Note – This Crackdown 3 review focuses solely on the game’s campaign. A post detailing the multiplayer mode — Wrecking Zone — will be published at a later date.
Crackdown 3 should have been released years ago. Although Sumo Digital and Microsoft have worked to make Crackdown 3 a more modern game, it simply can’t unshackle itself from the past.
Crackdown 3 sadly comes to patient Xbox One fans as a dated, repetitive title and certainly not one worth the long, long wait.
Like Crackdown and its sub-par sequel, Crackdown 3 put you in the boots of an Agent of the Agency. Tasked with cleaning up crime wherever it’s found, you hit the streets of New Providence determined to get rid of Terra Nova and their evil plans.
Crackdown 3 Review
Honestly, the story doesn’t matter in Crackdown 3. All you need to know is that there are some bad dudes doing bad deeds and you need to stop it. And stop it you shall, by any means necessary. That means third-person shooting, vehicular manslaughter, explosions, punching stuff and of course…platforming.
Crackdown 3 is and always has been a platformer. It might wear the skin of a third person shooter, but it has more in common with the like of Banjo-Kazooie than it does with Grand Theft Auto. Jumping and exploring is far more rewarding and enjoyable than engaging in gunfights, but sadly it’s the latter you’ll be spending most of your time doing.
It’s not like Crackdown 3 doesn’t try to keep you engaged during these long sections. The weapons are largely over-the-top and ridiculous including things like the cryo-shotgun, Oblivion (which shoots a black hole) and Ragnarok. However, with so much combat happening so frequently, it’s impossible for it not to become tiresome.
I feel a bit bad for complaining about a game that lets you become a superhuman crime-fighting machine, but somehow Crackdown 3 manages to be the blandest moment in superhero fiction since The Amazing Spider-man 2.
As a platformer, Crackdown 3 should excel at exploration, but it’s just another thing that lets this game down. New Providence is impossible to learn just because of how similar it all looks. There are no landmarks to recognise, no places to remember and no way to get around other than by setting a waypoint and aiming for it.
Honestly, I’m shocked by just how dated Crackdown 3 seems overall. In my preview, I was fairly positive about Crackdown 3, but the more time you spend with the game, the worse it gets. Played in small bursts I think it would fair better, but playing it solidly only exposes how little gameplay actually exists and how horribly outdated it is.
In Crackdown 3 you level up with the Orb system. Used in all Crackdown games, this system rewards you for using specific methods. Should you defeat enemies through standard shooting, your firearms skills increase. The same goes for explosions, vehicles, strength and more.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more you do a thing, the better you get at it. The only exception is the Agility Orbs which are spread throughout the map. There are hundreds of these things and the only way to improve your speed and movement abilities are by collecting them.
When you begin the game you’ll barely be able to jump over a fire hydrant. As you collect the orbs, you’ll start to notice your movement speed increase drastically as well as your vertical leap grow exponentially. As they do, you’re able to reach new heights, explore new areas and see more of the city.
As you do explore, you’ll be facing off against the various lieutenants of Terra Nova and working towards defeating their leader. Doing so can be a lot of fun, but largely it comes down to repeating the same missions a few times before unlocking a boss and then finally beating them.
When you do, the path to the final boss becomes easier. But ultimately it all feels a bit pointless. After a while, you get so OP that you can smash your way to the end boss and kick the shit out of them without having to finish everything else off.
And why would you when you’ve done the same thing 300 times already.
There’s so much potential in Crackdown 3 but it’s sadly bogged down by years old game design and mechanics. It’s hard to recommend, even to the Xbox faithful and it’s a shame because Terry Crews is a mother fucking boss. He deserves better.
I think Microsoft backed themselves into a corner with this one. It was announced too early and with far too ambitious features. In the end, it’s basically the same game you played 10-years ago on Xbox 360. Unfortunately, gamers have moved on. Crackdown 3 hasn’t.
Crackdown 3 isn’t the game you’ve been waiting for. Nor is it very good.
Crackdown 3 was reviewed on Xbox One using a digital code provided by Microsoft.
Game Title: Crackdown 3
Ultimate Power Fantasy - 8/10
Terry Crews - 9/10
Dated. Dated as Hell - 3/10
Horribly Repetitive - 4.6/10
A Relic of Bygone Days - 4.1/10