OPINION: Crackdown 3 is Xbox's Last Hope
Let’s face it, it has been a rough few years for the Xbox brand. The past five years have been bordering on disaster levels for Microsoft. Between the forced Kinect functionality and DRM that almost completely destroyed any pre-launch hype for the console (on top of some clever advertising by Sony) to a barebones exclusive title line-up, The Xbox has had few highlights this console generation.
So, let us talk about that exclusive line-up, or lack thereof. Almost no attempt has been made to sell the console in terms of putting games and franchises on the system that cannot be found elsewhere. Microsoft’s usual suspects of Halo, Gears of War, and Forza Motorsport are being heavily leaned upon to sell the Xbox One, but they are not translating to system sales. The few other attempts at making games exclusive to Xbox have been lackluster at best. Super Lucky’s Tale was…a game, Sea of Thieves is most notable for its stunning lack of content at launch and State of Decay 2 was not the sequel the fans of the survival series had hoped for. This on top of the 2017 cancellation of Platinum Games’s action title Scalebound has left gamers wondering why they should spend the $300+ on an Xbox One.
So, with Gears 5 a ways off and Halo: Infinite likely not arriving until late 2019 at the earliest, that leaves one franchise to take the reins for the next year: Crackdown.
For those out of the loop, Crackdown was open world action game released in 2007 for the Xbox 360 where players take control of a genetically modified police officer/super-soldier—known simply as the Agent—in the fictional Pacific City and take the streets back from the ruthless gangs that have taken control of the city’s three major islands. Players used the Agent’s superior strength, speed, leaping ability, and firepower to wipe the streets clean of any crime that infested it. The game was a smash success, partly due to the Halo 3 beta being included as a bonus to those who purchased Crackdown, and partly because the game is bloody good fun. A sequel was released in 2010, but the less said of it, the better.
It’s been eight years since Crackdown 2, which will become 9 years once CD3 comes out in February. Fans of the series have been eagerly waiting for this game and fans of the Xbox brand have been waiting for their killer app: their equivalent of a God of War 4, Horizon: Zero Dawn or Marvel’s Spider-Man that they can say is all theirs. This could be Microsoft’s last big shot at having that game.
It can be argued that this generation’s console war is over and the Xbox cannot comeback against Sony. However, if Microsoft wants any chance at making their everlasting fight with Sony seem somewhat competitive, Crackdown 3 has to be the jumping off point. With no other major exclusive titles coming to Xbox until late 2019, it’s now or never for Microsoft to start looking like the company that was so dominant in the previous generation.