Developer Reagent Games, Sumo Digital Publisher Microsoft Studios Format PC, Xbox One Release November 7
So it does still exist. Crackdown 3 was announced at Microsoft’s conference three years ago, and we were beginning to worry it had met a similar fate to some of the games with which it shared a stage that day. Fable Legends,
Scalebound and Phantom Dust have all since been cancelled, and given how long Crackdown 3 has been in the shadows, we worried it would be next. Not so: it was here, it was playable, and it’ll be out before Christmas.
Concerns persist, however. This is the singleplayer portion of the game, developed by Sumo Digital and, because it’s playable offline, shorn of the eye-catching, cloud-powered destruction that turned heads when Crackdown 3 was unveiled. Stripped of its apparent USP, the game loses much of its allure; the concept of an open-world game in which you have superpowers no longer feels so novel, and from a distance you might mistake it for a new Saints Row.
Still, there’s plenty here to like. The star is still the core progression loop: you jump high to collect an orb which makes you jump higher, and so on. Traversal options have been expanded to include a double-jump and air-dash. And there are some creative weapon designs, including the delightful Singularity, which fires out a small forcefield that sucks in nearby enemies and objects before blowing them all up at once. In a way Crackdown 3 can’t win. When it was announced, its multiplayer’s always-online requirement was criticised; now we’ve played the singleplayer, we’re pining for its online mode. In the context of its cancelled stablemates, however, perhaps its mere survival is victory enough.