The Final Say: Crackdown 3

It's just fun...

I’ve already taken the time to talk about some of the glaring issues with Crackdown 3, and those issues are still important to note, but damn it if there isn’t something charming about the game as a whole. Crackdown 3 is a game that can be plagued by bugs, crashes, and poor decision making, and yet I just couldn’t put it down. The campaign is nothing to write home about in terms of quality or length, clocking in at 6-8 hours depending on how much you decide to complete. Once you start brute forcing yourself through the game’s simple bosses and realize how overpowered you can be, the game loses some of its challenges as you’re taking on entire screens full of enemies without breaking a sweat. Some of the hardest missions in the game are the simple road races that seem to depend more on the car you’re driving and if enemies spawn along the route.

And yet, despite how easy it can be (I played on the “normal” difficulty setting), I kept coming back and kept having fun. Crackdown 3 has a pretty awesome assortment of satisfying weapons and I was changing my loadouts right up to the final boss. Leveling up your various attributes via orb collection is as addictive as ever, but putting those abilities to use makes the game infinitely better. I don’t want to tell you, “the real Crackdown 3 starts when you get them to level 5,” but honestly, it is a totally different game once you get them leveled up. Combining air dashes to cover chunks of territory in seconds feels amazing, so does ground pounding an entire screen of enemies away.

Crackdown 3 is a love letter to fans of the original, for better and for worse. It feels more like a remake of the original, but with a new setting, than an actual sequel. There’s nothing outside of technology improvements that make this game stand out anymore today than it did in 2007 other than being more refined. Crackdown, as a series, needed to take a big step forward, instead, this feels like another building block toward that step which it may never take thanks to its extended development. Everything from Director Goodwin’s quips to the core gameplay loop feels ripped out of that 2007 release. It is over-the-top fun when it works, and feels dated when it doesn’t, and that’s the dilemma. How do I recommend a game that feels like an enhanced rehash of a game from 2007? I couldn’t, I shouldn’t, but I do. Just don’t play Wrecking Mode…

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