I’m a little tired today, so I’m going to try to keep this brief.
I wish the demo for Crackdown 2 had been out back when I wrote the “Old Stuff/New Stuff” article, because it serves as a perfect example of what I was talking about. Judging solely by the demo, which feels like it gives a pretty good idea of what the game is like as a whole, Crackdown 2 is almost exactly like the first game. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—Crackdown is fun as hell, and therefore Crackdown 2 is pretty fun as well—but it isn’t terribly interesting either. It controls the same, the graphics look about the same, and aside from some slightly cleaned-up melee moves, all the combat is exactly the same as well. All of the changes new developer Ruffian has made are entirely superficial; the player character looks a bit more Master Chief-like, the city looks more run down, and the enemies are somewhat more diverse (the mutants from the first game are a bit more fleshed out). All of that is just window dressing, though. It doesn’t actually serve to make the game any different from its predecessor. Once you get past all that, you’ve got the exact same thing all over again.
Like I said, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Crackdown was incredibly entertaining, and if it’s almost exactly the same, Crackdown 2 should be as well—I just don’t see any reason to pick it up. I own the game once already, I don’t see any reason to buy it again.