|Engine||Unreal Engine 4|
|Release||February 15, 2019|
Crackdown 3 is an upcoming action-adventure video game for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One with development being headed by British developer Sumo Digital and published by Microsoft Studios. Continuing the series nine years after the release of 2010's Xbox 360 video game Crackdown 2, the third title focuses on Microsoft Azure-powered mass scale destruction that enables everything in the game to be destroyed. Originally set to be released in 2016, the game was delayed a number of times. As of late 2018 the game is expected to be released on February 15, 2019. At release, it will also be available to play at no additional cost to Xbox Game Pass subscribers.
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 will 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 will 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. Another new element is the inclusion of destructible environments. The game features a competitive multiplayer mode, Wrecking Zone, in which the entire city will be destructible.
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. After the Agency's first strike against the organization fails, the player characters - super-powered Agents - are called into the field by the Agency's Voice (Michael McConnohie) and led by Commander Jaxon (Terry Crews) as a last resort to dismantle Terra Nova any way they can.
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. 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. According to Spencer, Cloudgine will help to develop the core engine, while Reagent Games, a studio located in close proximity to Cloudgine, will develop the gameplay and art assets for the game, with Sumo Digital developing the game's campaign mode and Crackdown 2 developers Ruffian Games developing the multiplayer. Microsoft Studios' creative director Ken Lobb asserted that the game will 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.
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. 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. 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.
Crackdown 3 was set to be released worldwide in 2016, which was changed to 7 November 2017 simultaneously with the Xbox One X, but it was delayed on 16 August 2017 to an unspecified Q2/Q3 2018 date, and was confirmed delayed again to February 2019 in June 2018.
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(Update - Thursday, June 7, 7:30pm) : Microsoft - "Crackdown 3 will be launching in Feb 2019."