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Crackdown - multiplayer hands-on

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The creators of Crackdown want you to know one thing - this is no GTA clone.

Inspired by? Sure... though seeing as how one of the designers founded the company that originally created Grand Theft Auto, the reverse could almost be said. In the same open-world, open-structure vein as? Definitely. The action game puts an entire sprawling metropolis at your trigger-happy fingertips and gives you a giddying amount of freedom to play with it as you please.

Crackdown, however, isn't afraid to make some major departures from the formula. If you're tired of being a thug, try being a super vigilante agent that enjoys tossing thugs off the tops of buildings. If you're bored with jogging, running out of breath and then awkwardly jumping, perhaps you'd prefer dashing through the streets at Flash speed, leaping fifty feet into the air and grabbing onto a narrow ledge, Spider-Man style. Plus, oh yeah, you're in the future.

Still, as cool as all that sounds, the most promising difference might be the inclusion of cooperative gameplay over Xbox Live. Not just a few bonus missions where a second controller suddenly becomes active. Not just a tacked-on multiplayer feature. In Crackdown, co-op mode means the whole city... the whole story campaign... the whole game for you and a friend to tackle together.

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