Crackdown 3When Crackdown first hit the Xbox 360 back in 2007, it was a blast – literally and figuratively. So, how does the format fare some 12 years later in Crackdown 3?

We ask this question because, essentially, Crackdown 3 is more of the same. it’s like it leapt through some sort of digital time warp, bringing a huge slice of last decade-styled gaming along with it. Actually, they may have used the in-game gun that pretty much does just that.

Crackdown 3 is very much a game of two parts – they even install separately. There’s the campaign mode, and the online multiplayer Wrecking Zone.

The former lets your chosen Agent of good – and let’s face it, how many players aren’t going to choose Terry Crews’s Jaxon? – rage against the machine in a whole new playground, the island city of New Providence. After the lights went out pretty much everywhere else, refugees have flocked there in droves – but what’s TerrraNova Worldwide boss Elizabeth Neemand really up to on this reclaimed volcano?

You’re not entirely sure, but shooting baddies with various positions up and down the nefarious chain and nabbing their territory has got to help, right? That’s what you do, as you flit about unlocking new and reasonably varied missions, from taking over monorail stations to taking out propaganda broadcast towers. All the while you keep your eye out for those wonderful, power-enhancing orbs – and there are over 1,000 of them this time around. Grab enough and you can let loose some serious running, jumping, climbing and mwa-hey.

Weapons-wise, your ever-expanding arsenal is nuts. Go for traditionally styled machine guns and such, or go high-tech. You start off basic, but the more scum you eradicate, the more cool weapons are left strewen about for you to yoink and insert into your multiple weapon loadout. We became very fond of the grenade launcher – POP!

Vehicle action also returns, and just like previously it’s the weakest link. They can be absolute beasts to control, which is a problem when certain parts of the game such as time trials rely upon them for advancement.

In all, the various challenges that continually open up can be distracting from your main quest, which isn’t presented as any particularly guided aim. But then if you’re the completionist type you’re sure to have a ball – or at the very least an orb.

Crackdown 3

So, on to the much vaunted Wrecking Zone. All the pre-release promo has boasted of how the environment is completely destructible, utilising cool cloud tech to do the maths externally and fling it all back into your Xbox. Perhaps our expectations were too lofty, but it isn’t a “Whoa!” inspiring key feature here. Two teams of five players – all strangers unless you’re really lucky, as there’s currently no way to team up with friends – take to either of two different challenges over just three different maps. There’s the Crackdown take on team deathmatch, and another that relies on territorial domination. It’s all a bit, well, manic, with strategy often giving way to dumb luck – be it in your favour or against. Hopefully it will evolve through updates.

Crackdown 3 was first announced back in 2014, and has had quite the troubled gestation. Does its style fit in today’s gaming climate? Well, if you have ever wanted to be Terry Crews then yes. If you just want a wild find everything, shoot everything and become ridiculously powered up run and gun affair, then yes. If you think the PS2 and original Xbox era of gaming rocked the hardest, then definitely yes. But some may find it all a bit samey and too old school, controller-hurling annoying – and the likes of the InFamous series and, more recently, Spider-Man on PS4 have already done it more convincingly.

Crackdown 3 is available now for Xbox One.

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