E3 2017: Terry Crews Welcomes You To Crackdown 3 (Hands-On)

June 15, 2017

It’s been 10 years since the first Crackdown came out and absolutely blew my mind. I picked the game up cheap after the included Halo 3 beta had ended and never imagined just how much fun I would have as a super-human Agent of the Agency. This was the first game where, to me, collectables were fun. Climb skyscrapers using giants leaps to collect agility orbs filled my mind and my dreams for ages after finishing the campaign, and it was one of the first games I tried to play online with friends. This enthusiasm was dampened somewhat by Crackdown 2, which was very similar to the first game, but somehow didn’t work as well. With Crackdown 3 now on the horizon seven years after Crackdown 2, we see a game that looks like the Crackdown we remember, but also seems to have made some adjustments to the formula to make it fresh again. Adam had the chance to go hands-on with the game on the E3 2017 show floor and was satisfied with what he got to try.

The demo Adam got his hands on was a 10 minute sandbox experience where the name of the game was to freely roam around and cause as much havoc and destruction as possible. While there were some areas with objectives, such as enemies to wipe out or devices to destroy, the demo was mostly a sandbox and Adam made sure to destroy as much of the world as he could. Your superhuman melee attacks are back, as well as a ground pound that hits enemies all around you when you fall from a great height. The most effective way to take on enemies was the game’s powerful weapons. Guns like particle cannons unleash giant blasts of energy, or micro-missle launchers blanket areas with explosions. Shotguns with a satisfying kick and knockback to enemies are also an old favourite, as is the standard rocket launcher. There was certainly no shortage of weapons to dispatch your enemies with, allowing you to pick what best fit your preferred playstyle.

Crackdown 3 brings about the return of the superhero open world genre, just like the original Crackdown games, Prototype or Infamous – games that take place in an open world but empower the player to traverse the world in new and interesting ways. The big new addition to movement this time is your Agent’s new jetpack, which allows you to perform a double jump, as well as dash forwards, meaning you can move from rooftop to rooftop with ease. It helps makes Agents feel more mobile and modern, compared to their compatriots in the original Crackdown. You can steal and drive cars, but there was no real incentive to do this when you’re much faster and more maneuverable on your own.

The cel-shaded graphical style of Crackdown 3 certainly wasn’t the most detailed of the games at Microsoft’s booth, but they were sharp and well-executed, with neon-ish colours and bright explosions. The less-demanding graphical style is potentially to aid the game in running the massive destruction physics we have seen in trailers of the game’s online modes in the past, but we weren’t able to see these for ourselves on the showfloor. Developer Sumo Digital has confirmed they are still in the game, so expect to see more of those in future trailers.

Overall, Crackdown 3 feels like the Crackdown of old just brought onto the modern Xbox One. The destruction and superhuman Agents are exactly what you remember from the original Crackdown and they feel just as empowering as before. Their newfound maneuverability helps make traversing the world feel better than ever. If you were a fan of Crackdown and miss the search for agility orbs, we definitely recommend keeping an eye out when Crackdown 3 launches on November 7th.