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Microsoft confirmed recently that the third-person, open-world, physics-based shooter, Crackdown 3, is being pushed back out of its November 7th, 2017 launch. The game has been delayed well into 2018, and this means that the Xbox One X is going to launch this fall, one game down.
Polygon received word from Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager, Shannon Loftis, who explained to the outlet that there were three specific components for Crackdown 3 that spurred the delay into spring of 2018. Loftis explained...
Crackdown 3 is a hugely ambitious game and we want to ensure we deliver the right experiences all the way through every part of the game, whether that's campaign, co-op multiplayer or our competitive multiplayer mode, Wrecking Zone. Getting the balance right between the three modes is important, and we are going to take the extra development time to ensure that.
So there's the campaign mode, which is getting some tender love and care; the cooperative multiplayer mode, which is also being tended to; and then there's the Wrecking Zone, which is being further balanced.
Loftis didn't detail exactly which parts of each mode needed what kind of work, other than that the developers working on the title are putting time and effort into ensuring that each one works as intended.
For the Wrecking Zone, we do know that a lot of the content in that mode is reliant on Cloudgine's cloud-computing technology, something that Microsoft had been touting since Crackdown 3's reveal back in 2014. The "power of the cloud" was a promotional tagline at one point, but real-world networking infrastructure for end-users prevents it from being as widely used as some would hope.
Cloudgine is also working on another project, which was recently announced, so it sounds like a lot of the work put into the cloud aspects might be finished and it might just be a matter of streamlining the gameplay for optimized performance.
Another area that Loftis mentioned about being fixed up is the game's graphics. Typically, when Microsoft reintroduced Crackdown 3 at this year's E3 event, for like the third time since its initial announcement in 2014, the focus was on the game taking advantage of the Xbox One X's hardware for 4K output. However, at San Diego Comic-Con following E3, live gameplay demonstrations were on hand for Crackdown 3's single-player mode, and the graphics were definitely underwhelming.
It's not hard to imagine that Sumo Digital could spend a little time sprucing up the coloring, lighting and shaders to help give the game a bit more distinction, especially when a lot of people have been comparing it to Volition Software's Agents of Mayhem.
There were also criticisms of the game's AI and destructibility, two components that were the groundwork for Crackdown 1 and Crackdown 2. Hopefully, Sumo Digital is working on improving the destructibility for the third game, and increasing the AI challenge as well.
Some people are disappointed in the delay, but, ultimately, this will help the game turn out to be decent, so long as Microsoft doesn't pull the plug on it like what happened with Scalebound.