During this year’s annual Comic-Con in San Diego, Microsoft treated panel attendees to an exclusive first look at actor Terry Crews’ character in Crackdown 3, the upcoming open world action-adventure game from Microsoft Studios, Reagent Games, Sumo Digital. While Crews’ presence in the title is definitely exciting, Crackdown 3 art director Dave Johnson revealed that designing around the actor’s massive muscular body was a challenge for the developers.
Speaking with Glixel, Johnson explained that Crews’ stature is even grander in person than it is on screen. “You see Terry on TV, right? And you see him on films, and he’s big,” Johnson said. “And then you see him up close and it’s staggering.” This played a major role in crafting Crews’ character, Commander Isaiah Jaxon (named after Crews’ son) of the Agents of Justice.
When developer Sumo Digital saw Crews suited up as Commander Jaxon to film Crackdown 3‘s E3 2017 trailer, the creatives realized that they needed to adjust his costume because his muscles weren’t properly visible. The biggest trouble arose when Crews would flex said muscles, Jaxon explained, an action that confirmed the designers would have to create a whole new suit both for Crews to shoot in and for Commander Jaxon in the game.
A lot of thought went into crafting the improved Commander Jaxon suit. Beyond adjusting it to better fit Crews’ body, developers needed to consider the ranking system in Crackdown 3 and where the playable version of the actor would sit in the hierarchy. Agents in the Crackdown game series receive suits based on their level of experience, Level One being the lowest Agent, and the new Level Six being the Commander level. With Crews in the fold, Crackdown 3 developers knew they would have to do something special for a Level Six Commander.
“When it came to Terry,” Johnson explained, “we asked ourselves, ‘Well, what would a commander look like?’ At this point in the development process, we already have a Level Five suit. We already have Agents Level One, Two, Three, Four and Five looked like, so what did it mean to be a Level Six?”
Not only was the new suit was created to allow Crews’ hulking body room to move, it was also crafted to honor his character’s Agent level. The developers added additional adornments and extra features – ones that Agents of lesser levels don’t have access to – to the Commander Jaxon suit to signify he’s of top rank. “The point is, Terry’s special,” Johnson said.
Outside of Crews’ involvement in the game, there’s plenty more of Crackdown 3 to show before its released later this year. First announced during Microsoft’s E3 panel in 2014, the forthcoming game was only briefly shown at E3 2017 in gameplay footage that was largely unfocused. It did, however, serve to hype up the live audience and put Crackdown 3 back on their radar.
Microsoft and the game’s various developer studios would do well to take advantage of the attention Crackdown 3 is receiving and promote the game’s biggest features. Its cloud-based servers, unique story campaign, and distinct character design, the current most prominent of which is Crews as Commander Jaxon, ought to catch the eye of fans and newcomers alike.
Crackdown 3 releases November 7, 2017 for PC and Xbox One.