I’ve been playing this all day on my Xbox One X.
After spending several hours with it, I’m a bit miffed that the reviews are so universally bad for it (Metacritic shows the average professional reviews coming in at 60/100, and the average player score rating 3.8/10). Rather than a reflection of the game as it would stand in a vacuum, it seems seems to me that a lot of the attitude towards Crackdown 3 is more of a reflection of the end result not living up to the “game” revealed by Microsoft so many years ago. There also seems to be a common theme among Xbox “Fans” retaliating against Microsoft by way of Crackdown 3 because Microsoft isn’t delivering top tier exclusives like God of War, Spider-Man, Bloodborne, Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn etc.
While I certainly sympathize with the players feeling a little more than envious of all the great stuff PS4 owners have access to, I’m not quite ready to start taking it out on perfectly acceptable games like this just yet.
Anyway, I just wanted to whine a little bit about how unfairly the game seems to be treated at the moment. There are other reasons that I think this game might not be resonating with players, and I think a lot of that has to do with gamer’s tastes changing since Crackdown 1. I’ll admit that Crackdown 3 has made pretty much zero advancements since the first entry in the series, but unless your tastes have changed or you’re just thirsting for something newer, bigger, and more bombastic… if you like the first one I just don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this one.
Okay, really, enough complaining from me for now. Here are my thoughts on the game:
First of all, I made a big mistake when I started the game because I began on the default difficulty. Turns out the default difficulty is much, much, MUCH too easy. I’m invincible, and the only time I’ve died so far was near the beginning when I fell off a building with almost no agility collected yet.
I’ve completed all the objectives (aside from vehicle racing challenges) on the left 50% of the map so far, and if I continue at the rate I’m going I’ll probably end up finishing the campaign the next time I sit down to play. I haven’t looked to see if I can ramp up the difficulty in my existing save or if I have to start over, but the next time I play I plan to find out, because as of right now the game feels much too short given how easy it is to progress.
That being said, I LOVE THIS SORT OF COMBAT. It’s 100% arcadey, and I just love jumping around, throwing cars, blowing shit up, taking rocket-launchers to the face, butt-slamming crows of enemies, and repeating all this while my danger meter goes up and up, until they finally lockdown the city and I defeat the final waves of the onslaught. It’s very cathartic for me to to play these style of games, because it is pure adrenaline, without worrying about cover mechanics, low TTK, or any of the other issues that make most modern shooters the worst games on the market.
To me, this game should be judged on the level of an ARPG or a twin-stick shooter, because it’s just go-go-go when you’re fighting. Folks have labeled it repetitive, well, so is Diablo, so is Geometry Wars, so’s Forza, so is Breath of the fucking Wild. They’re all fucking repetitive, and repetition isn’t a bad thing if you actually enjoy what you’re doing over and over. And in this particular instance, I do, because I enjoy arcade shooters.
If I were to give a couple tips to people heading into this game, they’d go something like this:
- Select an appropriate difficulty level. God mode might only be fun for so long.
- Play with headphones on. It makes finding hidden orbs 1000% easier, because for some reason I just don’t hear them well at all on my stereo, but they’re quite audible with stereo headphones.
I haven’t tried multi-player, but I’ll get around to it at some point.
The game isn’t perfect, and there’s a few things i really wish they’d spent more time on (like delivering 60fps, better vehicle handling and controls, more varied objectives etc), and I’m not trying to suggest that it deserves a 9.5 out of 10 or anything, but it checks a lot of the right boxes for me.
Anyway, I think the game is currently being underrated. I enjoy it more than Agents of Mayhem, but not as much as Saints Row 4 (which is the best Crackdown/Super Hero game yet).