A Crackdown 3 Review: A Step in the Right Direction but Is It a Far Enough Step?

What makes a game great? Is it the innovation it brings? Or is it the Joy it brings? Well, Crackdown 3 begs us to answer the question.

Not every game has to be revolutionary, not every game has to redefine a genre, and not every game has to completely blow you away with graphics and even if a game doesn’t do any of these things it can still be a good game, which is exactly what Crackdown 3 does. The only way that Crackdown 3 would seem revolutionary is if you sealed yourself away after the development of the original Crackdown and said “Don’t let me out until they make another good Crackdown game.” and were only just now released.

While it may seem like I am too harsh I don’t mean all of this in a negative way, a problem that many games have in today is not building a solid foundation to their games and letting the “marketable” features get away from them like graphics, over the top changes to solid ideas, and things like that. Crackdown 3 doesn’t suffer from those same problems and in fact, only makes me more excited to see where the series goes from here because this outing lays down the solid foundation that the previous entries in the series seemingly shook loose. Where Crackdown 3 really shines is the changes it makes, not to the gaming industry as a whole, but more the changes made in its own franchise. These small boosts and changes that fans were clamoring for back when the series first launched that have finally been implemented like an extra jump, recallable car, larger environments, more unique boss fights and the like.

Where this game really shines though is the ridiculous and addictive gameplay, the orb collecting and objective destroying mayhem feels quick, fun and for lack of a better term explosive. The guns and equipment feel unique so that every time you get something new, it makes you excited to try it out, and although you can get most of the items just from defeating stronger and stronger enemies, the weapon pacing works very well. For instance, if you knew where the best items were, you might be able to do a quick in and out a heist to get them, it wouldn’t be easy, but it would be possible, while for brand new players the weapons and their properties seem to flow with the more you upgrade your agent.

Crackdown 3 back
Image pulled from a Crackdown 3 press kit

The setting and environment are also a big improvement for the franchise, where the other games at times struggled with finding a balance of unique locations and fulfilling objective placement Crackdown 3 really rides the line well. While it doesn’t have the largest map ever it is packed to the brim with content for the player to explore and dig deep into to find its secrets. The setting also feels like everything was placed with intent, every major location had its purpose and features the vast majority of which feel genuine. The witty banter between the Director at the Agency and “Echo” a rebel fighter you meet very early on in the game is also a fun mention, with the dialogue evolving the further you progress into the story making their interactions more and more casual and fun set to this backdrop of devastation, plus it’s always fun to blow something up and hear the Director say some ridiculous line, usually about how much he likes blowing shit up.

However, the thing that excites me the most about the game is where the franchise can go from here, what they can do to build upon this really fun starting position. While Crackdown 3 isn’t game of the year and really in my opinion isn’t worth the $60 price tag it is a very fun game and one that any fan of the series should pick up and anyone looking to get in on the franchise should take this wonderful opportunity to jump in.

Noah is an all-around nerd that likes everything from video games to anime and fights every day to do nothing but sit on his couch and watch movies.

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