Now that Gears of War and Viva Pinata are in stores, Crackdown is the next project coming out of Microsoft Game Studios. The game is a sandbox style urban action game in the style of Grand Theft Auto. Instead of having only one super cop, Crackdown gives players a chance to choose a race for their agent. The selection of races is pretty diverse as it includes a “goth” agent and a tribal “maori” agent. Past the break are descriptions of the different races, pictures and what the designers think of each of them
African American Agent: Not every superhero is tall, dark, handsome and white. In our efforts to make the Agents as diverse and complex as possible, we drew our initial inspiration from the popular comic book character, Blade. Before we had made any decisions on the character’s race, Blade was featured heavily in our reference material. He’s a super-hero with a very dark side and the sequences of him jumping from building to building in the first Blade film were key to what we were trying to accomplish with our own characters. We suppose that the streaks on the side of our character’s head at level five are in homage to Blade’s famous hair styling.
Russian Agent: As with all the Agents, it was quite hard to define this one without resorting to a moustache and a big furry hat. Eventually we decided to look at the Kurgen character from the “Highlander” film for inspiration. Starting there, we essentially turned the character upside down. Instead of having patchy hair, he ended up with a patchy beard, deep set eyes and an overall nutjob look.
Goth Agent: We really wanted the pasty white Marilyn Manson motif with the black make-up overlay, but we also didn’t want him to end up looking like a member of Kiss. So we decided to evolve the Agent from level to level using facial hair patterns. Turned out to be a popular choice.
Norse Agent: We couldn’t really do the classic Norse, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, braided-hair model, so we came up with a single braid going over the top of the head and added some interesting blue face paint in lieu of tattoos.
Maori Agent: Didn’t want this one to fall to traditional tribal cliché, so we modernized the approach through the use of tattoos and steel spikes woven throughout the hair.
Thai Agent: Essentially the opposite in tone from our traditional Asian Agent. Once we had the features nailed down, we simply used everything that we hadn’t used in the other model.
Hispanic Agent: We really wanted to highlight strong South American features in this Agent. We gave the character some personality with tattoos, facial hair and a peppering of battle scars.
Asian Agent: The idea with the Asian Agent was to go traditional in appearance but to age in theme. Rather than bulk-up the way the American Agent evolves, the Asian character ages into strength and wisdom. At level-five, he ends up with a full head of white hair which looks quite good against the black costume.