It's quite exciting to say that Crackdown 3 is almost here. After continuous delays and development hiccups, the Microsoft exclusive open-world action game will launch early in 2019 for Xbox One and PC. It was first announced at E3 2014 and simply revealed to be a follow up in the franchise using a similar art style with a cooperative campaign and multiplayer. Since then, Crackdown 3 faced numerous delays, but Microsoft has continued to show off the game and put out trailers to showcase its new destruction technology for multiplayer made possible with cloud-based computing.
While that's all been nice to hear, we're more than ready to see it in action and get our hands on one of Microsoft's most anticipated games of this generation. So, we've rounded up everything we know about Crackdown 3 to get you prepared for what appears to be a wild ride.
What Is Crackdown 3?
For those unfamiliar, Crackdown 3 is an open-world third-person action game that focuses on large-scale environmental destruction. In past games, you played as an agent possessing superhuman capabilities, like immense strength to pick up cars and toss them at enemies or throw incredibly powerful punches. Traversing the open world was also made easy with the ability to jump high off the ground and leap great distances. An arsenal of assault rifles, rocket launchers, and more let you obliterate anything in sight--all in the name of justice. All that good stuff is returning in the new game as you're put in the shoes of new main character Commander Jaxon.
The series has historically used a cel-shaded art style that made it look like a graphic novel in motion. This style is returning in even higher fidelity, especially notable with the improvements made to the environmental destruction model and the scope of its open world. A sci-fi aesthetic means bright neon lights litter the city skylines and high-tech equipment (like cars that transform into tanks) will be toys for wreaking havoc in either single-player or multiplayer scenarios.
What's Multiplayer Like?
During the X018 Showcase event, Crackdown 3 was shown to have a multiplayer ecosystem called Wrecking Zone, which pits teams of five against each other in a fully destructible arena specifically built to be torn down by players. Two maps called Blackout Zone and Nova Station, and two game modes called Territories and Agent Station, were shown off during the reveal. You'll also be able to customize your own Agent with cosmetics, but the extent of that hasn't been detailed. Not much else has been said about the specifics of Wrecking Zone.
A cooperative campaign will be part of the package as well; you'll be able to team up with friends to take down well-defended crime bosses, though few details have been laid out about the actual structure of these missions.
What's The Deal With The Cloud?
Cloud computing has been touted as the key to pulling off full-scale environmental destruction. Physics calculations are intense and impossible for local console hardware alone to support Crackdown 3's scope. So, those calculations are distributed to multiple cloud servers regardless of what platform you play on. As a consequence, full-scale destruction is only available to multiplayer sessions since players would have to be connected online to utilize the cloud servers.
What's Up With All Those Delays?
Announced in 2014, Crackdown 3 was originally set to launch sometime in 2016 but was pushed back to November 2017. It was then pushed to an unspecified date in Fall 2018, then finally solidified to release in February 2019.
Microsoft came out and said that Crackdown 3 was announced a little too early. The development process has been a bumpy road, evident in the series of delays that the game has faced and the ever-changing status of the certain studios on the project. Sumo Digital is heading up development and was in collaboration with Reagent Games, but earlier this year it was confirmed that Reagent Games and series creator Dave Jones are no longer involved in Crackdown 3. Jones had also founded Cloudgine, which was doing tech for the game, but following an acquisition by Epic Games, it's unclear how much it has affected the final product.
In a tweet about Crackdown 3 in September 2018, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said that he had been playing a full version of the game but that there was still more work that needed to be done. However, that February 2019 release date still seems solid at this point.
How Will The Xbox One X Improve The Game?
As expected, the power of the Xbox One X hardware will be put to good use in Crackdown 3. It'll have support for 4K resolution and HDR, and back in E3 2017, executive producer Peter Connelly said that there will be better textures, effects, and draw distances on the more powerful console.
How Much Terry Crews Will There Be?
The answer is likely to be: not enough. The main protagonist Commander Jaxon is voiced by Terry Crews, so we're expecting plenty of his emphatic delivery and personality to come through. He's been at the centre of Crackdown 3's trailers and marketing push, some of which have been hilarious and inline with Crews' charismatic persona.
Do I Need To Play The Previous Games?
While you can expect references and connections to previous games, Crackdown 3 will tell a new, separate story of its own. But if you are interested in the original Crackdown, it's available as an Xbox One backward compatible game. Unfortunately, Crackdown 2 has yet to be made backwards compatible.
When Is It Launching? How Can I Get The Game?
As it stands, Crackdown 3 is set to launch on February 15, 2019. Pre-orders are currently open for the game, though there are currently no bonuses or special editions yet. Subscribers of Xbox Game Pass will have access to the game on launch day at no extra cost.
In addition, Crackdown 3 is an Xbox Play Anywhere game, so regardless of how you purchase it, you'll be able to play it on Xbox One consoles or Windows 10 PCs.