Crackdown 3 Review- Guilty Fun

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Posted February 15, 2019 by Thomas James Juretus in Video Games

Developer: Sumo Games (single player campaign), Elbow Rocket (Wrecking Zone multiplayer modes)

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

Release Date: February 15, 2019

Available on: PC, Xbox One (reviewed)

After many delays, Crackdown 3 has finally arrived. The game follows the Xbox 360 games that first appeared in 2007 and then 2010. The game follows pretty much the same set-up from its predecessors, with an open world sandbox for you to run around, shoot, and blow things up. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, nor does it try to. This is quite simply a B action movie as a videogame, a guilty pleasure for when you want to turn your brain off and just blow shit up.

The big draw here is Terry Crews playing Agent Jaxon, one of the six available Agents you can play as (more can be unlocked by finding Agent DNA in the game). Just don’t expect a full acting performance from Crews (you’ll hear the Agent chief and the resistance leader Echo far more often). But this game isn’t about strong performances, or even any character development. Even the villains are your typical cartoony bad guys.

The story is typical B action movie fodder. Terra Nova is an evil corporation that has lured people to its neon, skyscraper island, where it gleefully oppresses them. Enter the Agency and its Agents, who join forces with a local resistance led by a woman named Echo. The goal is to be a thorn in the corporation’s ass, destroying their property until one of their major bosses shows their face. And then you blow them up (or dispatch as you see fit). That’s it. There’s nothing more to the story. Those looking for weightier fare need to look elsewhere.

For those who can live with the thin story that just serves as a device to blow things up and cause general mayhem, Crackdown 3 can offer a fair amount of silly fun. There’s a nice variety of weapons to use, though you’re bound to gravitate to your favorites. The Jackhammer is nice for launching a spread of missiles at your foes. The Pulse Laser tends to burn everything to the ground, and it’s always fun to toss a Singularity Grenade into the mix and watch as enemies get sucked into an explosive black hole.

The game, as its predecessors, employs the Skills for Kills system. Simply put, the more you use a skill, the better you get at it. Jumping into vehicles makes you a better driver. Use your fists instead of a gun and your strength increases. And of course, firing those guns makes you a better shot. It’s a simple system that works well. finding certain orbs hidden about the city also help to augment movement and agility, making it so as the game goes on you can leap across streets in a single bound and scale the many tall buildings.

Climbing those buildings and the propaganda towers you can take out can be problematic due to some bad camera angles and lack of meaningful handholds. I tended to overshoot the platforms with my jumps on the towers, and after multiple misses soon got dizzy as I fell to the ground yet again. Climbing the buildings I seemed to come just short of my mark. It’s a frustrating thing, especially since many major bosses require you to climb high to fight them. It gets easier the more agility orbs you find, but it can be aggravating early on. Those who excel at platformers will have a much easier time here. For those less skilled, at least there’s plenty of action at ground level.

One thing that won’t be found are highly destructible environments. You can blow up loads of enemy vehicles and soldiers, but environmental destruction is fairly non-existent in the campaign. It is present in the Wrecking Zone, the game’s multiplayer. But even there it isn’t very satisfying, looking more like Asteroids than Red Faction: Guerilla. Had that been implemented as promised things could have gotten even more fun. Maybe it will show up in a future patch.

Overall, the game runs smoothly, but it does experience some minor technical difficulties from time to time. Occasionally, the sound will crap out. Frame rate dips can occur when there is an abundance of action on the screen. There are long load times, and it can take a bit for matchmaking in the multiplayer modes. I also had the game crash twice on me. Thankfully, the supply post checkpoints, which serve as your respawn point after dying or returning to a play session, are plentiful and easy enough to capture.

While the campaign, which can take you anywhere from 8-20 hours, depending on your skill level and desire to explore and find collectibles, is the highlight of the game, there is a multiplayer for those who enjoy competing against others. Called the Wrecking Zone, it’s divided into two modes: Agent Hunter, where two teams try to kill opponents and collect badges, and Territories, where each team needs to capture points around the city as well as take out the opposing team.

Neither one offers anything new, and both feel fairly lackluster. Agent Hunter is the worst of the two, with Territories only faring slightly better. Both are 5v5 modes , and are best played with a group of friends rather than being match-made with strangers. The campaign can also be played in a co-op mode, should you wish a friend to join in on the overpowered carnage.

In all, Crackdown 3 doesn’t do anything new or advance the series in any meaningful way. But in one sense, it doesn’t need to. Fans will still find the same silly humor and goofy explosive fun they’ve enjoyed from the two previous games. And that’s not really a terrible thing. It’s not a deep game. There is no engrossing story. But you don’t always need to have that to enjoy a game. Sometimes, you just want to blow shit up. And on that, Crackdown 3 delivers.

PROS

-Colorful cartoony art style

-Silly humor

-Fun to make things go boom

-Nice variety of weapons

CONS

-Tower climbing

-Some bad camera angles

-Minor technical issues

-Long load times

-Limited destruction

Final score: 7/10


About the Author

Thomas James Juretus