The fan-favorite Crackdown series was nowhere to be found during last week’s E3 coverage despite the Xbox Media briefing being 100% focused on unveiling new games and exclusives. So what is the status of the orb-chasing building-leaping franchise?

Many will remember the original Crackdown as the $60 Halo Beta that happened to come with a full retail game that actually turned out to be quite good. The free-roaming, building climbing and super-jumping grabbed players as refined mechanics that were fun to use in an over-the-top crime-ridden city. Even without throwing a single car or firing a single weapon, many players were hooked simply by roaming around the streets of Pacific City looking for Agility Orbs. Many critics agreed that Crackdown was a worthwhile full release to come packed in with a Halo demo.

The sequel, on the other hand, was released to a fairly lukewarm reception due to it being just more of the same, but worse. Is a next-gen Crackdown in the pipeline? Microsoft Game Studios’ Phil Spencer took to the Twitterverse to answer that very question.

It’s nice to see that Spencer recognizes that both the time and talent will be required to bring the game back to high expectations set by the first game. Gamers may recall that at the first Xbox One reveal, Crackdown 3 had accidentally come to light via an icon shown on the main dashboard screen. So could it come to the next-gen?

It will also be interesting to see what potential the next-gen consoles can find within the franchise. There is obviously room to make the world bigger and the environments more destructible. However, would fans be interested in seeing a visual makeover for the game with so many other titles embracing open-world sandbox destruction? The first two games used a cel-shaded technique for the general aesthetic, and that worked for the stylized action and movement the games offered. What would a more photorealistic look bring to the table?

Would you play or buy another Crackdown game? Should it be a proper sequel to the original two games? Should it act as a reboot or just retain the mechanics while taking players to a different location a la the Far Cry series. Or is Crackdown one that developers should just put to rest and bring along the new IP to match the shiny new boxes?

Source: Phil Spencer