Crackdown 3 Does What Even GTA 5 Can't
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Crackdown 3 Does What Even GTA 5 Can’t



Microsoft only teased it had another game in its Crackdown series of open-world titles at E3 2014. Today at Gamescom 2015, the company put on a show, detailing the fully destructible environments Xbox One owners can expect in Crackdown 3.

Created by Reagent Games, Crackdown 3 is described by Microsoft and the studio as the ultimate sandbox game. Part of that ultimate sandbox experience is using Microsoft’s Xbox Live Cloud Compute engine to make the entire world of Crackdown 3 completely destructible down to even a footbridge.

Crackdown 3 will feature the same agent-led gameplay from before, it seems. Players will take on the role of a government agent attempting to put a lid on rampant crime and mayhem. This time tough, players are doing it in a new setting. Pacific City, the setting of Crackdown and Crackdown 2 won’t be featured in this game.

crackdown 3

Using guns, transforming vehicles and ruthlessness, it’s the players job to help turn the tide back in favor of order. By disrupting the criminal empires controlling this new setting players will ultimately bring peace, according to the First Look trailer for Crackdown 3. This allows players to go after the parts of the criminal network that they feel are most important. It also keeps everything from feeling too linear.

In most sandbox games you’re able to take down enemies and destroy vehicles, but not completely ruin the entire setting. In today’s Crackdown 3 trailer we see a large building being destroyed floor by floor. To pull this off Reagent Games is harnessing the power of Microsoft’s online servers. These online servers appear to do the computational work that is required to destroy buildings. Physics and even the angle of falling debris are calculated by the online service itself then rendering in the game.

Microsoft tried to explain Xbox Live Cloud Compute to users ahead of the Xbox One launch, but mostly failed to get its message across. Had the company showed off Crackdown 3, that message might have resonated more. Crackdown 3 is the third game we know about to use Xbox Live Cloud Compute, and good give Xbox One games a leg up over rivals in the long-run. The best-selling open world game of all time, Grand Theft Auto 5, doesn’t have destructible environments.

The others are racing games in the Forza series. Forza Motorsport 5 and Forza Horizon 2 both have Drivatars that capture users driving habits and then lets them compete against their friends, even when they aren’t online. Users earn rewards for the driving that their Drivatar does. Connecting to Xbox Live Cloud Compute gives video game developers “20 times” the computational power of the Xbox One itself, according to Microsoft. In the trailer we see a player take out the supports of a skyscraper. First the lights inside the building flicker. Then the area without any supports slowly starts to crumble, taking the still support part of the building with it. The debris falls onto nearby buildings, crushing them under its weight.

Microsoft didn’t reveal a Crackdown 3 release date, but did narrow the game’s release window. Crackdown 3 will anchor the Xbox One’s 2016 calendar of games alongside Quantum Break and Scalebound. The company is hoping that a focus on games no one can get anywhere else will boost sales of its Xbox One console. All of these games won’t be available on the PS4 or any other platform besides Microsoft’s. What’s more, Xbox 360 owners will have to upgrade to the Xbox One to get Crackdown 3, Scalebound and Quantum Break. Paired down versions won’t be coming to Microsoft’s older console.

The Xbox One costs $349.99 for a model with an older wireless controller and 500GB of storage. The Xbox One with 1TB of storage and a new wireless controller that supports headphones without an accessory sells for $399.99 Microsoft also has an Xbox One bundle that comes complete with a Kinect sensor.




  1. Modi Rage

    08/05/2015 at 4:42 am

    The Microsoft fanboy is super excited it seems. We’ve known about Crackdown and this for a year and a half. The cloud isn’t helping graphics in Crackdown. It only works for CPU offloading with physics. That is why Crackdown’s graphics, textures, and polygon models are atrocious and cartoony. Crackdown might be fully destructible, but they had to downgrade the graphics because the Xbox One is too weak to render all of that debris on screen which is handled by the GPU. Don’t believe that “20 times power of Xbox One” marketing lie. It’s not offering 20 times the power of the Xbox One CPU and GPU and you can’t even send that amount of data in a 20 megabyte per second internet download speed.

    There are many games that take advantage of extra power in the cloud in the same way, such as Planetside 2 and Battlefield. And there are games that have fully destructible environments without using cloud so stop being a blind sheep. You look foolish.

    But hey, I’m typing to a blind bias Microsoft fanboy, I’m probably just wasting my time.

    • Travis Pope

      08/05/2015 at 5:09 am

      Wasting your time being rude? Absolutely. Really, just wasting your time, actually. My point — and this was clear in the article — is that there are very few games using Xbox Live Cloud Compute and that GTA 5, which is a contemporary to this game, doesn’t have destructible environments. Why doesn’t matter, that it doesn’t is what people care about. Also, I never alluded to this being the first game ever to have destructible environments.

    • Vincent

      08/05/2015 at 9:46 am

      Wow someone is salty… no need to be rude, you can very much make your point without name-calling Besides, Crackdown looks great graphically. Not AMAZING, but great, and you’re lying to yourself if you say it’s atrocious. Really exaggerating. And the cartoony look has always been the unique style of the Crackdown series, which helps it stand out from the 20 other photo realistic sandbox games out there

    • Lex

      08/10/2015 at 11:30 am

      The graphics are supposed to look cartoony. The whole series looks that way and graphics aren’t important in a game. If you truly played games then you know graphics don’t make the game.

  2. Bob

    08/07/2015 at 6:40 pm

    I applaud the physics of destroyed buildings but you might as well call this game Rampage. Did you see the way those characters moved? It was like mannequins or something. Very stiff. The whole thing looked like they want to be Destiny but won’t even get that close. It’s videos like this that make you realize just how good and ahead of their time games like GTA5 are. Even after a year, GTA5 feels comfortable, the movement of characters is fluid when they draw and fire weapons, and THAT game keeps improving. Crackdown 3 can’t hold a candle to GTA5 and that’s sad.

  3. Dan Simmons

    08/09/2015 at 7:27 am

    Apparently you have no proofreader or editor for your little news site. I highly recommend investing in one.

  4. Dan Simmons

    08/10/2015 at 5:24 am

    And I don’t know why you chose GTA 5 for comparison. It came out 2 years ago, after all, with a slightly boosted update for next gen. Hardly a ‘contemporary.’

    • Travis Pope

      08/10/2015 at 5:53 am

      It’s the most popular title in the genre.

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