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Crackdown is a moderately free-roaming, open-world third-person shooter for the Xbox 360, released in late February of 2007. The game's plot revolves around a genetically enhanced law-enforcement agent dismantling three massive crime syndicates in the metropolis known as Pacific City.
|This section contains spoilers! Content within this section may reveal significant parts of a game(s) story.|
Pacific City is initially being run by three massive gang syndicates- the Central-American Los Muertos, the Eastern-European Volk, and the East-Asian Shai-Gen. The city's inherent policing force, known as the Peacekeepers, is finding itself completely incapable of handling the massively powerful gangs, and as a result calls upon "The Agency" for aid, the Agency being an organization that oversees multiple cybernetic soldiers and operates from a massive skyscraper in the middle of the city's central bay. The Agency sends out an "Agent" (an enhanced cybersoldier with upgradable abilities) to dismantle the gang syndicates piece by piece.
After all three syndicates have been eradicated, the Director reveals that the Agency was actually pumping up the gangs with backup and funding in order to inflate them to threats sizable enough to require the Agency to intervene. This puts the Agency in near-complete control over Pacific City (having taken out all comparable competition) and suggests that similar tactics are to be employed elsewhere to create a New World Order.
The game consists of you, the Agent, using your enhanced capabilities and skills to wipe out three sizable gangs that are controlling various sections of the city. To do this, you have to find and kill eight sub-bosses in each gang, to soften up the approach to the gang's Kingpin (who you must then also eliminate).
To this end, you have far superior skills in firearms handling, vehicle operation, explosives handling, jumping, close combat, and foot speed than anyone else in the city. You also have the ability to unlock "supply points" around the city that serve several functions: as respawn points should you die (in which case you will be brought back via cloning), as restock points for firearm and explosive ammo, and as storage points for any gang weapons you may claim.
Your initial skills are somewhat low (though still better than any of your opponents), but as you use these skills they will become more developed: firearms shoot more precisely, explosives have bigger blast radii, more weight can be lifted and thrown farther, vehicle handling is more precise, and your base jump becomes higher. In addition, though your initial firearm arsenal is rather small, you can pick up weapons from fallen gang members and return them to any supply point to add them to your arsenal. Weapons in-game include pistols, automatic pistols, shotguns (in varying degrees of automation), submachine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, and rocket launchers, as well as several types of hand grenades.
- "Los Muertos, the dead, have rapidly grown from a petty band of Central American drug dealers into a significant narcotics operation dominating the two islands that form Pacific City's east[sic]* side, a district now known as La Mugre, the dirt. The gang's "death" designation was originally chosen to strike fear in those who might dare stand in their way. Now the name is more commonly associated with the consequences of their vile trade.
- "Los Muertos members are formidable fighters with remarkable brute strength and brutality to match. They are also renowned vehicle specialists, stealing and customizing the finest cars and vans before using them to great effect in crimes and getaways."
- The Director (a character in the game)
- Though the game says east, according to the other compass directions La Mugre is actually the two western islands.
Los Muertos are the first gang the Agent will come into contact with in Pacific City (and, in the Demo, the only gang), and as such are the easiest to handle and defeat (comparatively). Based off the "street gang" concept, they drive modified sports cars and vans, controlling a vast section of the city. Though less dangerous than the Volk or Shai-Gen, Los Muertos are still a formidable threat if encountered in numbers.
Los Muertos members have tendencies to be somewhat disorganized and sporadic in combat- they rarely work together, except when focusing on the defense of a particular area (such areas include the lighthouse and villa in North La Mugre), and their weapons rarely include anything besides pistols and submachine guns. Their gang cars all bear the Los Muertos emblem or name somewhere on them, and tend to be faster than the normal cars, albeit with somewhat worse traction.
- "Tired of relentlessly fighting for poor pay and no recognition, hardened militia from all over Eastern Europe came together to put their skills to more profitable use: organized crime. The Volk brought with it a strong pack work ethic and a vast hoard of munitions and armored vehicles of war.
- Their "Wolves" embrace strict military discipline and are experts in the use of firearms and explosives. They bolster their ranks with skilled illegal immigrants, and use the rest as a disposable workforce. The Volk controls the entire industrial area of Pacific City, locally known as the Den. The district's most notable trait is thick suppressive smog—appropriate for such an oppressive regime."
- The Director (a character in the game)
The Volk are somewhat the "middle-of-the-road" gang in Pacific City, typically being encountered before Shai-Gen but after Los Muertos. They are primarily Eastern European and seem to be modeled after the old Red Army, bearing a "wolfpack" group-mindset that is evident in their tactics. They inhabit the Den, the southern of the two eastern islands.
The Volk have much higher coordination than Los Muertos, and tend to work together more to take down the foe rather than individually blasting away whenever they get the option. Their gang equipment is primarily old military surplus- their gear consists of military rifles and rocket launchers, and their cars are either Eastern European compacts or armored military transport vehicles (indeed, some of them even bear nuclear-style missiles, though they have no effect and cannot be launched).
- "The Shai-Gen Corporation is a sinister and pervasive force for evil. It was founded and funded by the previous government with a remit to evolve radical pre-emptive defense solutions. Its intensive scientific research, strategic influence initiatives, and black propaganda yielded staggering and disturbing results. The burgeoning division became financially independent—probably through illicit sources—and more powerful than its original patron. This led to its purchase by a mysterious individual and the birth of the Shai-Gen Corporation... and, as a result, the Agency. Shai-Gen is based in the Corridor, a space created for the lavish lifestyle of its personnel—and a superficial utopia for its numbed citizens."
- The Director (a character in the game)
Ruthless, well-funded, and well-trained, the Shai-Gen Corporation is easily the most dangerous and deadly of all three criminal syndicates. With a veritable army of security troopers and an armaments arsenal larger than that of some small countries, this murderous business group holds complete dominion over the northeastern island of Pacific City, known as the Corridor.
Do not make the mistake of underestimating Shai-Gen. Their agents and troopers are the toughest and most well-equipped of any of the rank-and-file troopers in the city, and they are apt to use coordination and tactics to get the edge up on the player. Their cars, in fitting with the "high-roller" lifestyle they project, are exclusively high-end compact sports cars or minivans, and their hideouts may well prove impenetrable to any agent lacking a high athletics stat.
As described above, Pacific City is separated into roughly five territories; North La Mugre, South La Mugre, the Den, the Corridor, and the Agency Keep. Each of these areas has a different demographical style to it that is related to the locally appropriate gang. North La Mugre resembles the semi-deserted coastal cliffs of Southern California, with only a few important structures here and there- a lighthouse, a villa, an abandoned racetrack, a radio station- to dot the landscape. South La Mugre is covered with an urban sprawl resembling the barrios of East L.A.. The Den sports a post-Soviet feel; lots of concrete architecture, highly urbanized, symbolic statues prominent. The Corridor's towering buildings provide a big-money feel of opulence that fits in perfectly with the deep pockets and rich lifestyles of Shai-Gen. And the Agency Keep, on the surface (which is hard to get to) resembles a futuristic Alcatraz- highly fortified, with Peacekeepers on constant patrol, and no access from the surface ocean.
Many things are uncertain about Pacific City- how many people live there, what other countries may exist elsewhere (though certain geographical regions are known to exist- America, Europe, Asia- as referenced by the Director, it is never made clear what countries are still- or ever were- existing), what life was like before the gangs came to town. Judging by the architectural styles it may well be likely that the gangs were always here in some form, and influenced the city's construction somehow (For example, the Volk almost certainly didn't build the huge cogwheel statue in the Den on their own).
Relation to Halo 3
Crackdown was originally released with the attached promise of inclusion in the Halo 3 beta, which was an almost assured factor in its relatively high sales (in addition to the general quality of the game). Though the inclusion of such a blatant selling tactic initially generated fears as to its quality, the game performed moderately well in sales and received several awards for its innovative gameplay.
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