DELAYED AGAIN SO IT DOESN’T BECOME BARGAIN BASEMENT JAX
This is getting silly now. Crackdown 3 was announced so long ago they spread the word by drawing the box art on cave walls in animal blood. It seemed like the end was in sight when the last delay pinned down Terry Crews and his cel-shaded muscles to a Q4 2018 release. Right. Cool. Out in time for Christmas. Except now it isn’t.
Keen to reach the kind of standard that made Halo and Gears Of War such flag-flying blockbuster exclusive series, Microsoft and Sumo are pushing back Crackdown 3 until February 2019. Worlds with that kind of depth don’t just happen, particularly not in the modern age of game development, where huge teams work to an annual cadence updating their IPs.
That’s what head of Microsoft Game Studios Matt Booty had to say on the delay, at least, and our peek at the game at E3 revealed that the time’s being spent, at least to some extent, modernizing the visuals. That Tron-like aesthetic still dominates the world itself, and that combination of dazzling fluoro lights and muted urban shades doesn’t actually require mega-sharp textures or ultrarealistic lighting to look the part.
However, character models in particular have definitely seen a step up, along with what we reckon is a longer draw distance that’s especially noticable when you’re atop a skyscraper looking out onto the neon cityscape. Nice smoke effects too.
What remains mysterious about Crackdown 3 though, after years in gestation, is the much-touted multiplayer. Once this was positioned as the game’s big selling point, driven by Microsoft’s innovative new cloud processing tech to power wild levels of open-world destruction on the fly. During discussion of the game’s new release date, Booty did clarify that the mode’s still going ahead as planned, but reiterated that the team at Sumo aren’t showing much of it until later.
Xbox Game Pass subscribers still get all the game, campaign, and multiplayer, free at launch, though, and there’s every indication that it’s still jam-packed with Terry Crews as Commander Jaxon shouting things in that endearingly macho way of his. Hey, if you’re here to overthrow a terrorist militia as evil as Terra Nova, it’s no time for indoor voices.
above Character models have improved since we last saw Sumo’s openworld prospect.