So, you ran out to buy Crackdown 3 ($59; rated “Mature”) – likely the biggest game of the year from Microsoft Game Studios – and have started tackling the on-foot and in-car missions in the fictitious city of New Providence.
Or perhaps you’ve booted up a multiplayer match to take on other human players in team play.
But after spending some hands-on time with this futuristic action game, you realize it’s a little more challenging than you anticipated.
No worries, we can help.
Whether you’re playing on Xbox One or a Windows PC, the following are some helpful tips, courtesy of Joseph Staten, Senior Creative Director on the title at Microsoft Game Studios.
Played solo or cooperatively with another gamer, the following are tips to mastering the story-based campaign.
Use the map
The Crackdown series has always been about freedom, and Crackdown 3 is no exception. You can go virtually anywhere. It’s an open world, so it’s up to the player how they want to carve their path. On the flipside, however, it’s easy to get lost.
The solution is to use the map. Crackdown 3’s city is twice as big and twice as tall as previous Crackdown games, says Staten, so while exploring is part of the fun, use the map and take advantage of markers you can put down, to help you find your way around this huge metropolis.
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Staten says you can go right to the main boss if you want but will be difficult if you don’t first upgrade your Agent’s skills, therefore missions are key to your success.
Since verticality is a big part of Crackdown 3, Staten suggests upgrading your Agent’s “agility” skills to help you run faster, jump higher and soar longer (other skills are “driving,” “firearms,” “explosives,” and “strength”). You’ll increase your agility by finding and collecting green orbs scattered around New Providence. By going on successful “orb hunts” – as Staten calls it – you can pull off heroic moves like double jump and activate jet thrusters, which lets you move horizontally while hovering, such as strafing side to side, or forward and back in the air.
Speaking of verticality, the tallest building in the game is about 1.2 kilometers above street level!
Swap out Agents
Get to know Crackdown 3’s progression system. The game rewards you for doing what you like. For example, if you like picking up objects and throwing them at enemies, your Agent’s strength skill will increase. Prefer gunplay? Expect to get a boost in your firearms skills. Enjoy racing through city streets in vehicles? Your Agent’s driving skills will benefit. You get the idea.
Staten says the game lets you choose between 21 Agents – not just the main protagonist modeled after actor Terry Crews! – and each Agent has certain qualities to suit your playstyle. One may have a 10 percent boost to firearms and a 5 percent boost in explosives, for instance.
Learn the loadout
Crackdown 3 is an action platformer game, but it’s also a lock-on shooting game, confirms Staten, and each weapon has specific strengths and weaknesses against certain enemies. Therefore, it’s recommended to go to the loadout screen and read what each weapon is good at as you may want to change it up depending on the situation.
As an example, energy weapons may be good against robotic enemies, but not as effective as a shotgun when facing off against human adversaries.
Called “Wrecking Zone,” Crackdown 3 offers a couple of 5v5 team-based multiplayer games: Agent Hunter and Territories. These tips should help you succeed in both competitive modes.
Do the destruction
Almost everything in Wrecking Zone can be blown to bits. Don’t just go around a building, smash through it with a Flying Fist move, says Straten. See an enemy escaping across a sky-bridge? Explode it with a rocket. Bash through walls or Ground Pound from the top of a tower all the way to the bottom floor. Wrecking Zone’s destruction tech creates all kinds of new and unexpected tactical choices. Experiment and have fun.
Crackdown 3 features a lock-on targeting system to help you track enemy Agents trying to evade the justice you’re dishing out. Once you’ve got an enemy in your sights, hold Left Trigger on Xbox One (Right Mouse Button on PC) to Lock On. Then use Right Trigger (Left Mouse Button) to fire your currently equipped weapon – or use B Button (Middle Mouse Button) to hit your target with a Flying Fist or Ground Pound melee attack. If you see a White Line extending from your Agent, that means another player has you locked.
If the line turns Red, they’re firing!
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To remove Target Lock, smash through buildings or move around corners and break line of sight. Lock On also has a limit to its range, so put some distance between you and the enemy, and the lock will break.
Pro tip: Because of the White/Red Lines, enemies can see when you have them locked. Consider not Locking On until it’s absolutely necessary, to maintain the element of surprise.
In Wrecking Zone, your Agent’s suit is equipped with powerful thrusters so you can boost higher, dodge faster, and punch harder. Get up in the air, stay on the move – and be ready to strike when the enemy least expects it. Staten says when in the air you can perform two Air Jumps (A Button on Xbox One, or Space Bar on PC) and two Evades (Left Thumbstick Press, Left Shift) in any combination.
Your Air Jumps and Evades recharge when you touch the ground, and charges for each are displayed as icons in your HUD at the bottom of the screen. Throw a Flying Fist anytime (Hold B Button on Xbox One, Hold Q on PC) or when you’re airborne, launch a devastating Ground Pound (Tab B Button, Tap Q). Flying Fist and Ground Pound draw from the same melee energy pool which recharges over time and is indicated in your HUD at the bottom center of the screen.
Pro Tip: When you exhaust your Air Jumps and Evades, stay in the air longer – and travel farther – by triggering a Flying Fist.
O is for Overdrive
You’ll find Orange Orbs all around Wrecking Zone maps. Gather these Orbs to charge your Overdrive and boost your Agent Skills to the max. Orbs respawn over time, so go ahead: be greedy and gather all you can get, advises Staten. Overdrive increases your baseline Agent Skills and comes in two flavors: a boost to your Agility and Firearms Skills or your Strength and Explosives Skills.
While Overdrive is active, whatever Skills have been boosted are much more effective. For example, if the Agility and Firearms Skill pair is active, you’ll move faster, and your Firearms weapon will cause more damage. As you gather Orbs, damage enemies, and destroy structures, you’ll fill your Overdrive meter (visible in the lower left corner of your HUD). When your Overdrive meter is full, the game will randomly pick one of the two Skill pairs and show that pair’s icon in the Overdrive meter.
Trigger Overdrive by simultaneously pressing Left Bumper and Right Bumper (Q on PC). Once activated, your Overdrive meter will count down to zero.
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