Crackdown 3 – Review

Name: Crackdown 3
Developer:
Sumo Digital, Elbow Rocket
Publisher:
Microsoft Studios
Released:
15.02.2019
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose

I’ve never played a Crackdown title before, so I might not be the best person to review the third entry in this series. But all the delays of release, all the hype, and marketing around Crackdown 3 had me intrigued and it sure looked like a game in my category. So this is a review of a newcomer to the series.

Story

The story is set ten years after the events of Crackdown 2, a terrorist attack from an unknown source kills power around the entire world. The Agency is thrust back into action after the attack is traced to the city of New Providence, controlled by the mysterious organization Terra Nova. After the Agency’s first strike against the organization fails, the player characters – super-powered Agents – are called into the field by the Agency’s Voice and led by Commander Jaxon as a last resort to dismantle Terra Nova any way they can.

That is the description of the story that is, besides the awesome voice acting by Terry Crews as Commander Jaxon. The story falls flat, uninspiring and incredibly difficult to pay attention to from the very beginning to finish. The whole setting and writing of the story feels completely lifeless and rushed, even though they had multiple delays. Not sure what went wrong here, but I simply can’t say I’m satisfied storywise.
3/10

Graphics

Luckily, some video games don’t need great literature of a story to a great experience. We still have the looks and feels of the game within the graphics and gameplay, so let’s dive into the looks and sounds within Crackdown 3. It’s always difficult to score the graphics, especially if the developers have aimed for something else than photorealistic, and Crackdown 3 is for sure not a photorealistic world. But what I can say, is what I think of about the art direction, character models and how the city looks in general in form of trying to understand the developer’s approach of design.

At first glance, the city and characters, everything feels lifeless, cold and not much to look at per se. Textures, building and character models feel “one-sided” and I can’t feel the creativity of enemies. Now, with that being said, it is difficult to create a sandbox world, where every enemy feels unique and special, but I can’t lose the feeling of Crackdown 3 being rushed in development. The only things I found exciting was the textures, lighting, and animations when you level up your character and the fact that you can play as Terry Crews (Commander Jaxon).

I do believe this title might be right up your alley if you love the series, but the world can feel lifeless as a newcomer to the series.
6/10

Gameplay

Okay, so the story is bad and the graphics are decent, what about the actual gameplay?
Let’s get rid of the things I disliked first. Story missions, or missions in general, everything from collecting orbs, completing towers, side missions and so on are incredibly repetitive. There are a few tweaks to each mission, but on the bottom line, it is the same. At first, I found boss battles to have potential, but after a while, I left each area on the map not wanting to battle the boss, simply because of they where no fun and not challenging enough.

Towards this point of this review, I’ve been pretty harsh and disappointed of Crackdown 3. But even though I didn’t find much enjoyment in this experience, I did have my moments of joy. The combat felt great, might even felt too great as I felt like an invincible Terry Crews dancer with a rocket launcher who could blast everything away! I also had to sing ‘Neebs gaming’ song “RPG Spot” out loud every time I used the rocket launcher (“I got a rocket in my pocket, and I’m ready to launch”). Leveling up your character’s skills are a bit easy, just collect orbs, kill some enemies and every perk/skill are granted automatically. This might sound boring, but surprisingly enough it felt really satisfying leveling up this way.

I can’t say I enjoyed jetpacking, bunny jumping around in Crackdown 3, as I lost interest pretty fast. This title might not be the best one for newcomers, and I do believe fans of the series might not be as happy as well.
6/10

Controls

The default settings and schematics on the Xbox One controller felt naturally placed, and I didn’t encounter any input lag nor bad response time. The only issue I had with the controls was the camera. I found the camera to be a bit tricky to handle at first, but as soon as I got the hang of it the issue went “away” until I’ve played another game and went back to Crackdown 3 again.
9/10

Replay Value

As an open world, there are some minor things that might bring players back to play again after completing the main story. In Crackdown 3 you have the “Wrecking Zone” which is the games multiplayer section (bring out the chaos and mayhem!) and then you have all the side missions and collectibles to collect to get that 100% achievement. The multiplayer isn’t exactly something I’m scratching my hands off to play, and once I was finished with the main story, I wasn’t exactly eager to finish the game 100% as the city feels uninteresting and repetitive.
7/10

You can check out our review policy right here if you wonder how we set our scores.

Overall
6.2/10
6.2/10
  • Story - 3/10
    3/10
  • Graphics - 6/10
    6/10
  • Gameplay - 6/10
    6/10
  • Controls - 9/10
    9/10
  • Replay Value - 7/10
    7/10
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User Review
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Verdict

Crackdown 3 feels outdated, uninspiring and might have fallen in the trap of the hype train and multiple delays. Even though some of the gameplay elements are great, the story and setting feel lifeless. As a fan of the series, you might like this, but it doesn’t feel welcoming for newcomers.

Pros

  • Terry Crews
  • Combat/gunplay
  • Leveling up your character

Cons

  • Difficult to pay attention to the story
  • Bad writing
  • Boring boss battles
  • Lifeless setting

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