Uncontrolled demolitions and death from above in multiplayer
Yes, you can play as Terry Crews
“Chaos on a scale that would make The Rock say, ‘Hey, calm down guys’”
Not only does Microsoft’s next killer exclusive finally have a release date – 15 February next year – but we’ve also been treated to an extended look at its explosive multiplayer. While you may be most looking forward to getting let loose in the open world and hunting down agility orbs, the online half of Crackdown 3 is not to be overlooked. If you’ve got an appetite for destruction, it might just be your new favourite competitive shooter…
Sheer, uncontained destruction is the name of the game. Across the densely packed maps, every building is fully destructible, crumbling into broken pieces whenever a stray rocket hits – making cover only ever a temporary convenience.
Each player comes equipped to take advantage of their fragile surroundings. For your primary weapon, you pick a familiar antipersonnel weapon – a shotgun, a machine pistol, a plasma rifle, even a mini-gun – but your secondary slot is always something a little… less subtle. Whether you go for homing rockets, a micro-missile launcher or the appropriately named ‘Annihilator’, the idea is you’ll always have the means to blast your way through, into or out of any building you choose.
The destruction physics ensure every firefight is infused with action- movie drama – glass shattering as you burst out of a window to ambush the enemy, bridges collapsing behind you as you sprint to safety, skyscrapers falling like jenga towers as you skirmish around them. This is chaos on a scale that would make The Rock say, “Hey, calm down guys.”
Crack in action
The actual shooting has some very generous auto-aim – essentially a full target-lock, so if they’re in your sights, you’re going to hit them – which means mobility is king. If you’re being targeted, you want to get away ASAP, ready to ambush someone else while their back is turned.
The good news is, Crackdown 3’ s multiplayer maps are built for just that. Each player has a jetpack with plenty of juice, and there’s loads of verticality, thanks to the tall, closely-packed buildings. Cleverlyplaced jump-pads provide even more assistance in getting above your foe and out of their eyeline. Until they decide to blow the foundations out from under you, that is…
Get the (literal) drop on someone from up high, and you can slam down on them with a devastating groundpound, smashing through masonry as you go. But you’ll need to be quick about it, as everyone can see each other’s silhouettes through walls, to prevent people just camping in the many possible hiding spaces. Ambush here isn’t about stealth, it’s about speed – and a talent for demolition.
You’d expect all this physics-based anarchy to be hell on your console, but the devs are promising that, with a portion of the calculations offloaded to Microsoft’s cloud computing, it’ll run smooth on any hardware. That means whether you’re on Xbox One, Xbox One X, or a gaming PC, you’ll have the same experience – so no one has a sneaky framerate advantage.
The two modes announced so far feel familiar – there’s Kill Confirmed, where you only get points for downed enemies if you can grab the dogtags off their bodies, and Territories, which sees you fighting for control zones which, once drained of points, move elsewhere on the map. But the core wall-smashing, ground-pounding, map-flattening combat marks this out as a unique online offering.