Available now on Xbox One and Windows PC. Crackdown 3 is also available as part of Microsofts Game Pass program.
Version Tested: Xbox One X
After what feels like endless years in development and countless delays we finally have Crackdown 3! Was is worth the wait?
Crackdown 3 seems to have been in development forever, especially as Crackdown 2 was released in 2010 on Xbox 360! Now the thought of Crackdown 3 with all it’s destruction and madness from the previous games but now on next generation hardware, we should technically be in for a pretty explosive treat!
The game is split into two separate game modes, the first being a single player story mode and the other being a multiplayer PvP mode called wrecking zone! From the opening cut-scene things look great Commander Jaxon played by Terry Crews playing a pretty promising role, sadly he isn’t used to his full potential and after his initial appearance. After the opening scene Jaxon isn’t really used in a way that I would have liked, instead he’s restricted to the odd bit of dialogue that does tend to wear thin pretty fast.
The main story lasted around twelve hours and did have a few decent bosses that could cause some players a decent challenge but for the most part the story was pretty simplistic, basically a evil corporation called TerraNova has taken the worlds power and you must stop it from happening. Elizabeth Niemano the CEO of TerraNova hides within her central tower but before you can get to her you will need to eliminate the TerraNova captains. Each captain has an intel bar and will have a primary objective as well as optional ones, with the objectives out the way your agent can take on the captain eventually working their way up to Niemano The map while being large is covered with different waypoints and markers that you will constantly need to follow to finish the games story and try to stop the evil Terra Nova!
The map has multiple things like outposts and stations that need to be captured and in doing this it will reveal information about the Captain that you will eventually need to take down. This side of the game was very repetitive and basic in the fact you go to the area, take down the enemies, either remove a battery or take the main boss out and then this will unlock the area and tick another box on the way to completing the main objective to finally fight the Captain. I found that although the area and type of enemy was slightly different, underneath it all it was basically doing the same thing and the whole setup on the way to the Captains was very repetitive.
The games world does actually look pretty impressive and well detailed from the roof tops of the higher buildings but as soon as you start to explore it becomes clear that it lacks any real depth or even life for that matter. Cars and people are moving around the city but everything does tend to feel a little empty and lifeless which is a real shame as the game world really could have done so much more. The art style looked great and the colours do really pop especially with HDR compatible hardware it is just such a shame everything is so lifeless up close.
The gameplay when it comes to shooting enemies is pretty much nothing more than aiming with the left trigger and then shooting with the right one, there is no need to manually aim at all, just get locked on to your target and hold the fire until they have been taken down! I’m not sure what I honestly think of the aiming as it can sometimes feel like your not really doing anything, it’s a shame it can’t really be toned down or turned off but things can get a little frantic and hard to actually aim without it I guess but the option to try would have been nice. The auto-aim can also leave you frustrated as making sure you aim directly at your target before holding the left trigger is essential, aiming anywhere else will accidentally lock on to other objects which can be frustrating.
Firearms aren’t the only way to take down your enemies as melee is another option, I didn’t find myself using it that much because it does leave your agent pretty vulnerable if attacking a group and for the most part there will be more than one enemy within the area you are in so for me melee was nothing more than something to use while reloading or just to mix things up from the auto aim shooting.
The campaign does have a decent selection of guns and gadgets to find and acquire through the games fairly short story, collecting them was actually one of the games more fun things to try and do! If you are anything like me you will love the destruction of the Pulse Beam once you acquire it, the constant ray from the gun seems to be good against just about anything that may cross your path! There are also plenty of other weapons types such as, shotguns, machine guns and homing rocket launchers but I constantly found myself coming back to the Pulse Beam because it was the most fun to use out of them all! Ammo is also something that you will rarely need to worry about with ammo laying around everywhere and supply points that can be unlocked throughout the city that replenish all ammo as well as allowing your characters gun selection to be changed, supply points are also a fast travel point.
Guns are not the only thing that needs to be collected, levelling up your character is a major part of the game and doing certain things will achieve this. To level up your characters agility you will need to be on the lookout for green orbs floating around, some will be tricky to get but getting them is essential to levelling up your agility which will allow your agent to make bigger jumps and travel the map faster including unlocking things like the triple jump and a deployable launch pad to reach the unreachable!
There are four other abilities aside from the agility ability that can be upgraded and these include Firearms, Strength, Explosives and Driving. Firearms is basically what it says on the tin, kills with weapons and in doing this you will unlock some pretty interesting gadgets and weaponry such as the Graviton Tether which allows your agent to electro-magnetically chain targets together which can be good fun as well as having a pretty devastating effect on your poor target.
Strength is increased through kills with melee and will allow your agent to pick up much larger items as well as unlocking new more powerful moves like aground pound that takes out multiple enemies at once. The Explosives abilites rank up by taking down enemies with explosives, this will not only then increase the explosion your agent deals but also unlocks devastating weaponry like rocket launchers!
The last ability is the driving ability and this is ranked up by driving through driving checkpoints, skillful power slides and driving kills. As you rank up your driving skills the game will grant access to the Agency vehicle delivery and eventually being able to call in your very own tank!
While on the topic of driving, the game allows you to either acquire vehicles which are parked or being driven on the road by civilians. The other option when your character is ranked up enough is to call on an Agency vehicle. The vehicle can be summoned by pressing up on the D-pad and then the icon will show on the map where the vehicle is and it will make its way to your current location. The driving is actually ok with handling feeling very much towards arcade style. The trouble I personally had was that the driving will become something that you will rarely do as once your character has levelled up enough he or she will actually be able to run faster than driving so driving is something that becomes pretty pointless. The jumping and running is a much faster and frankly more fun way of exploring the games world and if things do get boring on foot there is plenty of fast travel points spread throughout the games map which pushed me even further away from ever using the games vehicles apart from to rank up my characters driving skills.
One thing that is missing from the single player game that left me a little miffed was the much hyped Microsoft Cloud destruction system, this was always planned but I can’t help but think how much this would have improved the single player story mode with this addition but sadly it’s only available in the games multiplayer mode “Wrecking Zone”. The ability to destroy some of the super sized skyscrapers would be fantastic but sadly in the single player this can’t be done.
Wrecking Zone wasn’t available until just before the games launch so we held off the review until that mode was tested as well. Being pretty excited about the destruction in this mode I was eager to get playing and in fairness it is pretty impressive! The ability to completely wipe out mass structures with a well placed rocket never gets old and can be absolutely lethal to anyone hiding inside. The destruction can also be used to your advantage in other ways as well by blowing your way out of situations where you might be surrounded and trapped, it just leaves you feeling very free and rarely trapped!
The trouble is again the game lacks a bit of content here and like the story it can get pretty repetitive with just 5v5 matches, only featuring to different modes. Of the two modes in Wrecking Zone the first one in basically kill confirmed which will have you frantically running to grab a token after a successful kill. The other mode is pretty much a king of the hill mode, you will need to try and capture certain zones by standing on them and then defend it against endless waves of your opponent.
Back to the auto-aim system that I mentioned in single player and it’s present in multiplayer as well! Sadly aside from jumping and rolling there is little skill in killing because once you get the lock it’s basically a matter of who held their trigger first to see who wins! The skill you will mainly need in multiplayer will be movement and positioning, getting them both right will be essential to survival because when it comes to actually shooting skill anyone can kill anyone and it’s pretty much 50-50 into any battle.
The trouble with Wrecking Zone is there just isn’t much variety, once you have played a few matches nothing really changes and it all gets a little boring, there is also no character progression which is another let down so there really is nothing to actually work towards. There are multiple different characters to choose from but they are just skins and make no real difference, hopefully in the future more modes will be added to take advantage of the impressive destruction but as of now it all feels a little bare and the matchmaking is terrible, after each match the game will kick the player back out the where you first access Wrecking Zone and you will then need to wait while is searches for a new match, this just seems unthinkable that it’s like that in 2019.
Crackdown 3 is a little strange for me, it does feel like the games of old but with a fresh new paint job but I can’t help but think this could have been so much more. Wrecking Zone feels like it just needs so much more to keep players playing and the single player really could have done with some of the destruction showcased in Wrecking Zone.
After so many years of waiting Crackdown 3 has disappointed, it really could have been so much more and it shows rare glimpses of what it could have been, through both single player and multiplayer. The game is fun at times but with a severe lack of anything to keep players coming back especially in multiplayer it’s hard to see gamers still playing this in the months to come. The single player story is worth playing through but some may find it very repetitive after a while feeling like your just working off a list to the end. Some of the boss fights were fun and challenging but the auto-aim combat is something that I personally didn’t like, lock on with the left trigger and hold the right until the enemy is down gets pretty boring fast.
6 / 10
This game code was sent to us free of charge for our honest review and has in no way influenced our rating of the game.