Crackdown 3 (opens in new tab) made a decent impression at E3 2017 (opens in new tab), what with a trailer featuring Terry Crews shouting and some solid-looking gameplay. But as fans looked closer, they began to wonder: where were the 100-percent destructible environments (opens in new tab) glimpsed years earlier? Game design director Gareth Wilson told Eurogamer (opens in new tab) they haven't gone anywhere - it's just a feature unique to multiplayer, which wasn't the focus at E3.
"The destruction was always planned for the multiplayer side of the game," Wilson said. "We've got this big competitive multiplayer game where you play in a large multiplayer arena, 20-30 minute battles, and the aim of the game is to smash the crap out of their tower, and they have to destroy your tower before the time runs out. That's where the destruction works great."
Wilson said that there were two main reasons for not including such significant destruction in the campaign: the ability to play offline and story. Since Crackdown 3 uses online computations to help handle the stress of such vast environmental destruction, the game would require a constant internet connection (even in single-player) if developer Sumo Digital were to implement destruction in both modes. Wilson also said that the story of Crackdown 3 is about saving the city of New Providence, not destroying it.
Personally, I'd add in "satisfying gameplay" to those reasons. Sure, blowing up a building once is fun, but eventually you'd tear the entire city down and be running around a flat desert of rubble. Plus, how would you collect Agility Orbs hiding on top of a skyscraper if it no longer existed? That doesn't sound particularly fun to me.
Wilson said keeping the multiplayer destruction limited to multiplayer was always the plan. "With hindsight, we didn't do a particularly good job of messaging that. It was always that we were going to have two games: a classic campaign with four-player co-op, which is a homage to the original title with similar mechanics and updated graphics and more narrative. And then the cloud stuff was always going to be in the multiplayer."
Well, glad we cleared that up.
Crackdown not your thing? Xbox had plenty of other games to show off at the Microsoft E3 2017 press conference (opens in new tab), most of which ran at a slick 4K and powered by Xbox One X (opens in new tab).