So I’m on holiday after being rather busy for a little over four years, I figure as the results of that labour are about to hit tomorrow, I’d pop onto the internet see if any reviews had hit...
...maybe I should have stuck to the sangria ;)
First things first, in case you are wondering, I’m one of the people who made the Campaign side of the game at Sumo. There were quite a lot of us involved in that side of the game, not all at Sumo I better add, and we’ve been working on this game for quite a long time.
Now, clearly the reviews are a little mixed... Let me start by saying in no way do I disagree with anyones right to have an opinion. I’m disappointed in some of them and certainly I see points that are valid having being on the crazy journey it’s been to get the game out...
...But... I also have to disagree as well. You can righly accuse me of bias, hey, i’m sure I look at the results positively, but let me tell you something first before you rush to judge me.
Over the years I’ve worked on well over 40 games and most, once we archive the code and launch it into the big bad world, I leave behind and rarely pick up to play again.
A select few, and the list is short, OutRun2/2006, Sonic & All-Star Racing Transformed and now Crackdown 3, I can’t wait to get a copy of to play again. In this case I even went out and bought an Xbox One X to play it, as I couldn’t talk MS into sending me one... :)
Why do I feel this about a game that seems so far to be recieving dicey reviews?
Simply, each time I play it, I have enormous fun. And that fun changes each time I do it as it can be played in many different ways. As that is what Crackdown is all about.
We’ve made something that is unashamed of being a videogame...
We have no pretensions of being a movie, there is a story, its acted with some panache not least by Terry, but it exists to give you guidance to go beat the bad guys.
Which you can do either with your fists, a rather large selection of silly over the top weapons, a vehicle that can smash other traffic out of the way, drive up walls the literally change into a tank, or via any other means you can conjure up in our wholly physical world.
And if you nudge that difficulty up past normal, get used to improvising and using that world to your advantage as you really are going to need to. Even in Co-Op. I know, I’ve tried!
This is the rub, as a side effect of giving players freedom once you are let into the city, one reviewers playthrough is going to be utterly different to others. I’m already seeing a disparity based on how they chose to play the game - and on which difficulty.
I’ve even seen some go ‘Wait a minute, you can save the Agent and the World seperately’ which is a very intentional choice. We want player to experiment, to try different methods, different weapons, different routes. We want you to reserve a slot for that game you play with your best friend. We want you to try a combat focussed Agent, an Agility based one, we want you to try and beat the game with your own rules, never touch the ground Agent, see if you can clock it only raining down aircon units from rooftops. Or kill one baddie, and use him to bludgeon the rest to death with. Did you know you can kill enemies by throwing their dead friends at them?
We actively want you to go and have fun. Then show us! Stream it, YouTube it, make some GIF’s, there will be moments we go ‘Wow, fair play, we didn’t predict that!’ and genuinely laugh at situations we’ve given you the freedom to create.
This is why we are so happy this game will be on GamePass. Like the other two Crackdown games before it, its something players may not ‘get’ or appreciate unless they try it themselves. I bought the original to get that Halo 3 beta (I’m that old) but I fell in love with it as here was a game where you went ‘What if I...’ and it allowed you to try it, and then frequently hit you with a pithy one liner from the VOA as the results made you laugh out loud.
Its that kind of game. I’m already seeing players initial posts where their experience is fun, personal and rewarding. Don’t take my word for it, go look at the games OT. My barometer is always how players react to a game. I’m looking forward to what people who play the game think.
I suspect as the days pass, people will start to dig into the game and see if its for them or not. I feel a lot of people will find it is. Crackdown has always been cult, I’d hoped we could expand it and I feel GamePass is the place this can happen.
And if not, believe me we certainly tried, we wanted to make the best sequel to Crackdown we possibly could and in my eyes at least, we did what we set out to do. Feel free to hate it, your opinion is as valid as mine, but hate it once you’ve tried it, that’s all I ask.
Right, I better go back to being on holiday, though it feels more like rum and coke time vs sangria...!
True story, I checked out the balcony on my hotel room with my wife. she loved the clear sea view right out to the med. Me? I saw the building opposite, judged a level one Agent could clearly climb it and lamented the lack of some Agility orbs on the roof. This game sticks with you :)