18 Feb 2019
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Game review: Crackdown 3 launches on Xbox One and PC

By Damian Seeto

When the first Crackdown game came out for the Xbox 360 back in 2007, it was an enjoyable game although it feels outdated playing it by today’s standards. This year’s release of Crackdown 3 may be a sequel, but it feels the same as its predecessors by offering a familiar gameplay style and visual experience.

I recently bought a new 4K TV and have played myriad great looking games on the Xbox One X including the likes of Forza Horizon 4, Far Cry 5 and many others. The 4K resolution is a sight to behold as the graphics are a step up from you playing games in 1080p with a base Xbox One console. 

Even though I reviewed Crackdown 3 on an Xbox One X, sadly I was not impressed by its visuals. The 2D style graphics made the game look like a title from ten years ago. The city is also boring and bland, plus the vehicles in this game lack any sort of detail. 

The only impressive visuals from the entire game are that the whole city is destructible. However this feature is only available in the online multiplayer mode called ‘Wrecking Ball’ because the single player campaign does not feature any destructible environments whatsoever.  

Without having a destructible city in the single player campaign, Crackdown 3 just feels like a watered down version of Saint’s Row or Agents of Mayhem. Exploring the city can get boring unless you level up for a few hours gaining more super powers. 

Unlike Agents of Mayhem though, Crackdown 3 only allows you to play as one character and their superpowers are all locked at the beginning of the game. I found myself getting bored playing the start of the campaign, but things get a little better once you unlock more skills as you progress. 

In terms of its gameplay, Crackdown 3 just feels like a game that is stuck in the past. It’s just a standard 3D shooting game with limited mechanics and a lack of variety. There’s not an effective dodging move you can do to evade enemy firepower and the game also lacks any sort of cover system too!

You will spend hours just shooting enemy after enemy and the gameplay never feels different due to the lack of variety. There are no puzzles or exploration on offer because every mission just sees you needing to shoot enemies or destroy certain parts of the villains’ facilities. 

The only time that the game feels different is when you have to take out one of the nine bosses that have overtaken the city. These bosses get unlocked once you do a certain number of missions and then they show their ugly faces to the player. 

That being said, boss fights aren’t all that enjoyable because they are just long and winded out shooting galleries most of the time. Boss fights can also get very tiresome mainly because they call up their minions all of the time to prevent you from attacking them. 

Exploration in Crackdown 3 can also feel like a chore mainly due to the horrible level design. The game sometimes expects you to explore high buildings using an awful jumping mechanic that often rarely even works properly. Not to mention every car in the game feels slow and sluggish. It’s better off exploring the game on foot rather than driving any type of vehicle. 

The only thing I actually enjoyed from the single player campaign is the variety of weapons that you can use. You can pretty much steal any weapon that you can from enemies, or stock up on your own arsenal via checkpoints that are littered throughout the city. Sure the gameplay can get repetitive, but using different weapons does alleviate the pain just a little bit. 

If you get bored of the monotonous single player campaign, you can try the aforementioned ‘Wrecking Ball’ mode which is the game’s main online multiplayer offering. The novelty of destroying big buildings all around you can be fun, but it quickly gets tiresome after you have seen it for a while. 

The multiplayer mode also lacks variety because there are only two game modes for you to play at launch. There is also no progression system whatsoever so there are no incentives for you to keep playing unless you don’t get sick of seeing the city wide destruction. 

All in all, Crackdown 3 is an average game that may have come out 10 years too late. This game would have been fun to play back in 2007, but now in 2019 it’s a boring and outdated mess. 

Verdict: 5.5/10

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