CRACK­DOWN 3

De­vel­oper Reagent Games, Sumo Dig­i­tal Pub­lisher Mi­crosoft Stu­dios For­mat PC, Xbox One Re­lease Novem­ber 7

EDGE - - MICROSOFT@E3 -

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.

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