Crackdown 3 Awesome

Published on January 14th, 2011

Creator of 2, Ruffian Games, has began hiring for two as of yet unannounced game projects which have been described by the developer themselves as "high octane, visceral" titles that are "heavily focused on online." It’s safe to assume that at least one of these are a new chapter in the agent and achievement loving franchise, and even though some of you may moan that the last game was anything but stellar, we have the golden formula on how to make this franchise great once more.

- Make Pacific City Beautiful Again

Mutants are so 2008 and arbitrarily adding the duller than dishwater Freaks to the formerly gleaming streets of Pacific City was a massive mistake. Nobody wants to spend their time in a metropolis that is wrecked by brain eaters every single night. Give us back the beautiful urban environments which made the first game so enjoyable and we’ll happily love this franchise again. Having certain locales change in real terms after you’ve cleaned up the criminal or biological threat would also add some well overdue persistence to the open world. Gamers will be spending hours upon hours in your environments and the least we expect is the architecture to be pretty.

- Reintroduce transforming vehicles

This entry may betray our love of all things Optimus Prime, but getting rid of the original’s transforming Agency vehicles was a real face palm moment for Ruffian. Jumping into a vehicle after your agent reached a new driving level was always a great moment as it would morph around the driver, changing shape and capabilities, but in the sequel none of this was present. Instead the Agency just ferried in your vehicle and swiftly flew off as if your genetically engineered persona had a massive BO problem. Now some may argue that if you spent your time inside vehicles when playing Crackdown you weren’t playing it right, but those gamers don’t know the joys of repeatedly launching friends into the air thanks to the Supercar’s scooped bonnet.

- Make Orbs Simple Again

In Crackdown there was two different sorts of orbs, agility and hidden, but in there were driving, agility, hidden, co-op and renegade variants. Let’s keep it simply shall we? There was nothing more frustrating when playing with friends than trying to get co-op orbs, especially when playing with randoms, but that was nothing compared to the agony of repeatedly missing those fleeing renegade orbs by mere centimetres whether chasing them on foot or in a car. Ruffian managed to over complicate matters too much in the sequel and we’d love to just have the stationary ones back, just for the sake of our loved ones. If you want any proof of the anger these orbs can stimulate, check out the video linked on the right.

- Make The Agency Announcer Relevant

Michael McConnohie is one of games industry’s most accomplished voice actors, but his role as the Agency’s announcer had grown to ridiculous proportions between Crackdown 1 and 2. We don’t need an authoritative voice chastising us whenever we kill a civilian or giving us a pat on the back when we’ve earned an achievement. Mr McConnohie’s voice has become synonymous with the series, so give him some decent lines and allow the game to use them sparingly. Less is more when it comes to audio design, just look at Left 4 Dead for proof of that.

- More Mission Variation

Whether it was eliminating Freak hives or reclaiming capture points from Cell, the gameplay of Crackdown 2′s missions never changed; get to a point marked on the map and keep killing enemies until either they no longer spawn or when the timer runs out. Obviously making compelling mission content for as many as four players is difficult, but gamers expect much more variation in campaigns, especially in a game as short of Crackdown 2. Ruffian provided a great playground to us fool around in, but some additional activities wouldn’t go amiss, such as chasing down informants to find out where criminal hideouts are or the odd physics-based puzzle chucked in to slow down progression a little bit. Pacific City is a mindless environment, especially when it comes to plot and campaign progression, but the truth is it really doesn’t have to be.

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