The game’s little showing at Microsoft’s pre-E3 briefing probably should have set alarm bells ringing — they did for me — but after going hands-on with it on the showroom floor, I was slightly more optimistic about what was in store for the title.
There was little to gauge in terms of story, depth, and challenge, because the demo Microsoft showed was only ten minutes. The fundamentals, however, painted a picture that, unlike what was initially showcased with a weird obsession for destruction, Crackdown 3 actually wants to be more of the same, while still feeling firmly embedded in modern day definitions and expectations of the open world action game.
Sure, it was far from being in consideration for “best in show”, but after its disappointing showing during the Xbox briefing, I genuinely found it to be one of E3 2017’s surprise packets.
I must be alone there: I can’t ignore the sudden delay of the game from November 2017 to “Spring” 2018 after what was a very large and confident showing on the E3 floor. Microsoft must have taken the broader feedback out of the show — probably not mine — and pushed the game back.
“We’re very excited about Crackdown 3, and so are many fans, and so it’s a difficult call to move the release date,” Loftis said in an email interview with Polygon. “However, we want to make sure to deliver the right game, with the right quality, and at the right time. Crackdown 3 is a hugely ambitious game and we want to ensure we deliver the right experiences all the way through every part of the game, whether that’s campaign, co-op multiplayer or our competitive multiplayer mode, Wrecking Zone. Getting the balance right between the three modes is important, and we are going to take the extra development time to ensure that. Gamers can expect Crackdown 3 in Spring of 2018.”
This is truly devastating for fans of the series, and for anyone even remotely keen on investing in Xbox One X come November. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds might be enough to tide me over at launch initially, but Crackdown 3 stood as a unique enough title to really give the console some “oomph” upon launch.
Does Microsoft have any faith in this game whatsoever? Announced in 2014, shown in 2015, went into hiatus, shown at E3 2017, and now delayed by what will surely be around six months (at least).
Crackdown 3‘s development must be well below where Microsoft wants it to be, if, even after everything that Xbox brand went through with cancellations and a dry 2017, it’s willing to push back yet another exclusive.