[PAX East] Crackdown 2 Multiplayer Preview
By Jereme Puik, April 1st, 2010
This past weekend was the inaugural PAX East held in Boston, MA. I decided to hitch a ride in my car and take the road trip up north to see what it was all about. There was a pretty decent showing of games on the show floor and I’m here to give you the scoop on one of them, Crackdown 2. Yes, Microsoft had its own booth at the show and was only showing off the online multiplayer for the title. These are two modes you’ll get to experience in the game, Rocket Tag and Team Deathmatch that were shown off at PAX East.
In the 10 minute session that I managed to play of Rocket Tag, I came away with three words; frantic, fun and intelligent. You’ll have to remember that in this kind of environment, Crackdown 2’s multiplayer is frantic in the fact that there will be a lot of players online. The matches Microsoft had setup had 2 sets of 4 players for each mode give or take. Also remember that with any online multiplayer title you have to be smart and quick otherwise you won’t survive. The purpose of Rock Tag is much like Halo 3’s Oddball Mode, where one player is contained as the orb and you have to last 20 seconds alive to score points. While others will have rocket launches to blast you to death and pick up the orb for them.
The maps itself are smaller pieces from Pacific City so you won’t be able to explore much if you wanted too as the developers put a ring around the city so you won’t go far. If anything you shouldn’t get too frustrated with the game if you die, because you will…..a lot. Remember that as soon as you pick up that orb you’re a target so watch out as a million rockets will be heading to cause your death. So, your best bet is to find an alley way or hiding spot to hide in. Overall, the mode is a lot of fun and recommended for those who love rockets like me.
Just as you would come to expect from any online multiplayer game, Crackdown 2’s Team Deathmatch mode is your standard fair in that respect. There are two teams of super-powered humans running around a small part of a larger Pacific City as is the same as Rocket Tag; shooting, kicking and beating other players to death to earn points. Each player starts off with the basic equipment but you won’t be left empty handed as there are plenty of weapons around the world to pick up. There’s everything from grenades, rocket launchers, and shotguns to help you in your victory.
Vehicles are scattered about as well and the new thing for Crackdown 2 is that vehicles now have torrents which are also included in the single player campaign. There is also a new gameplay addition of what you call, “the glide”. If you manage to get onto a high surface during multiplayer or single player, pressing the Y button as you jump moves you into a glide position to help you move across the map faster. Unfortunately, in multiplayer this makes you an easy target for the other teams kill. Players can still lock onto each other to make it easier to take each other out.
The only problem I had was that there wasn't enough of a coordinated effort in Team battles. Yes, because of the scope of the event you couldn’t exactly team up and communicate with each other, but it still would’ve been a nice opportunity to do so. Developers from Ruffian Games were on hand to provide assistance to myself other gamers that were getting their hands on the game for the first time.
Overall, Crackdown 2 is looking pretty good so far, I’m sure by the time E3 hits in June we’ll see more coming out of the single player aspect of the title and what we can expect story wise as well. Crackdown 2 will be releasing exclusively for the Xbox 360 on July 6th, 2010.