I love me some Crackdown. The first game was one of the best surprises on Xbox 360. So many people bought it to gain access to the Halo 3 beta but found a game that far exceeded expectations. We have known about the existence ofCrackdown 3 since the reveal of the Xbox One over five years ago. It has clearly been a difficult journey from conception to completion for the next entry in the series. Apart from the numerous delays, it has received, the core responsibility for the development of Crackdown 3 has been placed into the hands of the Sheffield branch of Sumo Digital in the UK. The game now has a firm release date of 15th February 2019. With the game just over two months till release, we should be getting a deluge of promotional material for the game. This just isn’t the case, though. So, why is Microsoft being so quiet about Crackdown 3?
The game doesn’t match expectations
One of the reasons that Microsoft may be keeping quiet about Crackdown 3 is that the game isn’t meeting expectations. I think that even Microsoft might have been surprised by the interest in the game when it was announced. Crackdown was more of a surprise hit. Crackdown 2 arrived amidst a lot of anticipation but was ultimately a little disappointing. This history meant that the game was known amongst the core Xbox fans but not really a household name.
When Crackdown 3was first unveiled, the reception genuinely surprised me. I love the Crackdown games (I even quite enjoyed the second one), but even I didn’t think that a new game in the series would get such a warm reception. With so many people interested in the game, the stakes are probably higher than anyone was expecting.
Crackdown 3 was always going to make or break the franchise after the (perceived) disappointment of the second game. With so many people looking forward to it, though, it really does need to be good. It has clearly had development troubles. Perhaps Microsoft is not publicising Crackdown 3 so that the game disappears without a trace. This would be a very sad way for the series to go out but maybe Microsoft thinks it’s best.
They’re planning a big Crackdown event early 2019
Perhaps the reason we haven’t seen too much of the game is that Microsoft is planning to give the game its own event. This would be a smart move as we really don’t know all that much about the game and they could do with sharing a lot more information.
We assume that the game has a singleplayer campaign, but we haven’t heard anything about it since the game was announced. We also assume that there is a co-op component to the game, but again, we haven’t heard anything about it in ages. After X018 we know that there is a multiplayer mode called Wrecking Zone that includes the impressive destruction tech that uses the cloud. We don’t know about any other multiplayer modes that might be included, though. During ‘The Game Awards’ a new trailer for the game was shown, but it only featured 5 seconds of gameplay. 5 SECONDS!!! That was it!
Whether they are planning an event or not, we could really do with one. I imagine that the January edition of Inside Xbox will be rife with Crackdown 3 promotional material. The Crackdown fans deserve more than that, though. Give us an event with loads of coverage, featuring all aspects of the game.
Microsoft adores Terry Crews
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Terry Crews. The man is epic. From his action films like The Expendables franchise to his brilliant role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, he really has crafted a great screen career after his football career. I even love the fact that he’s being included as a character in Crackdown 3. Running the entire publicity campaign on him, though, seems like the wrong move.
Like I said earlier, the trailer shown at The Game Awards only included five seconds worth of gameplay. It did, however, manage to include three versions of Terry Crews (2 live action, talking to each other, as well as the digital recreation from the game). Having Terry Crews in the publicity is cool, he just shouldn’t be the only promotional material. Show us the game and give us a decent look at both the singleplayer campaign and the multiplayer carnage.
It’s all a ruse to get people to sign up to Game Pass
The main reason people want to see footage of a game before it comes out is to decide whether or not they want to preorder the game. Ordering the game before launch is a bit of a $60 gamble and knowing as much as possible about a title helps to mitigate this risk. Of course, one way to get around this entirely is with Game Pass. If you subscribe to the service, it’s very easy to get $10 worth of entertainment with the library on offer. If gamers are unsure about whether they should pick Crackdown 3 up or not then they might be tempted to sign up to Game Pass to try the game out. This is an extremely cynical way of viewing Microsoft’s lack of promotion for the game but perhaps worth mentioning.
I can’t wait to play Crackdown 3. In fact, there’s probably going to be quite the bust-up in Enthusiast Towers over who gets to review it. We understand that we aren’t in the majority, though. Microsoft really needs to publicise this game. Show fans some actual gameplay. Release enough details about the singleplayer campaign to tantalise some of the Xbox owners who are on the fence regarding the game. Give us some info on the various multiplayer modes that aren’t Wrecking Zone. Release a trailer which has more gameplay than footage of Terry Crews. Even if they aren’t happy with how the game has turned out, gamers deserve to know that too. Xbox has done a great job of getting people back onside after the disastrous launch of Xbox One. Now they need to keep that goodwill by being honest about the game. Of course, if it is good, then they should be shouting that from the rooftops. Come on Microsoft, show us Crackdown 3!