crack­down 3

Un­con­trolled de­mo­li­tions and death from above in mul­ti­player

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START - Robin Valen­tine PUB­LISHER MI­CROSOFT STU­DIOS DE­VEL­OPER SUMO DIG­I­TAL ETA 15 FE­BRU­ARY 2019

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.

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