTA formula to dramatic levels, and allow players to revel in their own action-packed playground.
Development kicked off in 2002, and Realtime Worlds set their sights on a Spring 2005 release for the original Xbox. Significant progress was made while working within this hardware, even producing a rough playable demo in 2004. However, with the then-upcoming launch of the Xbox 360, the team were compelled to move the project over to the next-gen system, but not without overcoming a number of time-consuming design hurdles. This pushed the game’s release date to 2007, a full two years after the original goal.
Crackdown‘s impending launch was severely hyped with a playable demo released on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The experience provided an encapsulated version of the full gameplay, featuring accelerated leveling-up and select missions from the full game. Developers were initially nervous about freely releasing so much of the essential experience, but became relieved upon receiving a stellar reception from fans. So popular was the Crackdown demo, it became a top download on the Marketplace up until the game’s release.
What does one actually do in Crackdown? The short answer is “destroy stuff”. A longer explanation would be to crack down the crime-ridden locale of Pacific City. Players inhabit the role of any one of eight set characters, who themselves are members of the aptly-named organization, The Agency. Each Agent is enhanced to superhuman levels and are granted access to advanced weaponry in the balls-out war on illegality. Friends able to drop into the fun as well via the game’s online co-op mode or through the old-school means of system link.
From the beginning of the game, missions are laid out in a very open manner, meaning each crime Kingpin is available to bust from the get-go. Some enemies are more difficult than others, but as with any sandbox game, there’s plenty of chances to level up. Defeating those do-badders unleashes a flurry of orbs that, when collected, increases stats for players’ crime-stopping abilities, such as Agility (running/jumping), Driving (vehicle handling), Explosives (ka-boom), and Strength (you lift bro).
Crackdown‘s greatest gift to humanity was its “Keys to the City” mode, which paused all missions and sparse story content to let players’ destructive imaginations run wild. With the shackles off, Agents are granted the ability to top-off their stats, summon in-game items, and let human nature do the rest. And by that, I mean arrange infinity explosive barrels in a row and blow up everything wearing a madman grin. …What? Doesn’t everyone do that?
Crackdown was the beginning of a new franchise for Xbox, but Realtime Worlds would not return to the series it started. A sequel was eventually released in 2010 by developer Ruffian Games, a collective formed by former Realtime Worlds employees. Crackdown 3 was revealed in 2015 for the Xbox One, and would see David Jones brought back to oversee development. Following numerous delays, the upcoming game still has yet to be released (at the time of writing), but here’s hoping it makes it in time for Spring 2018.
What’s your opinion of Crackdown? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! Also, be on the lookout for the next Throwback Thursday where we’ll highlight yet another title from gaming past. For entries from previous weeks, check out these next few links below:
Eric Hall771 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his weekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at games of the past.