One of the big focuses of "Crackdown 2" is a total redesign of the network code from the first game. Issues with lag and the inability to drop in and out of a friends' game made the experience less than adequate. At a recent press event in New York, I was hoping to check out the campaign mode of "Crackdown 2," complete with co-op, but technical problems related to the hotel's internet connection prevented the two systems from getting online and connecting with one another.
"Couldn't you just system link the two consoles?" I asked Peter Connelly, a producer with Microsoft.
It was then that I was informed that system link won't be supported in "Crackdown 2." It's a shift from the first game, which allowed players to link together consoles on a LAN for co-op play. But, according to Connelly, it was cut due to development priorities being elsewhere. "It would've taken a half-day of work," he said. "For something that only a tiny percentage of gamers will ever use." He also mentioned that by including system link, it increases the amount of certification time required by Microsoft to test the game.
I'll admit that I'm most definitely not in that percentage. I could count the number of times I've used system link on one hand, and I'd much rather just hop online for co-op play, but I know this news will be a disappointment for some. It's especially unfortunate given that "Crackdown 2" won't support split screen play, so you're really going to need two or more Gold accounts to test out the co-op.
As for the campaign itself, stay tuned, I'll have a more in-depth preview coming shortly.