Crackdown 3 is out this summer... but just the multiplayer mode

Let's pretend for a moment that I'm the most important person in your life. Well, remember when I said that Crackdown 3 is basically two games? I was more right than I, you, or my adoring, lucky parents could have known, because it looks as though Crackdown 3 will ship, at least initially, with only the multiplayer portion intact.

Tucked at the bottom of an Xbox Wire blog post is an updated list of 2016 release dates, and tucked into the middle of that list is a mention of Crackdown 3, and tucked into the end of that mention is this: "Multiplayer in Summer 2016".

As a quick recap, the single player portion of the game looks to be following on from the original Crackdown, a superpowered romp across a criminal-infested future-city. The multiplayer section, however, looks far more interesting. Using the combined power of Microsoft's Azure cloud servers, it lets multiple players into an entirely separate, entirely destructible city. I've had a quick go of an early alpha version, and the results are like nothing else I've seen.

So why is it ready before the seemingly less advanced single player component? I've reached out to Microsoft for clarification, but my guess would be this: Dave Jones and his team have been working on this cloud tech for some time - in fact, his new studio, Cloudgine is based entirely around cloud solutions for games. A single player mode takes less procedural work - writing, individual NPC design and the like - and so requires more hands-on manpower.

As such, my guess would be that the multiplayer's a game frame built around the cloud destruction we've seen - something like GTA Online's playground of a city, with tonnes of interaction but far less specific focus on story and bespoke designs.

Of course, I'd rather we had the full game, but I know that Crackdown 3's multiplayer was the part I was most excited for, so to see something this potentially revolutionary definitely on its way to my console is cause for celebration by my book.

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Joe Skrebels
Joe first fell in love with games when a copy of The Lion King on SNES became his stepfather in 1994. When the cartridge left his mother in 2001, he turned to his priest - a limited edition crystal Xbox - for guidance. And now he's here.