The Crackdown 2 demo released this week and this game is more than on par with it's predecessor. I thought at best the game could match Crackdown 1, especially since they added mutants, but sunrise surprise the game has thought of more innovation.
Based on the demo, there are times when taking a strognhold will be easier and tougher. The gangs seem to bunker down at nights so the game warns you that a direct stronghold attack might not be as smart. The game alos has an overriding mutant theme that seems to have the freaks coming out at night, though I also fought them during the days as well. You'll also have a strong knowledge of what time of day it is, not only based on the sky, but how populated the city is, and how much of that population seems to be with gangs.
The demo retains it's open world theme, and never forces you to actually do anything. Even though you are dropped directly into a firefight, you don't seem to have to kill the enemy though your instincts will probably make you. My first playthrough (the demo limits you to 30 mins), I spent alot of time going after agility orbs.
Climbing and running are a great part of this game and will help you plan your assaults in many ways. Again CD2 is following in CD's footsteps with 500 agility orbs, and this time they've added in rogue orbs that will greatly boost your skills, if you can catch them. Gunplay and explosions are of course a huge part of the mix as well as driving, and the cars seem to handle a little better, but not much. Crackdown has always been a vertical game, so despite my love of driving, I find myself on foot alot more.
You're also going to find a better overall story this time. So far I've picked up audio logs from gang leaders, as well as citizens, all revealing more about Pacific city and the PeaceKeepers and agents. So far the announcer seems to love commenting on some of the history you find, including letting us know how he feels about us as the second batch of clone agents. No real word on if we'll find out what happened to our silent unspeaking avatars of the first game.
The overriding theme of the demo is taking back the stronghold and powering up the different parts of essentially a few giant solar generators so you can drop a sun burst in the mutants lairs. (They hate UV). They also added UV guns which will do great damage to the mutants and may knock a human down (Your mileage may vary).
Overall, this game is taking all the best things from Crackdown and adding more good things to it. The strongholds aren't as dangerous so far as the old gang boss leaders were, but the demo also gives you accelerated leveling, so who knows. It's going to be a fun shootout through a new city though, either with a friend or solo.
Crackdown releases this July 2010.