Saying Crackdown 3 has gone through a lot since it was revealed a long time ago is an understatement. After multiple delays, it is finally here on both Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms and the release is split up into 2 components. Sumo Digital handled the campaign which is what makes Crackdown 3 worth your time. Wrecking Zone is the multiplayer component of the game that is not good in its current state but more on that in a bit.
Crackdown 3 is set a decade after Crackdown 2. If you’ve never played a Crackdown game before, you can start with this one. Despite owning the original through Backward Compatibility and a physical copy of the second one (which isn’t backward compatible as of this writing), I didn’t really get into the series until this entry. Crackdown 3’s campaign is a lot of fun but it isn’t for everyone. The amount of enjoyment you will get out of it depends on a few things. When it comes to the plot, it is pretty bare bones but serviceable.
Crackdown 3’s campaign basically has you traversing through New Providence that has a ton of verticality. Your aim is to clear out as many of the various facilities for each boss of a particular area or field. The propaganda towers in particular are fun with the light puzzles and platforming thrown in. Collecting orbs is something you need to learn to love because it plays a huge part of the experience here. Agility Orbs help you level up agility that lets you run faster and even gain double jump or boosts later on. There are Hidden Orbs sprinkled across the map that let you earn a bit of all stats. The remaining stats are levelled up through driving, melee, explosives, and shooting. Each major increase in these stats gives you access to more items, weapons, or abilities. If you spend a lot of time shooting or partaking in melee combat, you will grow those abilities while things like the driving abilities will be left lacking.
Visually, Crackdown 3 can look stunning on the Xbox One X. While some things look and feel noticeably dated, there’s enough to make Crackdown 3 stand out visually. The aesthetic works well and when you combine it with the various particle effects, the final game is quite the spectacle in motion. Combat in crowded areas with loads of enemies and everyone shooting at you looks great and the framerate holds up for the most part. The only real performance issues that occured felt random with not much going on. The visual feedback when you
Crackdown 3’s audio design is good but it has quite a few annoyances. I ran into loads of audio glitches that last a second or two where the audio either cuts out or stutters. While these can be addressed in patches, the annoyance of being told there is an orb nearby after you’ve literally found it and collected is something that really needs to be fixed. The audio cues and hints for hidden orbs and agility orbs are nice but they often play out too late. The other audio issue is with the voices being a bit too low which is a problem for Terry Crews’ voice especially.
If you don’t enjoy games like Saints Row IV with super powers or even games that expect you to clean up a map that is littered with objectives like in earlier Ubisoft games, this likely isn’t for you. If you enjoyed spending hours cleaning up the map in Marvel’s Spider-Man and just want to feel like a badass with some kickass powers, this is worth checking out. The advantage of being on Xbox Game Pass is you can check out the campaign and not deal with the bad multiplayer right now which makes this an experience that definitely should’ve been priced lower than full price.
Wrecking Zone, the multiplayer, has potential but it has been a mess over the last few days with connection issues and no real progression. You can probably skip downloading this until they patch in the ability to play with friends. Crackdown 3’s campaign will keep you busy with loads to do and the steady drip feed of new mechanics, enemies, and powers makes the campaign fun. If you’re a completionist with your games where you enjoy exploring maps and collecting everything and taking on every enemy you see, you will love Crackdown 3’s campaign.