GamingNexus: I love the idea of playing this type of game with superpowers, but will the characters earn the different moves over the course of the game or will we have access to all of the powers from the get-go?
As you play through the game you’ll be able to increase your Agent’s abilities across five core attributes – Firearms, Agility, Strength, Driving and Explosives. Each time you level up in one of these attributes you’ll see changes in your Agent. These changes will affect your physical appearance but they also affect your abilities in the fields. For example, a high level explosive expert can create explosions of great magnitude. The same goes for a high level agility Agent. You might initially only be able to jump up one floor, but as you ramp up your skills you can jump three or four stories…or even jump great chasms across city blocks.
GamingNexus: I've heard that the Japanese version of Crackdown will have a completely different protagonist, is this a character that American gamers will be able to access or download at some point?
Crackdown and Riot Act will offer all the same Agents for play. The marketing team in Japan has simply chosen to feature the Asian agent in their marketing communications.
GamingNexus: How diverse are the different missions? Are there any that stand out in your mind and really define what you are trying to do with Crackdown?
The missions themselves are organic in that they change dependent on what gang bosses you’ve taken out previous to any new mission. So for example, if I remove the weapons officer for a gang, you’ll see that any future boss fights (for the same respective gang) the gang members will have reverted to less powerful numbers. The same thing happens if I remove their recruiter before taking on another gang boss; in that you’ll see their numbers dissipate. You can try to tackle the kingpin straightway, as all 21 gang boss missions are open to you from the beginning, but you’ll likely get smoked until you take out some or all of his underlings. The locations of these missions also very greatly – from tackling a gang boss stationed on an oil rig to taking out a gang boss hiding away in the bowels of chop shop. As far a variety, how you accomplish the mission is up to you. That’s certainly one of our differentiators. You don’t have to go from point A to point B or escort this or snipe this person and then that person to finish the mission. Instead it’s up to you (and perhaps your co-op Agent) to decide how best to tackle any given mission. You might swim in, you might come in thru a back door or you might come in the front door, Rambo style. It’s up to you, but your Agent’s earned abilities may (or may not) complement your chosen method.
GamingNexus: Will players be able to customize their character, or there a pre-determined character you play all the way through?
Your play style will customize the character. If you are a character who is keen to use his strength, you will see your character begin to put on some serious mass. If you focus on your Agility, you’ll probably look more like a gymnast. If you are focus on both, you’ll probably end up looking a bit like a male version of Mary Lou Retton. ;)
GamingNexus: Can you talk about the various Achievements in Crackdown? What are some of the more memorable achievements you created for the game?
There are over 40 achievements. Two of my personal favorites are “Base Jumper” and “Global Impact”. With Base Jumper you have to climb to the top of the Agency tower, the tallest building in Crackdown, and then survive a jump into the water below. Easier said then done. With “Global Impact” we’ve placed a certain object in a certain location. You need to find this object and then beat down 15 criminals with it. There are a lot of unique achievements in Crackdown. I could go on, but I’d rather you discovered them for yourself.
GamingNexus: About how large is Pacific City? Are you considering adding more areas later as downloadable content?
Pacific City is 10 square miles of landmass and includes 8 miles of freeway. The city’s tallest building would rival the Empire State Building at 364 meters tall. The key thing to keep in mind is that this game has been built for vertical exploration as well as horizontal exploration. Much of the action is going to take place on rooftops, ledges, balconies and even underground. Feel free to take a swim too.
We’d like to thank Phil for taking the time to answer our questions as well as to Steve for helping to coordinate the interview.
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