After lengthy delays since its E3 2014 announcement, Crackdown 3 has officially arrived. After countless revisions, Sumo Digital hope to bring the excitement and explosive gameplay the series is known for back to the fans. With it’s over the top gameplay, Crackdown 3 sandbox world has something intriguing going on but is it enough to keep the player invested?

B-Movie And Beyond

Crackdown 3 takes place in fictional New Providence. Many countries have been hit with massive blackouts. On a ship heading to New Providence, Commander Isaiah Jaxon (played by Terry Crews) is speaking to a new class of Agents, who are eager to go into battle. Chewing up the scenery with his “Quack Quack Mutherf–ker” attitude, the agents are suddenly hit with an unknown soundwave. This rocks the ship which eventually leads to their demise or so we think.

You are brought back to life with the help from Echo, a mysterious female who has an agenda to stop the criminal organization known as Terra Nova. Led by Elizabeth Nemand, your mission is to free the people she has taken in from the blackout zones and used to do her bidding. With 3 lieutenants and 5 underlying working for her, you must take them down any way you see fit.

Jump Up, Jump Up, Then Throw Down

Crackdown 3 is all about getting more powerful. You collect neon green Ability Orbs to strengthen your Agent. From maximizing your jumps to go higher to driving vehicles easier and faster, the ability orbs are important to progress in the campaign. There’s also neon blue Hidden Orbs that evolve you quicker as it affects every part of your character. As you fight enemies, small color orbs will automatically be absorbed by you.

The small orbs affect specific aspects of your character. Blue orbs increase your firearm ability, red for strength, yellow for explosives and purple for driving. Each colored orb maxes out at a level of 5.

As you jump, air dash, ground pound from the air, and wreak havoc with your artillery, you’ll continue to be rewarded with orbs even after you become the super soldier your Agent has become when fighting enemies.

You’ll want to collect these orbs as much as you can because jumping around and air dashing in Crackdown 3 is a riot. The addictive nature of the gameplay will keep you glued to the action. Since this is a third person adventure, the movement in Crackdown 3 follows 2 gameplay mechanics. When you’re not locked on, you shoot freely while the use of the right analog helps to keep the camera focus on what’s happening in the battle. When you do lock on, you go into cross-directional control of your character. Left, right, up, and down. You can go diagonal but when in heated moments, the other 4 movements will preside over it.

Having that lock on does benefit the player too. A red circle will appear on the enemy and go counterclockwise as you take their health bar down.

With the LB being your air dash and reload button, it also becomes a roll dodge when you’re on the ground. Most of the time, you’ll be jumping and dashing away from them which makes evading easier.

I Can Go Anywhere

Crackdown 3 doesn’t have a level by level mission structure. Everything is open and available from the start. You’ll takedown chimera factories, rescue captives and blow up police vehicles, takeover monorails, destroy their machinery, and then head off to the captains and lieutenants when they become available. Each color and icon on the map will show you a survival chance percentage of that objective. Once you’ve done enough objectives to reach 100% to stop the lieutenant or captain, you can go and fight them.

The stronger you get, the better the turnout will be. You can unlock safehouses and supply points. With these, you can switch out weapons when taking an enemy weapon. This unlocks the usage for you to have these weapons in your loadout. Once you get them, they’re yours. There are 24 weapons to acquire with 11 gadgets you’ll also come across to have. You get to carry 3 guns and one grenade so you can mix and match to see what you want to bring to the battle. It also helps, that the weapon stats in your loadout is shown so you can decide what to take.

Be warned though. Not all these weapons work as some they can resist and some may not reach them depending on the distance. For example, the plasma beam does great damage when in range but when far away, it’ll seem you are hitting them but no damage status will pop up. This can become a problem when more enemies come onto the scene due to the warning level comes into effect. This warning level goes up to 3 which adds more enemies to take on.  You can bring the levels down once you escape and hide until it disappears.

After a captain or lieutenant fight, the city will go into lockdown mode, which is basically a horde mode. Just shoot until you reach 100% of enemies destroyed and it’s over. If you do go past the rating of 3 also, you’ll end up in lockdown mode and just have to fight to the finish. You can’t escape it unless you beat it or die.

The Driving Doesn’t Crack Up

The driving in this game is horrendous. Floaty and at times uncontrollable, you’re better off traversing the city on foot and in the air. Turns aren’t easier to make and no matter how good you get at it, you’ll wish it was polished like the Forza franchise.

Another problem with this is that when highlighting an objective, you don’t get any indication on her to get there when you’re in a vehicle. No arrows, line, Cortana voice chat, or anything to help you. That makes it more lease likely to use it beside unlocking more vehicles in your armory. A shame because it would be fun having more ways to do fights in this game and getting around.

The only thing the cars are for is picking them up and throwing them at enemies. When shooting the AI cars, they explore and damage anyone next to them.

A Joint Adventure 

Co-op is the place to be at. You are given five slots for a character to use and worlds that contain your progress. As you explore New Providence, you’ll come across DNA of the dead agent from the ship explosion. You can recruit them once you take their strand. This allows for more characters either of you can choose.

Co-op mode is only for 2 players though. You can see in your map where they are at and when in game, you just have to look for their XBL name and head toward them. Also, it helps that you can fast travel without the other player doing it. As you both are bringing the pain, you both are award orbs. What you collect in their game, stays with you in your character and that world and vice versa. It helps to have someone with you to take down enemies while you focus on the main target.

You’ll also revive your partner when they are down. If too far away, a counter will start and if your too late, that person will die and then respawn. If both characters fail and you were making progress in an objective, you keep that progress and just go back in and fight. It’s something that certain sandbox games should use often.

Keep The Sides Aside

Crackdown 3 side objectives are a mix. The campaign contains a lot of platforming and you have to be at a certain level to achieve them.The multiplayer mode known as Wrecking Zone is forgettable.

The team with the first 25 badges will win the match. You destroy the environments as you take down the other team players. You can’t hide from anything and with lock-on still used here, you take them down or you’ll go down. It’s very basic, a bit silly, but unnecessary.

In the campaign, New Providence is one circle. Throughout the city, you’ll come across these propaganda towers that you can take over and hear Isaiah speak to the people constantly. You’ll also hack radio communication to hear some additional story and character situations. It’s a nice bonus to hear and to know more of the world your in. You can also drive up ramps to go through these wheel target to enhance your purple orbs.

Whatever you plan to do with the side quest and with Wrecking Zone, they don’t add too much to the fun that is being had.

Dumb Fun To Crack You Up

Crackdown 3 cel-shaded romp is what a pure video game is supposed to be. Silly, addicting, and worth a go to fill time when you or a friend want something to play. It doesn’t offer anything deep and introspective but it feels good being a superhero destroying the world for justice. With great gameplay and guns that feel wonderful to use, Crackdown 3 is a whirlwind of B Movie action tropes and satisfying moments when your agent is powerful enough to handle anything that comes their way. Quack Quack Muthaf–ker!!

4 Out Of 5 Yoshi Coins




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