While Crackdown 3 does have a multiplayer mode titled “Wrecking Zone” this review will only cover the single player campaign.
My dudes, I’m a sucker for insane slightly terrible B-movies. Always have been. That being said, Crackdown 3 is the video game equivalent of said B-movie tomfoolery in consistently cheesy and effective ways. There is plenty of action, plenty of explosions, a lot of one-liners and it’s all set in a 80’s, neon lit, macho sandbox. All this to allow you to play several addictive hours in a mixed bag of schlocky highlights and lowlights.
Crackdown 3 places you in the dystopian city of New Providence where tyrannical Terra Nova leader, Elizabeth Niemand runs the city with an iron fist. It falls into The Agency’s hands to lay waste to Niemand and her followers and give power back to the people.
In it’s opening (and most Terry Crews driven) cut scene, you see a group of Agents flying to the island to kick some butt. Instead they are met with a wave of green energy that completely destroys the crew and The Crews. If you have ever seen the scene in Deep Blue Sea where main character ,Sam Jackson is suddenly eaten by a shark, then you might be ready for this.
I was hoping for more Terry Crews big scenes like this. He has a big monologue talking about kicking ass and wearing snake skin boots. It’s the Terry we all love. Sadly, from that point on there isn’t much in the way of that. Dialogue is mainly set in place by in game one-liners. On the bright side, you do get a mo-cap Crews to play with through campaign.
If you have played Crackdown games before you know the setup. It’s run and gun action with breaks where you use your stamina to collect orb power ups. Collecting power ups is addictive business. Becoming all powerful and taking down facilities is extremely satisfying.
There are a variety of cool weapons to choose from but after a while the variety doesn’t seem to matter. I’m able raise the same death count with a pistol as I could with heavier artillery. That is especially the case later on when you become more powerful. With weapon design and destruction being as cool as they are in the game, I wish that they mattered more in the grand scheme of things.
There is a lot of arcade style fun to be had in Crackdown 3. But, the game is reliant on running into a compound, hacking into and/or destroying a bunch of key points, beating a mini boss and then repeating the same thing on your next target. As much dumb big action fun as the game presents, it does get a bit repetitive late in the game. I found myself more concerned with finding collectibles than I was with the primary mission toward the end.
Boss battles are where the game mixes it up. These battles are initiated when you cause a significant amount of damage to Nieman’s lieutenant’s facilities. After they lose enough territory and get pissed off enough, they come out of hiding to fight. These are a lot of fun to play through and have a nice variety between each of the encounters. For example, one boss comes at you in a mech suit. Whenever you do enough damage to them, they draw power from a central energy core to replenish their energy. This tasks you with having to attack the core while the enemy is recharging. It’s a nice change up from the rinse and repeat nature of destroying facilities.
There have been major changes to graphics and mechanics since the infamous E3 trailer we saw a few years back. For one, the destructible cloud based system is not available in single player campaign. The graphics have also been toned down a bit. This leaves a lot in the way of wanting in terms of us playing on a next gen system. There is a lot lacking in the way of graphics and in my play through, and on more than one occasion, I experienced a few frame drops and some other bugs.
Controls are good over all and do a great job of allowing you to properly navigate your Agent through the game, but when it comes to the more platform based parts of the game, there is some room for improvement. Some up high collectibles and achievements are tough to reach and at times your controller becomes your worst enemy in your attempts.
Collecting power ups is definitely worth it. Being able to do a double jump and mid air double thrusts are worth the time it takes to locate the collectibles. The game’s most enjoyable moments rely on how powerful your Agent is. Luckily, the devs made sure to make collecting the power ups an addictively good time.
Crackdown 3’s John Carpenter-esque anti establishment message and setting through the lens of Full Moon’s Charlie Band is a good place to play. It’s a blast of over the top big action. There are a lot more pros than cons and playing as Terry Crews is definitely entertaining. It is a nice departure from the world of FPS and is worlds away from anything else available right now. If you are a Terry Crews fan and are looking for a change up and a heck load of BOOM, then def don’t miss the insanely big dumb fun of Crackdown 3.
Crackdown 3 is available on Xbox One and Windows. (It’s also free with a subscription to Xbox’s Game Pass.