Originally expected to be released in 2016, Crackdown 3 saw delay after delay. Before finally seeing the light of day in February 2019 for the Xbox One. Continuing the series that begun in 2007 and had its follow-up in 2010, Crackdown 3 fails to move the franchise forward in a meaningful or memorable way.
Though that doesn’t mean it isn’t a load of fun to play.
The core gameplay of Crackdown 3 is unchanged from the previous two games. That is both a positive and negative as gameplay has always been the series’ strongest point but to see it completely unchanged when the first game came out in 2007 makes this less of a sequel.
When we say it’s unchanged, we mean it. Everything that was part of the first and second game returns here.
The city of New Providence is under the control of Terra Nova and it’s up to the Agency to put a stop to them. All by taking out bosses and leaders, destroying their facilities and causing general chaos. It’s not quite the ‘gang’ system of old but it’s basically the same thing. Take out the weaker members of Terra Nova and build your strength up to then face off against the central figure of the organisation, Elizabeth Niemand. Who resides in the huge tower at the centre of the map.
Of course, being an action game Crackdown 3 provides a large number of weapons and skills to utilise. Players can equip 3 weapons at once ranging from machine guns to rocket launchers and shotguns. As well as grenades and other tools that can heal the player during battles.
With a simple lock-on feature and a wide array of weapons, gunplay is great fun. As you power up, the devastation you can cause never gets old.
Just like the previous game, the ‘Skills for Kills’ system makes a return with 5 core skills to be increased as you play. There is agility, a skill that (the higher it gets) allows players to leap massive distances, triple jump and use air-boosts. Firearms which improve the players weapon wielding skills. Strength which affects melee combat and health. Explosives which is exactly what it says it is and Driving. Which unlocks improved agency vehicles to use around the map.
These skills are improved by taking out enemies in various ways and with different tools or by collecting the many…. many pickups around the city. Yes, Crackdown fans, they’re back. Agility Orbs, Hidden Orbs, Driving Stunt Rings and more make their return here. If you hated the collectables of the previous games, you’re going to hate the huge amount Crackdown 3 has. For example, there are 250 Hidden Orbs alone and as the title says, they’re hidden!
It’s all so familiar and all so repetitive that it’s hard to believe this is a modern Crackdown game. Even its visuals, while pretty and with detail, look dated already. This feels like a missed opportunity to really showcase the power of the Xbox One X and the lack of innovation here is genuinely startling.
Video games have moved on, just look at the level of destructive power and open-world-ness of the likes of Just Cause as a game series that does a similar thing but better.
Still when all is said and done, Crackdown 3 is fun. Leaping across its world, blowing up enemies, taking part in frantic races and fighting off bosses is as fun as it ever was. Just be prepared for buyer’s remorse (if you bought it) and disappointment with the lack of evolution. It’s a game that you can completely zone out of and just play. Which is fine but ensures this is going to be nothing more then a footnote in videogame history.
Crackdown 3 - Campaign