There’s No Reason We Need Crackdown 3… And Yet I’m Excited.

In early 2008 a friend of mine introduced me to a game that would change my life. Open-world games existed, but weren’t necessarily prevalent. Regardless of how familiar the general public may have been with them, I was almost not at all. It was like someone had just created non-linear games and made them just for me.

Crackdown (yeah, that’s the game in case you hadn’t guessed it by the title of the article) was funny, smart, action-packed, and allowed you to perform some of the most ludicrous idiocy I have ever seen, even to this day, in a video game.

The longer we played Crackdown, the more I loved it. Each time I was able to play online or in person with a friend, my world was enriched just a little bit more. How many other games could you cooperatively destroy a city using cars, helicopters, explosive barrels, bombs, and an arsenal of firearms? Hmm… perhaps I just described the Grand Theft Auto games, but I digress. I loved Crackdown.

A sequel was announced. We were pumped.

Let’s back up… Crackdown should have never gotten a sequel. In fairness, it should have never sold many copies or even been in the public eye. But Microsoft, in their seemingly desperate attempt to move units, bundled Beta invites for Halo 3 in with Crackdown. If you wanted to play Halo 3 early, you needed to buy Crackdown. Copies flew off of shelves and gamers played the heck out of the Halo Beta. When the dust settled, people started playing Crackdown and realizing it was a ton of fun. The game was polished and advanced. It had a spirit about it that was hard to find in most late 2000’s games – intense but not to be taken seriously. The game pokes fun of itself.

But it was REALLY fun.

Okay back to the sequel now.

Crackdown 2 was released in 2010 and we were just a little bit excited. While it’s predecessor certainly wasn’t my favorite game of the generation, it was pretty close. I got my copy on my lunch break at work in my first professional job after college graduation and thought pretty long and hard about taking the rest of the day off of work to rush home and play it. Everything we’d been waiting for since it was announced nearly a year before was finally here.

The game was good. It wasn’t phenomenal. I didn’t even stop to question whether or not I liked it. It was Crackdown 2 and that meant that I was going to love it. Red Dead Redemption had released slight before that and, while I didn’t buy it at release, I knew it was on my list of games to play. After 100 hours of helping John Marston get his life in order I went back to Crackdown 2 – only to decide that I really needed to go back to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for a short time before copy of Alan Wake arrived.

It was easy to keep putting off going back to Crackdown 2. 2010 was one of the most phenomenal years in gaming up to this current year of 2017. There were blockbusters galore with Halo: Reach, Civilization 5, Metro 2033, Fallout New Vegas, the phenomenal DLC for Red Dead Redemption – Undead Nightmare, Starcraft II, Heavy Rain and… wow. I could keep going.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I had to start admitting that I wasn’t going to be playing Crackdown 2 anymore. The honeymoon was over and I’d had my fill. A year later my friend and I tried to go back and play the first Crackdown and even it just didn’t do the trick.

A few years ago rumors of a third Crackdown game started to surface and, while I was aware, my interest wasn’t quite piqued. I’d been so badly burned and disappointed by Crackdown 2 that even thinking about the idea of getting into it again was absurd. A year went by and there was very little information. Another year went by and the same type of uninteresting details emerged. I just wasn’t going to get excited about Crackdown 3. After all, I’d learned my lesson with Duke Nukem Forever – if it takes too long and seems too good to be true, it probably is.

This year during Microsoft’s E3 press conference I was not expecting an announcement about the franchise. And then it hit the screen and I was confused. I was… I was excited! I knew right then and there that I WILL be playing Crackdown 3.

Perhaps it will be better than I’m expecting. Maybe they will have learned some lessons along the way about repeating so many mechanics from a previous game. It’s possible that after 7 years of not playing a Crackdown game more than one time I’ll dive right into it and love every second.

Or maybe I’ll be disappointed.

There’s no logical reason a third Crackdown game needs to be released. And yet, I’m super pumped.

 

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Ben Smith is a brick and mortar business owner with a family that might occasionally get to play some games. Check him out on Twitter @DaGreatDennis

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