The all-muscle Terry Crews, a ridiculous story and mindless explosions, but does Crackdown 3 live up to the hype?
Here’s a list of things that have happened since Crackdown 3 was announced back in 2014: ₹500 and ₹1000 notes became toilet paper, Nintendo came back from the dead and Stuff India got verified on Instagram (yes, we take millennial achievements seriously). After all that we still think that Xbox Game Studios should’ve taken some more years to inject something worthwhile into Crackdown 3.
Even as a no-brainer third person shooter, Crackdown 3 does less to stand out and lacks the creativity that does little to nothing to make this a worthy Xbox exclusive title.
New Providence is an old name
You start off as an ‘Agent’ who is tasked with saving an island filled with people who want to kill you. Little do they know that you’re almost on your way to superhuman abilities (which we will get to in a bit).
Its your run-of-the-mill story with an evil dictator named Niemand governing an entire island as the head of an evil corporation called Terra Nova. To get to her, you must defeat a series of bosses, each charged with controlling a certain section of the city.
Everytime you defeat an enemy boss, it brings you closer to taking down Niemand. That’s it, that’s all the story there is.
Shoot, shoot and repeat
You can choose from many different Agents but we chose Jaxon like most people might because it’s portrayed by Terry Crews. Alternatively, there’s nothing remarkably different in having Terry Crews as your lead character. The only time the game utilizes the iconic actor’s presence was during the opening cutscene. Other than that it’s just feels like a Fortnite skin.
Weapons unlock as you pick them up from the dead enemies or find them in the game world. Weapons feel as varied as the number of pencil erasers you had as a child. Even if you found a new one, there’s little you would be excited about. Once you pick out your favourite, there’s little to push you to change weapons to suit an enemy or a boss.
Grenades offer some flexibility and breathing room but most of the time we didn’t really bother. It was jetpack-shoot-shoot-jetpack.
Future is... textureless
Crackdown 3’s visions of the future is boring, which makes Terra Nova quite a dry and basic island to be on. Most of the buildings and cars sport a neon futuristic look but they don’t have any meaningful design that will grab your attention.
The bland world really rubs into your eyes when you jump from building to building using the jetpack. However, movement is slick and one of the few enjoyable things about Crackdown 3.
That said, the vehicles in the game don’t add value either. In hindsight, we finished the game without even bothering to level up our driving skills.
The stat progression in the game is based on how much you do of what throughout your game. Basically, if you go in guns blazing and jetpack around the town as much as possible, your progression for both will progress accordingly. Whereas we completely ignored driving in the game so by the end of the game our level was still below 1. This forces you to take on side missions like climbing towers to stop propaganda and collect parkour points around the island with the only incentive to level up.
We played the game on 4K on our PC test bench with the highest settings and got around 60 frames consistently. The game is polished and stable but there ain’t any graphically demanding moments or features in the game to make use of our monstrous Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. In all fairness, the textures and the game world wouldn’t trouble most PCs or even Xbox One X for that matter. Where other Xbox exclusive titles like Forza Horizon 4 completely utilize every 4K capability, Crackdown 3 looks more reserved in its approach.
Sometimes machines sometimes machine bosses
Arena based boss battles are a bit more fun but only after you grind through its repetitive missions to lure them out. The bosses themselves get a nice introduction through the art style cutscenes but the boss battles are structured similarly. Except for the last battle, it was different and forced us to adapt and change weapons too.
Giant robots or giant structures, as long as you can feed it bullets, progression is possible. Crackdown 3 is a trigger happy game but it doesn’t inspire the formula in anyway.
Processor: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X; Liquid cooled by Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti
Motherboard: Asus PRIME X399-A
RAM: 32GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB
CPU Case: Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB
Keyboard: Kingston HyperX Alloy Elite RGB
Power Supply: Corsair AX850
Crackdown 3 verdict
Crackdown 3 is seriously underwhelming. The fact that it has such a great celebrity on its cover but doesn’t really use it to its full potential is disappointing. Most of the missions are repetitive and bland which really drains the fun out of shooting bad guys.
Not to mention the world is lifeless and the story doesn’t have anything meaningful to drive you forward.