It may not be coming as soon as fans would like, but it’s certainly coming: Crackdown 3 will grace Xbox One consoles sometime next summer.
Developer Dave Jones confirmed Crackdown 3’s summer 2016 release window in an interview with IGN, and if anyone has the inside scoop on the game’s development, it’s Jones. Reportedly, Microsoft’s executives greenlit Crackdown 3 after discussions with Jones, who co-founded Cloudinge, a cloud-based computing service. With Cloudinge, Xbox One consoles can offload complicated processing to off-site machines, increasing the amount of computing power the game can use
That extra oomph powers Crackdown 3’s fully destructible environments, which can be affected in small ways – say, bullet holes appearing in walls – or with map-shattering changes like the complete decimation of entire skyscrapers. There’s a catch, of course: in order to use Cloudinge’s service, the Xbox One console needs to be online. According to Jones, offline players will still have access to “limited destruction,” but nothing on the scale of the mess seen in the game’s impressive Gamescom trailer.
Microsoft announced Crackdown 3 at E3 2014, with an implied 2015 release date. However, Microsoft decided not to show Crackdown 3 at E3 2015 and focused on a Gamescom presentation instead. That, along with relative lack of information about Crackdown’s development, should’ve been enough to raise red flags for anyone paying attention. In short: the 2016 release date hardly comes as a surprise.
The original Crackdown was an early Xbox 360 title, which first attracted attention because it shipped with a Halo 3 beta code. Thankfully, the game itself turned out to be a pleasant surprise: an open-world shooter in which players assume the role of a biologically-enhanced “Agent,” and go about ridding Pacific City of organized crime. Crackdown is famous not just for its compelling, sandbox-style mechanics, but also its collectible “orbs,” which many players ended up hunting with feverish devotion.
Microsoft released a sequel, Crackdown 2, a few years later. It didn’t fare as well. Orb-collecting was just as fun as ever, but critics complained that the game was just too similar to its predecessor to make much of an impact. From the looks of things, Crackdown 3 should be a return to form. In addition to the destructible environments and enhanced physics, Cloudinge has enlisted the help of Reagent Games and Sumo Digital. All three studios are new to the franchise and, with any luck, should bring many new ideas to the aging franchise.
Crackdown 3 is an Xbox One exclusive.