Crackdown Resize Last Friday, Microsoft launched a five-part animated mini-series on Machinima.com’s YouTube Channel chronicling the events that have transpired between the Xbox 360 smash hit “Crackdown” and the highly anticipated sequel, “Crackdown 2,” scheduled for release this July.

The first episode, entitled “Home Truths” (above), offers fans “a look down the back alleys and behind the locked doors of Pacific City,” the fictional metropolis where an organization using genetically enhanced soldiers was contracted to rid the city of three powerful crime syndicates. Ten years later, the saga continues in “Crackdown 2” as new obstacles (like a civilian resistance and another group of zombies created by a biological warfare virus) stand in the way of bringing Pacific City back under control.

It’s extraordinary how far machinima has come since the first iterations of Red vs. Blue in the Halo universe on the Xbox. The bar keeps rising for production values, story, and effects—and not to mention a business model that works: it’s branded entertainment that does not interfere with the creative process because it is the creative process.

Crackdown 2: The Pacific City Archives was written by Ed Campbell, Ruffian Games Senior Designer, and animated by seasoned comic artist and illustrator Alex Ronald. Below is the release schedule:

Episode Airing Date
Episode 1 May 21, 2010
Episode 2 May 28, 2010
Episode 3 June 4, 2010
Episode 4 June 11, 2010
Episode 5 June 21, 2010
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