The Crackdown games are a series of open world third person shooter games with RPG elements which take place within the fictional Pacific City. The player takes on the role of an "agent", genetically and cybernetically enhanced super humans designed for law enforcement created by a company known only as "the agency". Agents have improved strength, speed, agility, firearm's proficiency and driving abilities.
During each of the games, the player takes control of an Agent unique to that game in order to deal with multiple threats from various hostile elements and bring them under control. The player's five key abilities (melee, agility, guns, explosives and vehicles) will improve depending on what applicable area they are using at the time. Missions are non-linear and non-time constrained, so the player can play missions in any order, and take their time in between them to deal with random criminals.
There are also street races in which the player can participate in. The first are car races which improve the players driving abilities and the second type are rooftop races, in which the player races across rooftops as fast as possible to improve the player's agility.
Two types of orbs are scattered throughout each game for the player to collect: Agility Orbs improve the player's agility, whilst Random Orbs slightly improve all of the player's five attributes.