22 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting Crackdown 3

Crackdown 3 Agents

Nearly a decade after the second game landed on shelves and disappointed players everywhere, Microsoft has finally blessed the Xbox One with the long-awaited third entry in the action-adventure explosion fest known as Crackdown. Originally predicted to be released in 2016, Crackdown 3 has been subjected to quite a turbulent development cycle, a fact hardly helped by the console's lackluster exclusive catalog of titles. Averaging a Metacritic score of 60 and 54 on the Xbox One and PC respectively, Crackdown 3 sits alongside Jump Force as February's unsurprising failures.

Is Sumo Digital's loose third-person shooter worth a gander? Frankly, Crackdown 3 does not merit a $60 investment; luckily, Microsoft uploads its first-party exclusives to Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service costing only $10 per month. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was added to the service's available games at the beginning of the month, making Crackdown 3 the second biggest title added during February 2019.

Fans of 2007's Crackdown are likely to have a blast playing through 2019's modern iteration. Crackdown 3 is basically an updated version of Realtime Worlds' original release, which is good enough for us! Once in a while, a deep story or realistic graphics are not needed. All that is required is an overwhelming amount of explosions, hundreds of collectible orbs, and Terry Crews. Crackdown 3 is a mid-tier AAA game in an era when the industry's largest publishers rarely attempt to release anything but huge hitters.

While not the deepest game on the market, a few tricks exist that improve Crackdown 3. Here are 25 things everyone completely missed in Crackdown 3!

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22 Progression Is Tied To What Skills You Use

Like the previous entries, Crackdown 3 gates abilities behind actions rather than skill points. Instead of enabling players to pick and choose which abilities to unlock, progression is guided by play style. Find yourself solely using guns? Then, the agent will ultimately mature into a post-First Blood Rambo.

Crackdown's progression system has never failed to deliver the goods, and Sumo Digital's release is no exception. By the end of the campaign, a player should have crafted a superhero specifically suited to his or her needs. While it is best to concentrate on your preferred mechanics, try to devote a little bit of time to each area. At the very least, unlock a skill or two.

21 Consider Upping The Difficulty

Crackdown 3 Hall of Heroes screenshot

Depending on personal preference, effortlessly owning countless enemies either sounds like a perfect or wasted afternoon. Crackdown 3's casual shooting mechanics and arcadey tone do not support an especially challenging experience, but the game may be a touch too easy.

Crackdown 3 has four difficulty levels; Rookie, Agent, Super Agent, and Legendary. As the default option, Agent will be how most players experience Microsoft's exclusive. With the exception of a couple of mech battles, the campaign should be a breeze for most players. Repetition is inevitable regardless of the setting, but it does not have to be completely mindless.

20 Fast Travel Is For Suckers

Crackdown is a power fantasy. Like 2007's first entry, Crackdown 3 scatters hundreds of Agility Orbs throughout New Providence. Players might spend the majority of a gameplay session bombarding buildings and enemies with all sorts of grenades, but Sumo Digital's title is also somewhat of a collectathon. Is there a point to collecting all these glowing balls of light? Yes! They provide a speed boost, one that steadily grows as the campaign progresses.

Fast Travel is an option worth ignoring. With the exception of the endgame, when an agent should already be overpowered, Fast Travel bypasses the opportunity to accumulate orbs and reach even more absurd speeds. Would Terry Crews use Fast Travel?

19 The Character You Pick Does Matter

Wait, Crackdown 3 has more agents than just Terry Crews? Who would select someone else? Heck, does the Agency really need to waste resources employing Agent Anderson and Varma when Brooklyn's finest is on the payroll?

Is there any discernible difference between the characters? Honestly, Crackdown 3 could have done more with its roster. Everyone basically controls the same way; however, every agent provides a unique stat bonus to a skill's XP. Consequently, picking an agent who compliments a user's play style makes a world of difference. Rather than personable characters, Crackdown 3's agents are closer to skins designed to unlock benefits.

18 There Are 15 Characters To Unlock

Crackdown 3 Agents

Out of the gate, a player can select from six starting agents, with a further 15 to unlock. Stat bonuses aside, the characters boast their own unique models, so you might appreciate some over others. More importantly, agents unlocked during the campaign can be used in Crackdown 3's multiplayer coop mode. Assuming others are willing to join in on the mayhem, collecting all the agents enhances online matches.

How are they unlocked? Can agents simply be purchased? Represented as orbs, DNA samples can be found scattered throughout New Providence's rooftops and back alleys, with each one being associated with a specific agent. These collectibles are available from the very beginning.

17 Don't. Stop. Moving. (Rolling Is For Winners)

Crackdown 3's controls take a bit of getting used to. That's not to say digital Terry Crews operates like a slightly dysfunctional android attempting to replicate the original model's movements, but Crackdown feels arcadey. Compared to other third-person shooters, Sumo Digital's release initially comes across as janky or unprecise. Luckily, this impression wanes after an hour or two.

Crackdown is not Gears of War. Hiding behind cover rarely pays dividends. The key to victory is to be constantly on the go. In the middle of a heated battle, roll and dodge to avoid enemy damage. The former's animation is not the prettiest, but nobody ever accused Crackdown of being pretty.

16 Do The Main Missions Until You're OP

With Sandbox games, there is often the temptation to head straight for the endpoint, just to check whether an immediate completion is viable. Crackdown 3's big bad cannot be accessed until the majority of New Providence is free from Terra Nova's influence, but a direct approach can be exercised when dealing with a domain's boss. It is not advised.

Eventually, your agent should be overpowered to the point of absurdity, but the opening few hours are considerably more taxing. A mad dash to the finish is the quickest way to ensure a failed mission. Each area has a couple of side quests (challenges) designed to reduce the governing boss' influence. We recommend completing as much of these missions as possible.

15 Always Look Up (For Hidden Orbs)

Agility Orbs are the best part of any Crackdown. Collecting hundreds of thingamajigs is a tried-and-tested gaming formula going back to an era defined by Nintendo's rivalry with Sega. The practice is fun on its own, but great collectathons reward players for exerting the additional effort.

Crackdown's orbs are instantly gratifying. Providing an immediate speed boost, Agility Orbs pave the road to becoming the ultimate Terry Crews. 750 orbs should be more than enough to keep most people busy, but Crackdown 3 also includes 250 Hidden Orbs, which allocate an experience boost to all five categories. Speed is important, but do not neglect the other areas!

14 The Map Is Small, But The Verticality Is Awesome

Crackdown 3's map is vertical rather than horizontal. There are more than enough climbable skyscrapers to keep an explorer busy for a couple of hours. Considering Microsoft's exclusive has been stuck in development purgatory for approximately half a decade, New Providence's textureless presentation and unambitious scope may be a point of contention for some. Justified.

Crackdown 3 is entertaining, but we are hardly dealing with a masterpiece. Could it have been better? Definitely. Can fun still be had? Yes. In terms of size, Yakuza 0's map cannot compare to Far Cry 5's sandbox; on the other hand, the latter lacks the former's personality. Crackdown 3 does not quite reach the same heights (hehe) as Sega's quirky prequel, but it is decent.

13 Eliminate The Small Foes Before Fighting Bosses

Fodder enemies are designed to meet a sharp end. Competent opponents sound fantastic on paper, but there is a reason Dynasty Warriors' armies have only gotten dumber with each passing generation. Instant gratification is the name of the game, and the combat lacks the necessary depth to justify the frustration resulting from countless defeats at the hands of casual opponents.

Crackdown 3 is the same. Goons are merely sources of energy to promote Terry's muscles, but ignore them at your own peril. Whilst engaged in a fierce boss fight, henchmen tend to become one with the scenery, but their attacks never stop coming. Take them out.

12 Drive Recklessly

Why do sandbox games struggle to implement decent driving controls? Perhaps Mad Max's car combat reached such an incredible height of awesomeness, every other game has been retroactively ruined. While not the worst, Crackdown 3's driving is certainly not among the best. The cars feel floaty and generally unresponsive, leading to frequently mistiming seemingly easy turns. No, we are not aiming for the river!

So, should vehicles simply be avoided? Running is far more satisfying, but Crackdown 3 seems aware of the driving controls' unpredictable nature. Players are not punished for colliding with civilians. In fact, they are rewarded for it! Welcome the road rage!

11 Crackdown's Company Car

At the best of times, Crackdown 3's driving offers a brief respite from leaping across tall buildings or collecting orbs. Due to the unprecise controls and underwhelming random selection of street vehicles, one may be tempted to completely ignore driving. Resist this impulse.

If nothing else, spend enough time behind a wheel to reach level one and unlock the Agency's default car. New Providence's random automobiles are nothing more than a precursor to the real deal, and this transforming vehicle can even be summoned to a user's location. Certain areas require the car's Spider form to access. Crucially, driving gradually improves as the campaign progresses.

10 Faster Than A Bullet Train

Crackdown 3 is a power fantasy. Terra Nova's forces are fighting a losing battle and the hero's powered up ultimate version borders on insanity. There is such a wide discrepancy in power, we felt sorry for the villains!

For the majority of the campaign, the Agency's car offers the speediest way to drive from point A to B, particularly with all its abilities unlocked. However, we recommend calling it quits after activating the Spider form. Along with just being a lot more entertaining, running eventually is faster than driving. Do not dedicate too much time to a skill destined to be surpassed.

9 Go For Grenades Early

Crackdown 3 shines the brightest when the screen is stuffed with things going boom and enemies flying off like Team Rocket on a random Tuesday. Embrace the chaos! Sandbox games sell themselves on the idea of player freedom. Want to face an area's boss immediately? Do it. Prefer to methodically decimate the organization by eliminating one member at a time? Go for it.

Now, in truth, variety is not Crackdown 3's strong suit. The gameplay loop rarely changes, but it is fun enough. Illuminated by a green circle, new grenades are spread across the map. Once unlocked, they are automatically added to the Agency's catalog, ensuring a boom is never difficult to create.

8 You Don't Need To Clear An Area To Unlock The Map

No open-world map is complete without arbitrary checkpoints to gate players from accessing certain areas. Crackdown 3 opts against an overly restrictive structure, but supply points must be unlocked to litter the map with locations of collectible items. Ubisoft's guide to gaming.

Along with wrestling control away from Terra Nova's clutches, a rewarding activity in its own right, liberating supply points is a must for any completionist. Prior experience dictates all enemies surrounding a checkpoint must be eliminated, but Crackdown 3 breaks the mold. Merely jumping near a marker causes the map to reveal the locations of any associated objects.

7 Yes, The Gameplay Gets Better After The Start

Those familiar with any of the Crackdown games should know the Agent eventually becomes a one-man wrecking machine. Permitting a reasonable amount of time has been allotted to collecting orbs and fine-tuning the character's skills, the hero will be tearing through New Providence like a sports car free from human intervention.

Superheroes are a product of nurture rather than nature. Due to lacking many of the skills to cause real havoc, the campaign's earliest hours can be somewhat tedious. Push through this opening segment to improve the Agent's awesome Jetpack and other abilities. Crackdown 3's gameplay never truly changes, but it does become more satisfying.

6 Enemy Convoys Are A Gift

Players should be constantly amassing experience in Crackdown 3. Actions reward points, so there is no such thing as a wasted endeavor. Compared to recent sandbox titles, Sumo Digital crafted a relatively tightly-packed map. A five-minute leisurely drive should be enough to traverse New Providence's width.

In other words, there is no reason to ignore any free experience points. Enemy vehicle convoys offer a worthwhile reward for eliminating them, and they are not particularly challenging to overcome. Put in the extra effort to clean New Providence's streets by removing any Terra Nova operatives crazy enough to drive through the Agency's neighborhoods.

5 Complete Your Arsenal

Crackdown 3 hands out weapons like they are going out of fashion. With the exception of a handful of items tied to skills, guns and explosives are freely dropped by enemies, especially during the campaign's opening hours. Sumo Digital knows the fun lies in presenting players with all the necessary tools before cutting them loose on New Providence.

Any collected weapon is automatically added to the inventory. There is absolutely no reason to dismiss any dropped items, especially since weapons improve as the agent levels up. New drops gradually became quite rare, with the endgame barely introducing any fresh gadgets. Stock up while you have the chance!

4 Homing Rocket Launcher

New Providence is split into various areas containing main bosses and a couple of secondary grunts. The thousands of faceless fodder enemies scattered across the entire map are about as threatening as Dynasty Warriors' armies; hence, they primarily exist to serve as a statistic.

Bosses and their subordinates are made of somewhat sturdier stuff, although Crackdown 3 hardly ever mounts much of a challenge. Nevertheless, bosses can be tricky if the player is outgunned. Once the Homing Rocket Launcher is unlocked, the odds of this ever occurring is reduced to essentially zero. Equip the weapon to reduce supposedly difficult enemies to nothing.

3 Experiment With Your Arsenal

What is the point of amassing an expansive but untouched repertoire of gadgets? Crackdown 3's campaign can be easily completed over a long weekend, but those 10 hours are mainly spent shooting things at an enemy soldier's general direction. Monotony can be an issue but equipping different weapons staves off the boredom.

Crackdown 3 has a respectable assortment of gizmos, but some are more equal than others. An agent could quickly wind up utilizing a single gun for the majority of the campaign, which would be a missed opportunity. Even if an item does not seem particularly unique, still take it out for a spin!

2 Complete Your Garage

New Providence is not quite as obsessed with cars as Los Santos; nevertheless, a decent selection of vehicles are on offer. Is it worth seeking each and every one of them out? Honestly, the reward is not truly worth the effort, but the option is there for those seeking something else to fill their time.

Like grenades and weapons, stepping into a vehicle automatically unlocks it for future use. Even if the Agency's car renders obsolete any other mode of transportation, flipping through your collection of jacked vehicles can be oddly satisfying. Permitting they do not actually need to be driven, Crackdown 3's cars are rather nice!

1 Black Hole

That's right, Crackdown 3 has a gun that fires miniature black holes. This is it. Gaming has peaked.

Most weapons are only an enemy soldier away, but certain exceptions do exist. The Singularity/Oblivion weapon is located in Central Shade's Science Center, a scalable building ideally left for the campaign's final few hours. Technically, the weapon is available to grab from the start, but King Kong might struggle to reach the Science Center's summit.

Depending on the agent's firearm efficiency, the Singularity weapon's black holes vary in size. As the item is laughably overpowered, Sumo Digital presumably intended for the gadget to be unlocked by endgame players.

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