Crackdown 3 release date, trailer, gameplay, and everything else you need to know

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Fast Facts  

  • Release date: February 15, 2019
  • Format(s): Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Sumo Digital
  • Price: $59.99 / £46.99 
  • Xbox One X Enhanced: Yes (4K / HDR support)

Crackdown 3 is just a few weeks away now, and we're pretty stoked for it after getting some quality hands-on time with the single-player campaign and the raucous Wrecking Crew multiplayer mode. We uncovered a ton of new info from playing the game and talking to the developers, which you should read up on via the links below - but if you're looking for a general, big-picture look at what to expect from Crackdown 3, you've come to the right place. 

It's amazing to think that, after a string of delays since its initial announcement at E3 2014, Crackdown 3 will soon be out for real - a bit different from the original vision, but still powered with help from Microsoft's Azure cloud technology and, of course, completely chaotic.  Oh, and be sure to check our Xbox One X deals page if you haven't got a 4K-ready console yet - Microsoft have confirmed that Crackdown 3 is Xbox One X Enhanced, meaning it'll look better on the souped-up system.  Without further ado, here's everything we know about Crackdown 3.

Crackdown 3 release date is February 15, 2019

After years of ambiguous release windows, Microsoft's XO18 livestream finally fixed the Crackdown 3 release date for February 15, 2019. It almost seems too good to be true at this point, so we'll fully accept it when the copy of the game is actually sitting on our Xbox One hard drive. As an added bonus, Crackdown 3 is included with an Xbox Game Pass subscription just like every other first-party Xbox One exclusive, which might be an incentive to sign up for a month to see what the fuss is about. 

The biggest Crackdown 3 trailer shows one heck of an escalation in explosive chaos 

If you missed our Xbox E3 2018 recap, this year's trade show gave us the best look at Crackdown 3's actual gameplay yet. Once again, it features Terry Crews as Commander Isaiah Jaxon, bellowing his way through the carnage in charmingly self-aggrandizing fashion. Crackdown 3's destructible playground is the island of New Providence, which looks like the most high-tech open-world sandbox the series has ever given us, full of Blade Runner-esque billboards and oodles of neon lighting. Which, of course, can all be blown to bits in spectacular fashion - just without the same granular malleability as the cloud-powered physics of the earliest pre-alpha footage.

Crackdown 3 gameplay adds a world of goofy, sci-fi weaponry to the building-jumping, super-cop action

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 futuristic 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. Based on how the previous games shook down, that latter element will play out as an ambient platform-puzzling treasure hunt capable of destroying sleep patterns with horrifying ease. 

Crackdown 3's city is the largest the series has seen yet, at more than twice the size of any previous game's map, and it's got a focus on verticality to really sell that 'leap tall buildings in a single bound' mobility. There are transforming cars that can turn into tanks, and then morph into a third, anti-grav form to drive up walls. There are mechs. There's a giant enemy robot snake. There's an upgraded version of the series' previous tether gun. And the grand finale: an RPG that fires a volley of rubber ducky grenades. It's looking like good times. Good, very silly times indeed. 

Read more: The 15 greatest game worlds in Xbox history

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

In some new single-player footage provided to IGN (which you can watch above), we can get a good sense of the mayhem we can expect when we take the fight to the many street gangs and powers that be in New Providence. You'll have a wide roster of 21 Agents total to choose from in single-player, each with their own unique bonuses to the skills they level up the fastest. Saves are also unique to your Agent, so you can take a highly leveled Agent into a new world if you feel like tearing through the earlier enemies. 

Throughout the story campaign, you'll have to deal with the industrial machinations of the insidious TerraNova Worldwide corporation, which operates three distinct divisions (each with their own crime bosses): Logistics, Industry, and Security. You'll have to topple the Captains of each division, each with their own menacing Lieutenants, before you can even think of taking on TerraNova's leader, Elizabeth Neemand.

To make matters worse (or better, for those of us who enjoy destructive chaos), the whole city is built around a now-active volcano that TerraNova is using as an energy source for its evil schemes. You'll have to put a stop to whatever they're planning, even if that means tearing down the entirety of New Providence to do it. There's a big focus on verticality in the city's design this time, and it sounds like you'll be able to explore the world in two-player co-op as you complete story missions.

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

Crackdown 3 multiplayer focuses on the 5v5 Wrecking Zone mode

Crackdown 3's multiplayer looks to have been scaled down from the initial reveal, in which we saw four (or possibly more) Agents running around the city simultaneously, all working together to take down criminal forces. Instead, Crackdown 3 is playing up PvP competition in the online Wrecking Zone mode, featuring 5v5 deathmatch battles in a specially-designed arena resembling a slice of the larger city. This brightly lit battleground is actually used as a training simulation for members of the Agency, so it does make some canonical sense to engage in Agent-on-Agent violence. The air-to-air shootouts that happen frequently in Wrecking Ball look delightfully hectic, and you'll still get to blast the environment to bits in order to open up new pathways or lines of sight. Here's everything we thought during our hands-on time with the ridiculous Wrecking Zone multiplayer mode.

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Crackdown 3 *is* going to have destructible environments, they're just limited to multiplayer