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Crackdown 3 is an action-adventure video game developed by Sumo Digital and published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. It continues the series nine years after the release of 2010's Xbox 360 video game Crackdown 2. Originally set to be released in 2016, the game was delayed a number of times.[2] The game was released on 15 February 2019 and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the return of its core features from its predecessors and level of enjoyment, but was also criticized for a lack of innovation and dated design.

Crackdown 3
Crackdown 3 cover.jpg
Developer(s)Sumo Digital[a]
Publisher(s)Microsoft Studios
Writer(s)Joseph Staten
Composer(s)Finishing Move Inc.
EngineUnreal Engine 4[1]
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Xbox One
Release15 February 2019
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer


Crackdown 3 retains the core gameplay of Crackdown and Crackdown 2, featuring a number of different organizations controlling the city of New Providence that players need to take down by killing their bosses and Kingpins, destroying their facilities, and destabilizing their infrastructures. Players can use a variety of weapons to achieve this end, from guns to grenades to rocket launchers, as well as their own physical power. Players can also drive any vehicle found in-game. The game features the "Skills for Kills" system as found in previous games, in which killing enemies with different tools and finding pickups hidden throughout the city award the player with orbs, which increase the player's core skills – agility, firearms, strength, explosives, and driving.

Crackdown 3 includes a new system known as "Gangs Bite Back", in which a boss's or a Kingpin's attention can be drawn to the player upon destroying locations and elements that they specialize in. Gang members can retaliate for these actions at any time and in any place. If enough retaliations are beaten back, the bosses and Kingpins can come for the player personally.[3]

Crackdown 3: Wrecking ZoneEdit

Another new element to the series is the inclusion of destructible environments in a competitive multiplayer mode, Wrecking Zone, in which nearly the entire map is destructible.[4]


Ten years after the events of Crackdown 2, a terrorist attack from an unknown source kills power around the entire world. The Agency is thrust back into action after the attack is traced to the city of New Providence, controlled by the mysterious organization Terra Nova, led by Elizbeth Niemand. The player characters - super-powered Agents - are called into the field by Director Charles Goodwin (Michael McConnohie) and led by Commander Issiah Jaxon (Terry Crews) as a last resort to dismantle Terra Nova any way they can.[3] As Jaxon briefs the agents of their mission, their drop ship is attack by Terra Nova, resulting in the deaths of everyone on board.

Echo, a member of the rebel group known as the Militia, recovers the remains of one of the agents and regenerates them. Heavily outnumbered by Terra Nova’s forces, Echo enlists the agents help in fighting back by dismantling the companies infrastructure.


The game was announced at Microsoft's press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 in June 2014, as an Xbox One exclusive. While the game was still at an early stage at the time of its reveal, Microsoft's Phil Spencer said that the title came about from talks with Dave Jones who, after leaving Realtime Worlds, joined Cloudgine, a software company that is developing technology allowing game developers to take advantage of cloud computing features. Cloudgine had been previously rumored to be a core part of the Xbox One software, with their software used in a technology demonstration at a Microsoft developer's conference in April 2014, demonstrating the use of cloud computer to speed up the physics modeling and rendering in a fully destructible city environment.[5][6] Spencer revealed that the demo world was the start of this newest Crackdown title, with ability to destroy any part of the city expected to be carried over to the final game.[7] According to Spencer, Cloudgine would help to develop the core engine, while Reagent Games, a studio located in close proximity to Cloudgine also founded by Jones, would develop the gameplay and art assets for the game, with Sumo Digital developing the game's campaign mode and Elbow Rocket (with assistance from Crackdown 2 developers Ruffian Games) developing the multiplayer.[8][7] Microsoft Studios' creative director Ken Lobb asserted that the game would only be called Crackdown instead of Crackdown 3, stating that the game is set in the future of the first game but represents an alternate timeline from what Crackdown 2 provided.[9]

The game was officially revealed as Crackdown 3 during Microsoft's Gamescom 2015 press conference on 4 August 2015. The focus on cloud-powered real time destruction was first demonstrated there, and Jones stated that Microsoft's cloud computing technology provides twenty times more power than playing the game on a single Xbox One console.[10] Because of the game's reliance to Microsoft Azure for destruction engine, the full scale destruction will only be available in the game's online multiplayer modes, while campaign mode, regardless of number of players, will only have access to limited degree of destruction.

In January 2018, Epic Games acquired Cloudgine, and with that, Jones left Reagent to join Epic Games. Polygon reported at the same time that several Reagent programmers also left to go to Epic. During an interview at E3 2018, Microsoft Studio's Matt Booty stated that Sumo Digital was now the principal developer on Crackdown 3.[11] Jones confirmed that in terms of development, Sumo Digital had always been the principal developer for the game; Cloudgine was there to help support cloud computing, with Reagent established as a consulting firm to allow Jones to help Sumo determine the direction to take Crackdown 3. Jones did not believe there was any stumbling blocks due with Cloudgine, Reagent, or himself leaving the development at that point, since they had done what they had needed for cloud computing support, and considered that now, "it's just the technology stack, it's pretty straightforward" for Sumo to complete. Despite their departures during development, both Cloudgine and Reagent were still credited in the game's packaging and on the end credits.[12]


Crackdown 3 was set to be released worldwide in 2016, which was changed to 7 November 2017 simultaneously with the Xbox One X, but another delay was announced on 16 August 2017, moving the release back to an unspecified Q2/Q3 2018 date.[13] In June 2018, the game was confirmed to be delayed again, pushing back to February 2019.[14]


Aggregate score
Metacritic(PC) 54/100[15]
(XONE) 60/100[16]
Review scores
Game Informer6/10[19]
Game Revolution     [20]
GamesRadar+     [21]
Giant Bomb     [22]
PC Gamer (US)60/100[24]

Crackdown 3 received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[15][16]

IGN noted the lack of innovation stating, "Crackdown 3 delivers on what made the original an enjoyable game, but never much more."[23] Destructoid was also disappointed with the evolution of the series and wrote, "Crackdown 3 is a good Crackdown game, which, unfortunately, doesn't mean much anymore. Modern game design has surpassed the Crackdown model by leaps and bounds".[17] Electronic Gaming Monthly wrote of the game, "It’s a blast when you just feel like zoning out, hunting orbs, jumping across rooftops, and blowing up bad guys" and closed by saying, "It’s good, solid fun, but it’s not going to completely revolutionize the industry."[18] PC Gamer wrote, "Crackdown 3 comes along 12 years after Crackdown but without 12 years' worth of new ideas to share" and finished by saying, "It's an OK game that could've been exciting a decade ago."[24] The Verge referred to Crackdown 3 as "the Netflix Original of games", by stating: "You know when there’s a show you really like, but then it dips in quality and eventually gets canceled, and the creators say they want to make a new season someday or maybe a remake, but it’s stuck in production hell for several years, then Netflix or whoever sinks a bunch of money into it, and it eventually gets released and it’s not quite as good as you remember the original, but it’s still pretty entertaining and hey, you’re paying for Netflix anyway so you’re not going to complain about getting it for 'free?' That’s Crackdown 3. It is video game as Netflix Original."[26]


  1. ^ Additional work on campaign mode by Reagent Games. Multiplayer mode developed by Elbow Rocket with additional work by Certain Affinity, Cloudgine and Ruffian Games


  1. ^ Warman, Dylan (26 May 2017). "Microsoft's Play Anywhere Bringing Crackdown 3 to PC". OnlySP. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  2. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2017-08-16). "Crackdown 3 delayed to 2018". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  3. ^ a b IGN (12 June 2017). "4 Minutes of Crackdown 3 Gameplay - E3 2017" – via YouTube.
  4. ^ "Crackdown 3 trailer promises 100 percent destructible environments". 4 August 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  5. ^ Narcisse, Evan (2014-04-03). "Take a Look at How Microsoft Claims the Cloud Will Change Gaming". Kotaku. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  6. ^ Daws, Ryan (20 May 2014). "Cloudgine is Microsoft's secret Xbox One sauce". Developer Tech. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  7. ^ a b Tolito, Stephan (12 June 2014). "The New Crackdown Will Use The Cloud A Lot". Kotaku. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Clearing up confusion surrounding Crackdown 3 destruction".
  9. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (17 June 2014). "Don't call Crackdown on Xbox One Crackdown 3". Eurogamer. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Crackdown » Age Gate". Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  11. ^ Plante, Chris (20 June 2018). "Crackdown 3's original co-developer and series creator are no longer on the project". Polygon. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  12. ^ Taylor, Haydn (28 June 2018). "Crackdown creator David Jones on what his departure means for the franchise". Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  13. ^ McWhertor, Michael. "Crackdown 3 delayed to 2018". Polygon. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  14. ^ Plante, Chris (6 June 2018), "Update: Crackdown 3 delayed to February 2019",, (Update - Thursday, June 7, 7:30pm) : Microsoft - "Crackdown 3 will be launching in Feb 2019."
  15. ^ a b "Crackdown 3 for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Crackdown 3 for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  17. ^ a b Makedonski, Brett (14 February 2019). "Review: Crackdown 3". Destructoid. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  18. ^ a b Goroff, Michael (14 February 2019). "Crackdown 3 review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  19. ^ Cork, Jeff (15 February 2019). "Crackdown 3 Review - With Great Powers Come Great Predictability". Game Informer. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  20. ^ Russell, Bradley (14 February 2019). "Crackdown 3 Review - In Crews control". Game Revolution. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  21. ^ Oloman, Jordan (14 February 2019). "Crackdown 3 review: "Bonkers chaotic fun but also a case of wasted potential"". GamesRadar. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  22. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (14 February 2019). "Crackdown 3 Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  23. ^ a b Tyrrel, Brandin (17 February 2019). "Crackdown 3 review". IGN. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  24. ^ a b Birnbaum, Ian (15 February 2019). "Crackdown 3 review". PC Gamer. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  25. ^ Ahern, Colm (14 February 2019). "Crackdown 3 review". Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  26. ^

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