Sunday, February 25, 2007

Crackdown Co-Op?

So I finally got my 360 back from the repair center and subsequently went out and purchased a copy of Crackdown. I enjoy the single-player component very much, but in my first experiences with the co-op gameplay I must say I was largely underwhelmed.

I can see where co-op could be fun, where you are both two super-powered agents fighting against almost impossible odds (e.g. Gears of War), but currently I think Crackdown fails to achieve this for a couple reasons:
  1. Getting into and out of co-op sucks. While the system is set up so your friends (or really anyone) can join at any time you choose to accept a co-op request the game reloads and you both have to start over regardless of what you were doing. Also, if your co-op friend decides to leave, the game has to reload you back into the single-player (another reload and start over). The streamlined drop-in, drop-out Gears of War co-op this is not.
  2. The campaign is attached to the host and cannot be restarted. The world that you both play in is attached to the host and short of deleting all your progress (including that of your agent) there doesn't seem to be a way to restart it. Also, the videos describing the gangs and their generals are disabled in co-op. As a result, if you are at all interested in knowing about who these people you're killing are and why, you'll need to play it on your own first, and then you've finished all the missions so you can't do them in co-op. Crackdown is screaming for a New Game+ or some way to reset all the campaign missions so you can do them with a friend. Screaming.
  3. You can't start a new agent or a co-op specific agent. The problem with this is that let's say your friend, oh, let's call him Incog, has been playing Crackdown all week and has completely maxed his character. You on the other hand just got the game and so your agent but all reasonable accounts, sucks. The result is that if you want to play with your friend you're going to have to accept the fact that you are largely going to be observing him doing cool stuff while you run around trying not to die. The ability to start a new agent or scale your agent to that of the host would make for much more fun cooperative gameplay.
These are things that I think could be reasonably remedied, but the question is whether Realtime Worlds would even care to or if they're even aware there is a problem. Personally, I think #2 is the most damning and, oddly enough, the easiest to fix (I mean just have a button that sets all the dead generals back to alive).

Hmmmm, I'm going to send an email to Realtime Worlds and see what they say. Maybe we can make a difference. We'll see how it turns out and I'll be sure to post the exchange here. Either way I feel that Crackdown co-op has enormous potential since the gameplay is very exciting and enjoyable, but right now that potential is largely unrealized.

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