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Crackdown 3 Review

"Orb Chasing"

Campaign

February 14, 2019 at 6:01am

Crackdown 3 is a long awaited sequel, a game that was promised to deliver cloud based destruction while elevating the franchise to the top of the Xbox line-up. Years went by, release dates were delayed and now the game has finally arrived. We don't review based on the time spent building a game, but one does wonder where all the time went to produce this. In Crackdown 3 you're able to play the game in two ways. This is a clear cut as the game comes as two separate packages, which is rather odd. You get the campaign, and the multiplayer which is titled Wrecking Zone.

To focus on the former for now, this is basically Crackdown. I say that in the sense that it presents a modern version of the franchise. You get a large island to hop around on, it's littered with orbs to collect and is filled with activities. These range from eliminating the main bosses, to saving the general people or even just taking on the various challenges that are found throughout the world. It's not a lengthy experience, with a fairly frail narrative. It gets the job done, feels like the original game in many areas and just expands upon past concepts. The narrative element really isn't a bad thing, that's just generally what this franchise is. Booms first, story second.
Crackdown 3 Explosion Screenshot

Multiplayer

Wrecking Zone was designed as a core selling point for this game. It was supposed to deliver powerful cloud technology to render absolute destruction and it definitely does so. You can smash every single building on the fairly large maps that are present. To go further with that, you can dynamically shatter glass by walking through it seeing dozens of little shards fall to the ground. It's quite something, a true showcase of what I hope to expect in the future in other games. That being said, this multiplayer does come across as somewhat of a tech demo.

Something you'd present as a pitch as opposed to being an exciting multiplayer. It's definitely fun, enjoyable and perhaps challenging as everything crumbles as you blast away at each other. It is however rather shallow with just two game modes, one where you confirm kills after eliminating agents and another where you capture territories. That's it. It also lacks the ability to play with friends at launch, you just have to matchmake alone which is ultra lame and just bizarre. I can't think of any other game that lacks this simple functionality. You just generally get a super powered Agent for this mode, some selection in weapon options and freedom to hop around in short matches as you please.

Gameplay

This is definitely a modern Crackdown, the cyberpunk world largely looks great and distinct. It does have a bit of a plastic look in the Wrecking Zone but it still looks fine. The island is large in scale, but that's mostly in a vertical sense. There's a lot of climbing to do, I wish there was more going on ground wise. Still, it's an impressively large scale environment with a ton of things to do. There are many weapons to unleash on enemies, and rewards for gaining skills for kills. You're trying to generally level up main categories through your actions and this in turn improves you Agent. You get bigger, stronger and it's great to see this progression. Like mentioned, better rewards are present than in the past to enhance your combat and movement abilities as you gain skill levels.

You can enjoy the campaign alone, or with one other player which is less than the four initially showcased. You'll need to be careful of saves when doing coop as well since joining another person overwrote my save despite me picking a different world slot, it was annoying. They've improved the aiming system here, while providing many unique enemies to blast across your journey. The boss fights are also more dynamic than in the past, this was appreciated. The performance was generally solid and the Crackdown 3 Xbox One X enhancement was excellent delivering a 4k resolution with HDR support. For the Windows 10 PC version you get a number of visual options to play with across a few categories. The game is Xbox Play Anywhere, featuring cross-play and cross-progression.
Crackdown 3 Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Crackdown 3 is a solid entry in the franchise, I was generally whelmed by it. It delivered on some of what was promised, being a fun time of large scale explosions. The campaign was enjoyable to work through, but I can't help but feel that it's rather simple. Once you've eliminated the final boss it's just a clean-up of side activities. There's nothing more to it, you finish and you're done. I liked the new voice in your head while you played, wish they would have went further with the narrative. It seemed like just something to get you moving along to the next set of people to explode. The cooperative play was fun, and there's a fairly large world to explore.

You can spend quite a lot of time finishing off all the activities if that's something you want to do. The Wrecking Zone multiplayer brought exactly what was promised. You can destroy basically everything and the complexity to the destruction is just wild. I don't think there's anything else like this out there, but it does come across as a tech demo as they didn't do much with it. I'm not sure the multiplayer will last long unless they add content to it quickly. I liked Crackdown 3 and had a fun time with it. I forgot how addicting Orb collection was and it was just magical when you first get back into it. That's mostly for those returning to the franchise having had warm feelings for it in the past. I thought it was a good time, I hope this is a good starting point for them to work forward in this series.

Read our Ashen Review
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Crackdown 3 Review on Xbox One X & Windows 10 PC
Review Code Provided by Microsoft

Rating Overall: 7.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner