|Part Grand Theft Auto, part City of Heroes, Crackdown is a freeform action game set in a futuristic, crime-ridden metropolis known as Pacific City. As one of eight operatives from a law enforcement branch known as the "Agency," players seek to stop three dominant gangs and their leaders by undertaking a series of missions, side quests, and mini-games. Players control a genetically enhanced agent as they fight back against those who threaten to overtake the city and terrorize its citizens. Viewed from a third-person perspective, Crackdown offers a sprawling environment filled with vehicles, pedestrians, towering structures, high-tech weapons, and non-linear objectives.
As each agent traverses the city on foot, in a vehicle, or by other means of transport, he will receive updates from the Agency's headquarters, allowing him to quickly respond to developing situations displayed on an on-screen map. Since each agent is designed by science to evolve, players will be able to increase their character's skills in driving, firearms use, and explosives, as well as his attributes in areas such as strength and agility. Skills are primarily developed by performing the actions associated with them, and over time, players will be able to initiate superhuman feats such as lifting and throwing cars, leaping across rooftops, and more. Crackdown also supports two-player cooperative action via system link and Xbox Live.