AskDefine | Define crackdown

Dictionary Definition

crackdown n : severely repressive actions

User Contributed Dictionary

see crack down



Noun use of the verb "to crack down"


  1. stern measures or disciplinary action; increased enforcement


Extensive Definition

Crackdown is an open-world, third-person shooter video game for the Xbox 360 game console. It was released in North America on February 20, 2007, and worldwide by February 23, 2007. Crackdown was developed by Realtime Worlds and distributed by Microsoft Game Studios. The game was conceived by Realtime Worlds founder, David Jones, who also created Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings.
Set in the fictional Pacific City, the player controls a cybernetically enhanced Agent in a mission to defeat three crime lords and their organized crime syndicates. The Agent's abilities improve by defeating the crime lords and their supporters, and by completing optional activities such as street races and scavenger hunts. The game play is nonlinear: instead of following a rigid mission sequence, players are free to select the approach to completing these missions and activities. The game features a two-player cooperative play mode via Xbox Live.
Crackdown, initially planned for release on the original Xbox console, was envisioned as a vast world in which players could experiment and explore freely. Even though this concept was implemented for the Xbox 360 version, the test version of the game received negative feedback; Microsoft Game Studios feared that the game would not be well received. To boost sales, Microsoft Game Studios bundled Crackdown with an access code to the multiplayer test version of the much-anticipated Halo 3. At least partially as a result, the game sold 1.5 million copies in its first six months of release. Despite initial concerns, Crackdown received positive reviews and has garnered several awards for its innovative game play.


Crackdown takes place in the fictional metropolis of Pacific City, which is laid out across four islands with several districts and areas within it. The city is controlled by three crime organizations: the Central American Los Muertos, Eastern European Volk, and East Asian Shai-Gen.


Crackdown is a third-person shooter set in a large sandbox environment, akin to Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. After selecting one of the predefined Agent characters, the player is assigned to defeat the Kingpin of each gang, though players are free to select their precise approach in doing so. While the player may face the Kingpin and his bodyguards at any time, the player can improve their chances of taking out the Kingpin by facing and defeating the various Generals that are responsible for certain aspects of the Kingpin's offense and defense, removing those from play.
Much like other sandbox-styled games, the player mainly uses melee attacks, guns and explosives to fight the opposing forces and can run, climb buildings, jump across rooftops, or use vehicles to get around the city's landscape. Crackdown features a series of character-based skills that can be upgraded to increase specific traits that can be used in combat, driving, or on-foot agility. Nine people were involved in the initial development for twelve months with plans to expand to 35 during full development.
Microsoft found that by October 2006, the game had fallen into the bottom 30 percent in test player reaction of all games currently in testing, and the bottom 50 percent in interest, though the numbers improved after a month.
Pacific City within the game consisted of 495 "city blocks" which the player could travel between, according to Microsoft Game Studio's Jami Johns. Each block had to be tested separately, so Microsoft Game Studios designed a software tool to track issues when the game was in testing. stating that sequels for the game are very likely to be produced, especially if Crackdown performed well commercially.


A Crackdown demo was released via Xbox Live Marketplace on January 23, 2007. It was originally dated for January 18, 2007, but was delayed due to Microsoft's certification process. This demo includes both single player and co-op play, but does not allow for jump-in co-op as seen in Gears of War. Silver account members received the demo one week later. The demo lasts for, at most, one hour, with a timer starting when either the player trains a skill to the second level, has eliminated two of the gang Generals, or has been playing for a half hour. At that point, a 30 minute timer will start, after which the demo automatically ends. During the demo, in-game skills can be trained up to the highest level, and this occurs at an accelerated rate in order to give players an example of higher-level abilities. In the week after its release, the Crackdown demo was the second most played Xbox Live game after Gears of War. The demo went on to become the most downloaded and most played overall by March 2007.
Every pre-ordered and specially marked copy of Crackdown included an invitation to beta test the highly anticipated Halo 3. The Crackdown game disc was required to download and launch the Halo 3 beta through the in-game menus. On April 10, 2007, Bungie announced that the beta would become available for download for those that own this copy of Crackdown on May 16, 2007. This beta was playable for three weeks from when it was downloadable.

Downloadable content

On February 19, 2007 a free downloadable pack was made available for the game. The pack includes four new playable male agents, three of whom have unique, upgradable headgear. A free update was released on May 11, 2007 which allows the player to reset gangs, makes it easier to find orbs, improves stunt ring visibility, enhances targeting and camera angles when driving, and provides several other minor fixes. This update also includes a new ground strike attack.
Two packs of downloadable content were released on May 10, 2007. The "Free-For-All" pack, which is available for free, allows the player to impound any vehicle and store it at the Agency and allows the player to enter a "god mode" that allows them to alter the Agent's statistics or create several items, and other affects, but disables progress within the game. The "Gettin Busy" bonus pack, available for 800 Microsoft Points (US$10), introduces new vehicles and weapons, new side missions, and street racing. As of September 6, 2007, the "Gettin' Busy" pack has been purchased from Xbox Live around 200,000 times. On May 16, 2007, a further title update was released, resolving the issue, in addition to fixing issues with access to the Halo 3 beta.


Crackdown features over 100 tracks of electronica and sample-based music by a number of independent and video game musicians, including Amon Tobin, Atlas Plug, Celldweller and Hybrid. Davenport was allowed to select music from any source given the premise and missions within the game, and worked with the audio leads at Realtime Worlds to shape the full soundtrack, keeping it to a "dark and ominous" vibe, rather than "super high energy". |AdvGamers = |Atrip = |CE = |Edge = 8/10 |EGM = 8.3/10 |EuroG = 9.0/10 |Fam = |G4 = |GameFan = |GamePro = 4.5/5.0 |GameRev = |GI = 8.5/10 |GSpot = 7.8/10 |GSpy = 4/5 |GT = |IGN = 8.0/10 |MaxPC = |MobyGames = |NYT = |NP = |OXM = 7/10 |PCGUK = |PCGUS = |PCZone = |Play = 8.5/10 |OPM = |PSM = |XPlay = 5/5 |GR = 84% |GRO = | |award1 = |award2 = |award3 = |award4 = |award5 = |award6 = |award7 = |award8 = |award9 = |award10 = |award11 = |award12 = }}
Crackdown received generally positive reviews from game critics who praised the open-world approach. Reviewers commented highly on the graphics of the game, both in its detailed city and large draw distances, and the cel-like shading of the characters; 1UP said that "it's just better to let a game approach reality on its own aesthetic terms than to go hyperrealistic". and also won the "Best Debut" award at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards. The game received the Innovation Award at the 2007 Develop Awards, held by Develop magazine. Game Informer listed it as one of the top 50 games of 2007, citing its unique experience and several other elements. They listed the agents as the number eight top heroes of 2007 and climbing the tallest building in the city as the number nine top moment of 2007.


Crackdown premiered to very strong sales. During the week of its worldwide release of 2007-02-22, it was the top selling Xbox 360 game in North American, Japan, and the UK. The game was the top selling game in North America for the month of February 2007, selling 427,000 units. Ultimately, by the end of 2007, the game sold 1.5 million copies worldwide.


External links

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