United Front filled us in on True Crime's reputation system at GDC last night - it's pretty much just like the real-life one in Hong Kong, where the game takes place.
In the game, you will run across characters with a number of icons above their heads indicating how much "face" or reputation you need in order to interact with them. You will gain more reputation the more you do missions - but it can also be lowered.
For example, when you're running around doing your acrobatics - or free-reigning is as it's called in the game - and you're to leap over a chair rail, miss and get hit in the gut, this would cause you to lose face.
The more face you have the more missions you get, and if you don't have enough face to get a mission from someone, you can always come back when you have more.
Speaking of missions, there will be 10 undercover missions in the game for protagonist Wei, but all side missions, even ones given through the reputation system outlined above, will converge in some way.
For example - one of your police missions just so happens to intersect with one another NPC gave you. Either you will watch from the sidelines as it "gets busted" or be on hand as it gets infiltrated by law enforcement.
It all sounds rather cool, and sounds like there will be plenty to do.
There are screens posted for it through here.
Game's out in the fall for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.