Crackdown is known for two things – over the top action and explosions. I am a huge fan of action games with sheer mayhem, but I need something more to keep me going. Crackdown 3 is big on BOOM- and to my suprise – a strong story line.
Crackdown 3 is set ten years after the events of Crackdown 2. A terrorist attack knocks out all power across the world. After tracking the attack back to the city of New Providence, the Agency answers the call. New Providence is controlled by an unknown organisation known as Terra Nova. This sets up what is to be a fun romp where the player’s Agent is about to go on one ridiculous adventure.
For those who have never played Crackdown before, Crackdown 3 is an open-world third-person action game that focuses on destruction and collecting power ups. You play as a cybernetically enhanced agent tasked to bring down Terra Nova.The gameplay is nonlinear where players are encouraged to select the approach to completing the missions as opposed to dictating a structure. The idea is to take three division heads (industry, security and logistics) before going after the supervillain Elizabeth Niemand.
Oh and as far as scope- did I mention the map in Crackdown 3 is twice as big as Crackdown 2?
Players will start with a host of baseline skills. Character stats can be upgraded to increase five different traits. These traits are: Agility which increases the Agent’s ability to run and leap great distances, Driving aka how the Agent can handle driving a vehicle, Explosives the power of BOOM, Strength dictates how hard an Agent can hit an opponent/lift and throw objects, and Firearms- which improves the character’s skill with handling weapons.
Skills are improved by gaining experience orbs and agility orbs. Experience orbs are released from defeated enemies, so the more you kill the more you are rewarded. Also the type of orb released varies, depending on how the player dispatched the foe. Using firearms to kill an enemy will earn Firearms orbs, whilst running them over in your vehicle earns Driving orbs. The more powerful and deadly enemies will release more Experience orbs. Agility orbs on the other hand are earned by finding them on a rooftop, so you are always on look out for this orb.
The games offers online co-op throughout the campaign, but I was unable to test it during my review.
Crackdown offer a wide and fairly impressive range of weapons to cause mayhem. Shotguns, machine guns, ray guns and even a weapon that creates black holes to trap your enemies. You can double, or even triple jump! You can pound the ground or punch you way through. Lastly, you can make things go BOOM.
The game runs in dynamic 4K at 30 FPS with HDR on Xbox One X. I saw no signs of any glitches during my play-through – a welcome surprise. The comic art style reminded me of Jet Set Radio. However, things can look awfully drab at times. It feels like half the game is filled to the brim with neon, futuristic, steampunk – whilst the other half has just kind of been left bare. It’s an uneven presentation, but technically competent.
Speaking of disappointments- Cloud Destruction. Many of us were promised an incredible level of destruction leveraging the power of the Cloud during prior technical demos. However, this feature is only available in multiplayer aka Wrecking Zone, a 5 vs 5 death match with destructible areas. The destruction, also doesn’t match the initial footage.
All that aside, Crackdown 3 is still fun. There’s nothing quite like taking a rookie Agent with a basic skill set and upgrading them into a super hero. The first 4 – 5 hours is a lot fun, but the loop of grinding and upgrading does wear out. Enemy encounters, boss variety, and environments all at some point feel recylced and something you’ve already done before.
For Crackdown fans I would definitely recommend it, if you never played Crackdown before, I would recommend checking it out on Xbox Gamepass. Crackdown 3 isn’t going to redefine the genre, but it’s the best Crackdown experience yet, and for me- that’s enough.
A review code was provided by Xbox UK to review
Developer: Sumo Digital / Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Release date: 15/02/2019
Platforms: Xbox One and Windows 10
“A really fun game but needed a little more variety”