All the best gameplay features that made the first game great plus a few extras.
Hilarious dialogue from NPCs as well as the Agency narrator who, by the way, is the same voice actor as the first title.
Art and Animation
Pacific City looks great even though it's basically the same city as in the last game. Only 1 kind of gang is balanced out by having a variety of different looking freaks. Also, better resolution than in the first game.
Crackdown 2 builds on everything that made Crackdown 1 a success. Well... almost everything. Crackdown 2 is an action shooter that controls the same way as the first title. You still have to take over strongholds which are controlled by gangs but this time there is only 1 gang called The Cell. Although I seriously miss Los Muertos, there is plenty to do in Crackdown 2, PLENTY! In addition to taking over Cell strongholds you will also fight of freaks at night, close freak breaches, activate Sunburst absorption units, take on time-trial street races, scamper through rooftop races, fly through wing suit ring challenges and as always collect agility orbs and hidden orbs. Also new to Crackdown are the rouge agility and vehicle orbs which are orbs that run away from you when you try to catch them but give you a huge experience boots when you do. If you thought that taking over strongholds was just like in the previous game, you're wrong. Crackdown 2 ups the challenge by having you take out Cell and control multiple points before you can claim a stronghold and if you fail you have to start all over again. Fighting freaks is fun because they are basically mutated citizens that come out at night. Getting into a car and plowing through hoards of them in the street never gets old but some of the bigger freaks will straight up destroy you if you are not careful.
The game still has you choose a look for your Agent's face but unfortunately it pretty much means nothing due to the fact that your agent starts wearing a helmet after a certain, and rather early, level. I rather miss seeing the Agent change as you get stronger. Also, vehicles do not transform anymore. Another little problem I found is that there is no option to choose female agents in Crackdown 2. Sure, Ruffian Games has said that it would have been too difficult but considering the fact that the Agent's are silent and wouldn't have any difference in character animations, I don't see why this wasn't possible.
However, the weapons have been made much more recognizable this time around making it much easier to find and confiscate weapons to expand your arsenal. There are still limitations on which weapons you can used based on your Agents skill levels but if you are good enough to kill a well armed enemy and come out alive then you might not be able to confiscate their weapon but you can sure as heck use it! Funny chatter between enemies and NPCs are still present; set a guy on fire and I dare you to try and not laugh when he screams out "Oh my God, I smell like chicken!"
Be prepared to face some serious offense in the multiplayer modes. Playing through the main campaign is still a gigantic blast but make sure to beef up your Agent before taking him into a PVP match against other agents. The aiming is a little different in multiplayer; instead of just locking onto an enemy, you lock onto your opponent but have to adjust the cross-hairs to make your shots accurate. It works great but it takes some getting used to.
My biggest issue with Crackdown 2 is the fact that there is no way to edit the sensitivity of the camera movement. this was a problem in the first Crackdown that I would have hoped Ruffian would fix. On the flip side, my absolute favorite feature is the Wing Suit. Once you acquire the Wing Suit you can then fly to any part of Pacific City on your own without the use of a vehicle. Controlling the Wing Suit takes some skill but it's seriously fun. It's kinda like controlling your flight as Mario in Super Mario World when you get the Cape Feather. Seriously, I could have a blast playing this game all day just by flying around with the Wing Suit.
Is Crackdown 2 for everyone? Probably not, but I will still say that it is a fantastic gaming experience. Why this game gets a bad rap, I have no idea. Sure it could use some polish here and there but I absolutely love it and it will keep you busy for a very long time. Crackdown 2 is out now exclusively for the Xbox 360. If you were lucky enough to pre-order it then you were treated to a download code which gives you the 4 additional armor colors that you see above. But even if you didn't pre-order it, I'm sure you can easily find those codes on eBay right now for cheap.