Criminal Crackdown footage on the loose

Freshly announced to join Sony's Live Arcade-rivaling downloadable games service, you can get your first look at felon-ferrying party game Criminal Crackdown in the Movies tab above.

A side-project from God of War creator David Jaffe, the four-player runabout seems to have more in common with his early Twisted Metal games, offering missile-launching, mallet-battering car combat. But its cartoony visuals, exaggerated physics and top-down viewpoint all point to a much more light-hearted game than Jaffe's usual.

You play bounty hunters tasked with returning escaped criminals to jail - but when you've bagged one, it's then open season for the other players to ram him out of your car into their own. Then there's the matter of getting him back behind bars - each jailhouse has multiple entrances, with the easiest (like driving in off the street) affording a measly bonus and the riskiest (like launching off a ramp into a passing police chopper) racking up the points.

It's the kind of game that could really shine in multiplayer - set to be available for a $15 download in the PS3 "launch window," between November 17 and Christmas, we'll see then whether Jaffe's pulled off another heist or is just criminally insane.

October 20, 2006