Crackdown is a series that’s been around since 2007 and in that time, I’ve never played a Crackdown game, or a game by Sumo Digital at all for that matter. In fact, Crackdown 2 came out two years before I even owned my first console, but my friend assured me that Crackdown 3 was a good game, so I thought to myself “Why not?”, I went out and bought Crackdown 3, going in completely blind to the series, and boy was it a journey.
Crackdown 3 puts you in the shoes of a member of the rebel group The Agency, you can choose to play as one of twenty-one characters who each receive a bonus for any experience gained for two specific skills, you start with six characters to choose from, but you unlock more as the game progresses. The game starts with an opening speech by Commander Jaxon, which is followed by a look at the cataclysmic event know as the “Blackout”, after this you pick the character you want to play as out of the starting 6 then proceed with the tutorial. The tutorial is short, sweet and gets the job done, it explains movement, combat, and puts you up against the first captain of the totalitarian corporation, Terranova. Terranova play the role of the enemy faction in Crackdown 3 and within Terranova there are 3 divisions, the Logistics division, led by the robotics obsessed Alois Quist, the Security division, led by the aggressive Kuli Ngata, and the Industry division, lead by the mental unstable Katala Vargas.
As you progress through the story, you’ll take down each of these factions to get to the one who’s pulling all the strings, the leader of Terranova Elizabeth Niemano. Once you clear the tutorial you’ll be put out into the world, charged with the mission to dismantle the divisions of Terranova and put a stop to Elizabeth’s tyrannical rule over New Providence. Crackdown 3 plays like butter, everything is smooth, I rarely experienced any bugs and if I did it was just minor issues like an enemy would clip into the floor, but they’d only clip down to their knees, sometimes the audio would stop for a second but resume right where it left off. The only bug I found that I had a problem with was when I was driving, I’d come up to a corner and, regardless of my speed, if I hit the curb my car would be flung around like the arms of an inflatable tube man, which was really irritating because in games I drive like a blind toddler so it was near impossible for me to take a corner and not hit the curb.
The weapons in this game are spectacular, every weapon I used looks amazing, sounded amazing and felt amazing, there was no uncontrollable recoil and no gun had a spread too wide to be effective. The enemies for each faction and different designs and different styles of weapons that matched their motif. The only complaint I have from a game-play perspective was I found early game to be boring and I didn’t enjoy co-op a whole lot, yes, it’s fun to play with a friend but it felt too easy. The early stages of the game are slow starting but once you get the ball moving and level up your skills a bit the game becomes a blast.
Visually Crackdown 3 is stunning, looking at the city landscape from the roofs of buildings is a marvel the higher up you go, them game if full of bright neon signs and futuristic, high tech cars line the streets and traverse the city. The day and night cycle bring a totally different look to the map depending one what time it is in game, during the day it feels like people are just making their way through a nine to five, punch in punch out lifestyle but then during the night it’s a whole different atmosphere. The only faults I can give the game visually is that the player models both in cut scenes and during game-play seem almost outdated when compared to current games, they seem almost in line with models from Saints Row 4 which was released in 2013 and that there’s a total of about 3 fully animated cut-scenes throughout the entire game, the rest are a comic book style cut-scene with small moving parts for effect.
From an audio standpoint the game is solid, the voices match characters, the guns, grenades and explosions pack the punch you’d expect, the cars sound excellent and some even sound as high tech as they look. Sadly, the main character you play as has no voice, just grunts and other miscellaneous noises. Another downside to the game is there’s no music outside of combat, when you’re in combat there’s music of varying intensities but once combat ends it all goes silent.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Crackdown 3 even though it was my first look at the series, would I recommend someone else start with Crackdown 3? Probably not, I feel like there’s some sort of backstory I’m missing by not having played the two. The game looks good, feels good and sounds good except for a few minor issues. With all that being said I’d give Crackdown 3 a solid 4 out of 5 thumbs up.