E3 2017 Impressions: Crackdown 3 wants you to step up your boom

E3 2017 Impressions: Crackdown 3
Crackdown 3 was one of many titles playable on the show floor

E3 2017 was an incredible experience and I had the privilege of playing or getting a look at quite a few different games, on the show floor and off it. To start things off, here are my impressions of the upcoming Crackdown 3.

E3 2017 Impressions: Crackdown 3

I played on a Windows 10 PC with 4K output. The fifteen-minute demo opened with a selection of male and female Agents to choose from. From there, I was dropped into the open city and given free rein to wreak havoc on the enemy forces.

Movement feels quick and fluid, helped by the steady framerate that never slowed down or failed to feel in-sync with the action. A useful double jump is present which helps to complement a traversal system that is mostly automatic. Upon coming in contact with a ledge, my Agent would automatically pull themselves up. It takes a bit of getting used to if you’re coming off of titles like Assassin’s Creed however, I think it works fairly well.

Combat is an absolute joy, with Agents wielding deadly weapons that range from assault rifles to rocket launchers to vortex guns and air cannons. Whatever I wielded, I always had a huge grin on my face watching destruction unfold and gang soldiers get mowed down. You can lock on to an enemy with ease and target various limbs with a simple flick of the thumbstick. In this single player demo, the damage was limited, as only the multiplayer is using the cloud to render a massive destructible environment.

As my Agent performed different tasks, they received different upgrades that manifested themselves visually. For example, after hurling a truly ludicrous amount of cars and levelling my Strength skill, my Agent got a shiny new set of armor and improved muscle definition, in addition to simply being able to hurl things farther and harder.

Although Crackdown 3 uses a very stylized, cel-shaded art style the game definitely still looks good. However, it’s also clear that the graphics are not what pushes the visuals so much as the level of explosions and amount of objects rendered on-screen. It’s certainly a great looking game, with HDR effects being put to fantastic use in the colors of the city and the various weaponry scattered across the city.

One of the employees helping manage the booth confirmed that Crackdown 3 would support full 4-player co-op in the campaign, with crossplay between the Xbox and Windows 10 versions. Additionally, he confirmed that the Xbox One X version would run at native 4K. A great showcase for the power of Microsoft’s upcoming console, though a 60fps option would have been appreciated.

Overall, I’m fairly impressed with what I saw, and I have no doubt Crackdown 3 will be a blast to play. That said however, I’m still a little concerned we haven’t seen the much-touted multiplayer by now. A completely destructable city with ten players unleashing devastation at the same time is a big selling point. With Crackdown 3 releasing as a launch title for the Xbox One X, it’s more than time we got a look at the multiplayer.

Still, overall I’m tentatively excited. Whether you are a veteran of the series or like me this is your first Crackdown entry, it seems like you’re in for a great time come November 7th.