One of Microsoft’s biggest Xbox One console exclusives is Crackdown 3, a game that’s been in a weird place for years now. Following repeated delays, the latest we’ve heard officially is that it’s due out in 2018, which would surely mean an update at E3 2018 is about to happen. Alongside whatever surprises Microsoft may have in store for its press conference, here’s what we’re hoping to see from Crackdown 3 as well as what we already know about the game.

What We Know So Far

Crackdown 3 was first announced back at E3 2014, a full four years ago. Little was revealed at the time except to say it would have a co-op campaign, online multiplayer, and stylized visuals like its predecessors. The only other feature that was touted was destructible environments. Soon after, we found out that an impressive tech demo for cloud-based destruction we had seen earlier in the year was related to the project.

Microsoft claimed the new game wouldn’t be called Crackdown 3, though plans have since changed on that front. In terms of co-op, it was described as a “mash-up” with single-player where friends can jump in and out of sessions. Beyond that, little was heard from the game for the next year; Microsoft said it would stay hidden until 2015, although it then missed E3 2015, too.

Later that summer, we heard the game’s environments would be 100% destructible–but that destruction would be restricted to multiplayer, due to the need to connect to the internet for the cloud-based tech to work. That news coincided with some other reveals: Crackdown 3 would feature an all-new city, the ability to play as a female character, and the multiplayer component would be playable by Summer 2016.

Early 2016 brought more looks at the game’s destruction, but E3 2016 didn’t feature the game at all, as we learned it had been delayed until 2017. Microsoft initially claimed that’s because it had enough games releasing in 2016, though we also later heard the single-player campaign needed work. It then vowed the game was due out by Holiday 2017, only for it to be delayed yet again–this time to Spring 2018–prompting Microsoft to admit it had been announced too early. Last year did bring some new looks at the game, including the character played by Terry Crews, Commander Jaxon.

What’s Confirmed For E3?

Microsoft has been quite secretive about its plans for E3, so we don’t know what to expect from Crackdown 3. The game is still tentatively slated for release this year, though that was called into question recently when some pre-orders began being canceled. This turned out to only be a retailer error, with Microsoft saying the development team “continues to work hard.” Since then, the game is rumored to have been delayed until 2019, according to Kotaku, which could mean we don’t see it at E3 at all.

What We Hope To See At E3

After so many delays, just seeing Crackdown 3 in a playable state, with some reassurance about its release date, is the most important thing. Announced too early or not, it’s hard to blame those who are worried about the state of the game.

Getting a look at the destruction, and seeing that it will live up the expectations built up over the past few years, would also be welcome. The same could be said for some explanation of how destruction will actually impact the game–does it play any meaningful role in gameplay, or is it just something cool that happens?

On a similar note, Microsoft needs to show how Crackdown 3 meaningfully improves upon its predecessors in other ways. Crackdown 2 did little to expand on the delightful formula established in the original game. Particularly in terms of objectives, we’re hoping Crackdown 3 brings more variety to the table. Saints Row IV is one of the few games in recent years to make an attempt at offering a game like Crackdown, and while it has its faults, it did feel like a far more varied experience than the Crackdown games thanks to its story missions and variety of powers.

This is not to say the core of Crackdown should change. Taking down enemies by throwing cars at them, leaping over buildings, and hunting down orbs (the sound effect–one of gaming’s best–needs to remain unchanged) is still a pleasant experience even a decade on. But having a larger, more dense world that offers more than just “go here and kill enemy or collect object” will be necessary for Crackdown 3 to be a real hit in 2018 (or whenever it ends up releasing).

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Author Chris Pereira

Original Post by GameSpot

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