Link to the Official Thread. Thanks for all the hard work Klobrille, as usual.
Welcome one and all to the review thread to end all review threads. That's right, I'm talking about none other than the hotly anticipated Xbox (and Windows 10) exclusive, Crackdown 3. The wait is almost over and I'm here to catalogue reviews of this behemoth. Will update with scores and excerpts as they come in for this absolute unit of a game.
Metacritic (Xbox): 60 Metacritic (PC): 58
Easy Allies: 5.5/10
After a lot of time in the oven, Crackdown 3 comes out half-baked. The world isn't much to look at, and unless you're really hungry for a co-op action game, have Games Pass, or miss the series terribly, there are much more impressive, recent entries in this genre.
I don't think I'd call Crackdown 3 an awful game, but I would call it dated. I don't know enough about this specific game's development to know what happened here, but I do know that this specific game feels like something that would have been better received had it been released several years ago. At the same time, Crackdown 3 fits reasonably well on Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service. Paying $60 for this thing would be downright foolish. It's short and bland on the campaign end and the two multiplayer modes aren't worth your time. But if you're already a subscriber to Microsoft's service and can play this for no additional charge, it's a passable little bit of junk food that might hold your attention for an afternoon or two.
Sumo and Elbow Rocket’s insistence on treating a game from 2007 like a sacred text is strange. The original Crackdown was fresh and exhilarating, and bounding across the city as a superhuman agent was a thrilling sensation. Since then, a lot has happened in the genre. Developers have found ways to incorporate destruction into the action as they weave interesting choices and competent world-building into their narratives. Crackdown 3 aims far lower, and manages to hit that disappointing target.
Now Crackdown 3 comes along 12 years after Crackdown but without 12 years' worth of new ideas to share. Crackdown 3 isn't sardonic like GTA V, it's not immersive like Red Dead Redemption 2, it's not whimsical like Breath of the Wild, and it doesn't go buck-wild like Saints Row 4. I stare at the pantheon of great open-world games and wonder, why does Crackdown 3 exist? It's not bad. It's an OK game that could've been exciting a decade ago, but comes off today like a shrug carried only by the energy of Terry Crews.
Sumo Digital have finally delivered Crackdown 3 after five years, but it feels like a product of a bygone era. The developer adhered strictly to the formula that made the original so enjoyable. It’s admirable and fans nostalgic for the original are bound to get a kick out of it, but going down this path has resulted in a product that, while fun, feels archaic in its design and gameplay.
Crackdown 3 is the perfect capstone for the Xbox One in a lot of ways. Oh sure, the generation’s not over yet—we’ll get another Forza or two before the changeover, maybe a Gears of War. But you have to imagine Microsoft’s focus is on the future at this point. The Xbox One entered this generation on the back foot, and while Microsoft’s laid a lot of groundwork for better days to come it’s spent most of the last six years looking kind of lost, playing it safe when it should’ve taken more risks and placing bets that never quite panned out. And Crackdown 3 might very well be the last of those legacy bets, a confusing end to a confusing era for Microsoft. We can hope, at least.
With more and more looter shooters or expansive RPGs hitting the shelves, in a world where every FPS will soon have a Battle Royale mode attached, Crackdown 3 almost feels like a breath of fresh gunsmoke. It may at times feel like a magic mirror back to 2007, but its simplistic, unpretentious approach to good old-fashioned mayhem means it’s never less than a blast to play.
By happy accident, sheer luck, or exaggerated expectations of open worlds, “Crackdown 3” works by doing the minimum. And these days, the minimum feels like a reprieve.
Cracking the formula it set out with 12 years ago, Crackdown 3 delivers the solid and structured, though limited, gameplay of gunning down your enemies while leaping across vast distance and heights. Even if nothing especially new has been added to that formula.
I can’t help but feel that a bigger, better and arguably more ambitious vision of Crackdown 3 existed before this incarnation – one that would have made use of the cloud technology Microsoft so proudly boasted about only a few years ago. Now it feels like a pipedream, as we’re left with a serviceable yet forgettable world to explore.
But that’s the crux of the issue: Crackdown 3 has had years of build-up and, well, it’s just Crackdown with a tiny bit of new-gen polish. That’s not a bad thing, not by any stretch, but in a February dotted with potentially fantastic releases, it’s going to be an ultimate forgettable one.
When you're not dealing with combat-related annoyances, there is some fun to be had just running and jumping through Crackdown's brutally beautiful authoritarian world, looking for shiny orbs. It's too bad that this is only half of this half-baked game.
Which kind of sums up Crackdown 3 as a whole. When it’s good, it’s really good. When the systems come together, mowing down tons of guys as your supercop of choice is awesome. But the opening is slow. Echo and Goodwin don’t shut up. The driving is inconsistent. It’s visually flat. The long-hyped destruction is almost non-existent in this mode. And, in a personal pet peeve, it doesn’t have local co-op. What a waste. And yet I can’t deny that I had a great time with it, especially the further into it I got. Crackdown 3 isn’t a perfect game, but it’s a good one. It could stand to be a bit more consistent, but that’s always been this series’ problem. And no matter who the developer is, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This is a sad affair. It’s playable, which is the faintest of damning praise. “I played it from start to finish, and it passed the time.” Pop that on the posters. But it’s mundane, humdrum, and irritating. It’s anachronistic, horribly left behind by the rest of gaming, and curled up shivering in the shadow of Saints Row IV that it so clearly wanted to be. Not even Terry Crews could make me like it, and gosh I love Terry Crews.
Crackdown 3 should never have been released. The campaign is barely mediocre and the multiplayer is a travesty compared to what was initially promised. The underlining tech may well be viable in the future but it should’ve stayed in a test lab somewhere, until it worked properly and could be used in a game that takes full advantage of it. It is possible to eek out some fun in the campaign’s co-op but for what was supposed to be one of the Xbox One’s most important exclusives this is a crashing disappointment.
Crackdown 3 isn't an instant hit, but after a slow start it rapidly builds into an action-packed shooter with brilliant character control and movement. While orb collecting is the key for prolonged play, the campaign in Crackdown 3 is always entertaining and visually there's a lot to appreciate if you look at the bigger picture. Crackdown is back.
One thing's for sure: Crackdown is unique; there's nothing out there that remotely resembles what this franchise is or does, at least not on a big scale - and that notion certainly applies to Crackdown 3. But taking everything into account, Crackdown 3 is essentially a testament to Microsoft's willingness to prolong a game's development so that it could reach a playable state - and it shows in the game's single-player campaign. It's not bad, but it's not great either; it's just average. Long-time Crackdown fans will love Crackdown 3's gameplay and narrative, and perhaps may want to play it again (after beating it the first time). But where the game lacks is in its ability to draw in new players in and truly become a flagship title for Xbox. As it stands, it's second-tier.
Crackdown 3’s checkered history means it arrives with some baggage. It’s hard to say it feels like a major event now that it’s here; it’s a sequel that might as well have appeared on the Xbox 360. Last night I went back to play the original game (which happens to be free on Xbox Live right now), and after a bit of adjusting to the slightly clunkier movement, it holds up very well. It even has a longer draw distance for agility orbs. Crackdown 3’s campaign cannot in any way be seen as a major advancement. At this point, though, I’m just relieved and a little surprised that Microsoft and Sumo managed to ship another competent Crackdown game. Like most of what you’ll find on Netflix, it won’t blow your mind — but it’ll go out of its way to make you feel at home.
All this said, I’d be extremely hesitant to recommend anyone part with $60 for it. There’s just not enough here. Still, all things considered, Crackdown 3 being this enjoyable represents a minor miracle, and I’d love to see what these teams are capable of with the franchise without being dicked around by corporate for half a decade.
Crackdown 3 is without a doubt the best Crackdown yet. It successfully builds upon the previous two games to offer an open world experience that, while formulaic, is still incredibly enticing. This is in part due to the very flexible combat system, which offers heaps of different ways to be as destructive as possible. It’s structure has been seen before, sure, and as such Crackdown 3 doesn’t break ground in many ways, but it’s still such an enjoyable experience that I’m not sure it entirely matters.
Crackdown 3 is a playpen of combat and destruction that sets itself up as a liberating journey into a barbarous fantasy of wanton mayhem. But its central proposition — the freedom to do as I please — is undermined by frustrating design compromises.
Despite how much I wanted to enjoy Crackdown 3, I can’t say that it’s anything but disappointing. If you’re a longtime fan like I am, you still might find some redemption in collecting orbs or the simple act of leveling up your abilities, but you’ll still just be left appreciating better modern open world games at the end of the day more than you’ll enjoy Crackdown 3. Likely the best part about Crackdown 3 is that the game is finally out and we can quit collectively asking questions about when it’ll arrive. Microsoft, in turn, can also just move forward and focus on future first-party titles rather than having to worry about this shell of a game any longer. Crackdown 3 should have been great, and I wanted it to be great, but now I just really don’t want to talk or hear about it anymore.
But if you already subscribe to Game Pass then it’s worth a try just to mess around in, especially in co-op or versus multiplayer. Just don’t expect to come away with any fond memories or exciting stories to tell. You jump around collecting orbs, you shoot things and they blow up. And that’s it. But sometimes, that’s enough.
The mission structure is repetitive, the story’s utter wallop, and the baddies are there for shooting practice. But, damn it, it’s fun being an over-powered superhero scaling a building in Crackdown 3.
Ultimately, none of the flaws in Crackdown 3 are deal-breakers but they hold it back from being truly great. If you can look past them, and just enjoy Crackdown 3 for what it is: a game that gives you a wacky toolset to blast enemies away for 10-20 hours or more, then you’ll definitely find value and fun here.
Competent, with enough fun weapons and silly spectacle to make it inoffensive entertainment. While a half-decade of development hell could’ve ended with worse results, it’s tough to muster much excitement for what’s here.
Crackdown 3 promises delicious chaos, aspiring to be a blissful marriage of mayhem and absurdist comedy. The original Crackdown and Crackdown 2 mixed laughs and super cop action in volatile abundance, but after six years in gestation and myriad delays, Crackdown 3 needed to be the same but more. It needed more fun, bigger explosions; it needed to be as big as its faceman Terry Crews. Unfortunately, Crackdown 3 is just hit or miss.
I certainly wouldn’t say Crackdown 3 is the most disappointing game I’ve ever played, or even that it’s not worth playing. It’s a blast when you just feel like zoning out, hunting orbs, jumping across rooftops, and blowing up bad guys. But compared to what Crackdown 3 originally promised to be, it isn’t the innovative sequel I expected this late in the Xbox One’s life cycle. As one of the swan songs for the current generation of Xbox exclusives, it’s perfectly fitting: It’s good, solid fun, but it’s not going to completely revolutionize the industry.
Crackdown 3 is bonkers chaotic fun but also a case of wasted potential. The series deserved an iterative revival but instead, we have the tried-and-tested Crackdown backbone with remastered visuals and a touch more chaos, sadly squandering the promise of its few interesting additions in the process
Crackdown 3 is a good Crackdown game, which, unfortunately, doesn't mean much anymore. Modern game design has surpassed the Crackdown model by leaps and bounds -- as high and far as an agent can jump. The most remarkable thing about Crackdown 3 is how unambitious it is. It's content to come off as dated, like a relic from a bygone era. That can be comforting in a way, but it's immeasurably more disappointing. Crackdown 3, just like its kin, is only a distraction and nothing more.
Leaping high through the air across rooftops and collecting orbs--which still feature one of the all-time great sound effects--is fun and rewarding, because that pursuit has a direct correlation to further improving your jump height. Lifting large objects and chucking them at foes is likewise an entertaining alternative to typical gunfights. Just like in its predecessors, these two superpowers are the primary source of what entertainment there is to be had in Crackdown 3. But it soon it becomes apparent that the campaign has little new to offer. It certainly delivers on letting you blow things up and jump around the city. However, a dozen years after the first Crackdown offered that same experience but failed to provide you with enough interesting content surrounding that, it's truly disappointing to see this latest iteration suffer from the very same problems.
Crackdown 3 just doesn't meet contemporary standards as a premium $60 title, with dated visuals, thin gameplay features, and an under-delivered story. There are too many open world superhero-style games that simply do it better. That said, it's not a bad game, by any means. To enjoy Crackdown 3, you probably need to be the type of person who really likes basic sandbox mayhem, because that's effectively all Crackdown 3 has (and wants) to offer.
we’ve ended up with 12 to 15 hours of uncomplicated fun that recaptures the good stuff about the first two Crackdown games, without offering much of an evolution. It’s like the last 10 years just didn’t happen.
Crackdown 3’s script veers between sweary, earnest railing against neo-capitalist corporate dominance and nonsensical action quips (“Hot lead: good for justice, bad for your health!”), so you’re never quite sure how seriously it takes itself. Really, it’s the kind of game that’s best enjoyed when you don’t think about it very hard. It’ll make 12-15 hours disappear in an ever-escalating sequence of rooftop-spanning leaps of faith, easily conquered shootouts and cartoonish face-offs against supervillains and giant robots. It’s as moreish as popcorn, and exactly as substantial.
On paper, Crackdown 3’s single-player campaign checks all the boxes that made the original an enjoyable game – but playing through it is about as exciting as running down a checklist and becomes downright repetitive after the first few hours. Its second-to-second combat is uninteresting outside of a couple of boss fights, and even though there’s a compulsive satisfaction to be had in crossing off its many itemized activities, it's never any more than that.
While the environmental destruction of Crackdown 3: Wrecking Zone is impressive, it misses every opportunity to use it in interesting ways to enhance the otherwise barebones and uninteresting multiplayer combat, where aiming is all but completely automated. You can see everything Wrecking Zone has to offer in about 30 minutes, minus the time you’re going to spend matchmaking after every round. Unless a lot changes, Wrecking Zone just isn’t worth the time it takes.
Short and not very good, Crackdown 3 has few things to point to as reasons to exist. Sumo Digital did very little with the 2007 formula to usher the series into 2019. While it’s hard to recommend anyone taking the plunge for the full, new game price, the fact that the game will launch into Xbox Game Pass is going to make it tolerable and accessible for most. As something that comes free with your subscription to the service, it might be worth seeing the short campaign, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough game and good enough content to warrant experiencing this release any other way.
Overall, Crackdown 3 is very much a Terry Crews simulator, so for fans of the actor it’s practically a dream come true. That being said, even the excellent writing and Crews himself isn’t enough to make it a smashing success for the Xbox One platform. The dated graphics, clunky mechanics, and monotonous progression is enough to overshadow a game that really did have a lot of potential.