I love me some Terry Crews but who doesn’t? I am sure you all are pumped for his appearance as Isiah Jaxon as I am. In preparation for Crackdown 3 I Eurotrained my butt off, I had Vanessa Carlton’s A Thousand Miles cranked up to 11, sprayed my Old Spice and had a metric tonne of Yogurt ready and waiting. Before I get into the core review let me start by saying two things; the first is that this review is for the campaign aspect of the game and secondly it is being played on an Xbox One S so your mileage may vary on a One X.
Crackdown 3 is set 10 years after the events of the original game during which a terrorist attack known as the ‘Blackouts’ kills all power around the world leaving the Agency to clean up the mess on the small island of New Providence which is run by the Terr Nova organization. If you haven’t played a Crackdown title before the best way to describe it is an open world sandbox in which you play a super powered secret agent who shoots stuff and blows shit up.
That may have been a broad strokes summary of the core game play but it remains relatively unchanged from it’s predecessors in which you have a variety of different weapon types and skills which can be powered up throughout the game from their use in dispatching enemies and ability orbs. Everything you expect a Crackdown game to have is there, the DNA remains unchanged, you can traverse the city by upgrading your Agility or joyride your way around that element of choice is still entirely up to you. The driving, shooting, jumping around and the actual general game play all works completely fine and as it should.
The overall element of the game however is a bit of hot mess. As stated it is pretty much unchanged from Crackdown 2 so the game will have you completing objectives to draw out a bosses LT. to defeat in order to work your way up to the games main boss. Repetition in objectives in a game usually doesn’t bother me as long as they are fun, most games have them in same form whether it be fetch quests to complete other fetch quests or more linear A-B then B-C, usually they don’t get to me in a way others my find trite. Crackdown 3 on the other hand only has about 4 real objectives that you will repeat ad nauseam in which you will either be destroying something or someone or alternatively hacking a system by standing near it and holding LB until it is down… On some occasions you may be required to do both.
While playing the game I ran into a fair few bugs or glitches with me often ending up stuck in a wall or somehow under a building, this can be used to make shortcuts up the sides of some buildings to get agility orbs or can leave you stuck unable to leave forcing you to fast drive away… Of course if it happens during combat which it often did as explosions and hits from Mechs can send you flying leaves you with no choice but to quit out of the game as fast travel is offline during combat. Then there is the whole issues with frame rate drops, again something that doesn’t really bug me if I have to wait a second or so of slow down so everything can run smoother that’s fine ya know. Crackdown 3 however constantly drops frame rates when the action picks up slowing down all the time, you get shot with a rocket you flying from impact in stuttering rates and I know this may process better on the Xbox One X but if I can’t pick up an agility orb without it completely stopping something is a miss.
So that got me thinking what was all this cloud based destruction that was the games huge selling point and I did some digging. The game contains another mode called Wrecking Zone which is effectively the multiplayer and was developed by Ruffian Games who also made the first two Crackdown games. This third entry’s campaign mode however was developed by Sumo Digital the guys behind the Sonic Racing series and some Forza titles all of which play and look much nicer.
Which brings me to the games biggest failing, it has no personality. When starting you are given the choice of 8 different characters each just as bland as the proceeding with more unlocked as you play with no real differences to them at all. Of course Terry Crews is among these individuals so why would you want to be any body else? Now Terry Crews has a big infectious personality so I thought by choosing him there would be a few quips and his loud personality to beam through the character model, he effectively has none of that with most of the voice acting just being grunts while the voice of the Agency continues to narrate and quip (eye rolling at times) for you. If you don’t pick him however he only appears in the game for about 30 seconds in what is a lovely little cut scene with the rest of the events being told in static images.
There you have it that is your game of Crackdown 3, just more of the same. Unfortunately the ball has been dropped on the Terry Crews simulator leaving us with a completely average gaming experience. Is it flat out bad? No. If you have Game Pass it wouldn’t hurt to check it out there since it is a free download with the service. Even in this regard it is hard to recommend, not because its bad but why settle for an average game when you have Just Cause 2 and Saints Row 3 & 4 on the same service.
Zombie was provided an promo copy of the game to review.