Crackdown 3 brings four-player mayhem and Agility Orb addiction to Xbox One

Fast Facts  

  • Release date: 2017
  • Format(s): Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Reagent Games
  • Price: TBD

Crackdown 3 is bringing the boom. After years of radio silence and then a scant handful of new screenshots, fans feared for the franchise's future. But E3 2017 has given us a new look at the most bombastic of Microsoft's 2017 lineup. What's going on with Crackdown 3? Here's everything we know.

Read more: Xbox E3 2017 Recap: Best of Microsoft at E3 2017

Terry Crews wants you to blow some sh*t up

Crackdown 3 is an over-the-top action game about muscular men and women blowing stuff up and generally being cool. So who better to rep it than actor and infamously beefy Terry Crews? Microsoft's E3 2017 press conference gave us our best look at the game yet, with four players wreaking havoc across a beautiful cityscape. The only downside? Now we also want an FMV spin-off starring Mr. Crews.

Well, actually there's two downsides. While Crackdown 3 was originally set to take advantage of Microsoft's Azure cloud computing power to provide almost 100% destructible environments, it seems like that feature is getting scaled back. Sure, plenty of stuff is still gonna blow up and crumble, but it doesn't look like you'll be able to demolish an entire skyscraper anymore.

The Crackdown 3 release date is (still) 2017

After some explosive showings back in 2015, Crackdown slipped past its summer 2016 release date and was delayed until sometime in 2017. And while we eagerly await more concrete details on the progress that's been made over the past year-and-a-bit, there's still plenty to sift through regarding Crackdown 3's unique take on metropolis-demolishing mayhem. There may be multiple reasons the game was pushed back despite being in beta last year. Crackdown 3 was moved into the Xbox Play Anywhere program across Xbox One or Windows 10 PCs. Given how it was going to leverage cloud processing power, Microsoft may also be holding back to reposition the game as a signature game for the beefed up Scorpio.

Read more: Xbox One Project Scorpio - everything we know about Microsoft's next console

Crackdown 3 gameplay is based around being a super-cop in a futuristic, open-world sandbox

The quick pitch: Crackdown's a third-person sandbox like Grand Theft Auto, but instead of playing as a modern-day carjacker, you're an Agent of law enforcement in a near-future metropolis. It's got more in common with a superhero game than a crime drama, given how your cel-shaded Agent can bound up and over buildings or kick cars like they were soccer balls. And unlike Superman, ethics aren't a huge priority: when you're determined to take down a perp, you've got the freedom to unleash a barrage of bullets, grenades, and rockets into crowded areas without a care in the world.

When you're not taking out gang leaders through whatever anarchic methods you deem appropriate, you can cruise around in a transforming car or enhance your supernatural strength by collecting brightly colored orbs sprinkled around the city rooftops. Crackdown 3's being developed by many of the same team members who made the original, including series creator Dave Jones, which should make this sequel feel closer to the first game than Crackdown 2, which was given to a different studio with a shorter deadline. 

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The Crackdown 3 single-player campaign is a city-wide war on crime

For whatever reason, your employers at the Agency are perfectly content to send you into a crime-filled city all by your lonesome, turning you into a police force of one against an underworld of thousands. There's no word yet on whether or not Crackdown 3 takes place in the series mainstay of Pacific City, but wherever you end up fighting an army of felons, you'll have to factor in a new, frankly named mechanic: the Hate System.

Your primary targets are the many Crime Lords who are orchestrating all the misdemeanors going down at street-level, but you can't simply kick down a door and shoot them dead. They'll only show themselves once you've gotten their attention after building up a Hate Meter by systematically eliminating their network of hired goons and reclaiming their territory for the side of the law. All the while, those Crime Lords will be taunting and/or threatening you via giant holograms throughout the city, a la Batman: Arkham Knight. Accrue enough of their Hate, and they'll personally try to take you down in all-or-nothing boss fights. 

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Crackdown 3 co-op lets you recruit help to take down those Crime Lords

The cinematic trailer that served as Crackdown 3's announcement shows three Agents working in tandem to bring down a gang leader's bulletproof fortress. You've got one gruff-looking Agent driving a truck covered in demolition charges, another guy triggering a controlled explosion to turn an adjacent building into a makeshift ramp, and the default Agent acting as the sniper that shoots the combustible payload, turning a toppling tower into a devastating battering ram. Clearly, teaming up with other players will let you really do some damage to the criminal underworld. No word yet on whether or not Crackdown 2's player-vs-player shootouts will make a return.

Read more: the 25 best co-op games to play right now

Check out a couple of new Crackdown 3 shots 

Your Xbox is chewing through virtual consoles in Crackdown to make all that destruction happen 

The only thing standing in the way of Crackdown 3 is your Internet Provider 

Crackdown 3 is basically two games, and I want to play them both 

Crackdown 3 effectively turns your Xbox One into the most powerful console ever made