While E3 brought its fair share of big reveals, some of them wholly unexpected, there were a few titles that were rather conspicuous by their absence. For Xbox fans, Crackdown 3 was almost certainly among that number.
The open-world franchise began on the Xbox 360, where the first entry was buoyed at launch by the promise of access to the then-upcoming beta for Halo 3. While this sort of practice is quite common today, back then it was something of a break from the norm.
However, it proved to be very successful. Many Halo fans joked that they were simply buying access to the beta and getting a free game as a sweetener — but that soon changed once they tried Crackdown. With a focus on refining open world gameplay to its most engaging components, the game became something of a cult hit.
A sequel released in 2010, but was unable to capture the same magic of the original — perhaps partially due to the absence of director David Jones, a veteran of Scottish video game classics including Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto. Fortunately, Jones looks set to make a return for the third game in the series.
We first heard word that a third instalment was in the works at E3 2014, following heavy speculation in the early part of the year. Since then, we’ve heard very little from developers Cloudgine Games or Microsoft about how work on the sequel has been progressing.
However, yesterday Xbox head Phil Spencer tweeted confirmation that we will see in-game Crackdown footage at Gamescom — seemingly confirming speculation that the game will simply be titled Crackdown rather than Crackdown 3 as he did so.
After a misstep with the sequel, it’s clear that the proper amount of time was taken to get the new Crackdown right. Ahead of its official announcement, the word was that Microsoft wanted to be sure the correct team was in place to do the franchise justice, and we can only assume that the right people were found.
All in all, there’s plenty of reason to be excited about our first glimpse of the new Crackdown — and with little more than a week to wait before Microsoft’s Gamescom conference, expect hype around this unveiling to build quickly. Crackdown has the potential to be a major Xbox franchise, but there’s a lot hanging on this third entry.
Microsoft will hold its Gamescom conference on August 4, 2015.