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Video Game / Crackdown 3

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Crackdown 3 is a Wide-Open Sandbox game developed by Sumo Digital and published by Xbox Game Studios for Xbox One and PC.

The game takes place ten years after Crackdown 2, with an Agency team led by Jaxon (Terry Crews) being sent to investigate strange terrorist activity inside a city controlled by criminals, upon entering the city's airspace via Cool Airship, a strange green pulse is activated and turns the entire team into ashes while killing the world's electric grid. Years later, one of the agents is revived by a rebel movement fighting against the abusive TerraNova government of New Providence, who are suspected to have caused the blackout years prior.

A major selling point for the game is the multiplayer, which features cloud-powered destruction that's said to run with the power of twelve Xbox Ones at once. The core gameplay is maintained, with the premise being based on going around the city to collect orbs while making yourself stronger in the process.

The game was released on February 15, 2019.

Crackdown 3 provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: The game ignores the Sequel Hook that Crackdown 2 ended on in favor of its own thing.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Chimera. It's Green Rocks mined everywhere in New Providence, that can do basically whatever the plot wants it to do.
  • Bad Samaritan: TerraNova, who launched a full scale operation to save the refugees after The Blackout that knocked out power in cities across the globe. Of course, the only reason they went to so much trouble to save those refugees was so they could enslave and exploit them, and also they're the ones who caused The Blackout to begin with.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro: All the bosses in the game have one, to show what kind of monster you are going up against. They are in no particular order:
    • Wilhelm Berg: First appears as a benevolent gatekeeper, welcoming refugees to New Providence, but soon the gate closes and he revels to be a cruel man who forces newcomers to stay in the outskirts.
    • ROXY: The camera zooms in on ROXY's smiling emoji face as it goes past a string of monorail lines... it then cuts to ROXY's face turned into an angry emoji as a nightmare sprawl of twisting, chaotic rail lines spreads out around her. Then shutters close on the trams, saying "Property of TerraNova".
    • Alois Quist: Quist stands in his lab surrounded by machinery, watching 0's and 1's scroll past on his screen. The camera pans around and zooms in on his face, where the 0's and 1's are reflected in his glasses as skulls and bones, establishing him as a man who pretends to be a genius obsessed with his work but who is actually a murderous psychopath with dreams of starting a Robot War.
    • Reza Khan: Workers walk in orderly lines past mining equipment with signs talking about how safe the operation is, and the health benefits they offer. The camera then zooms through the ground, down into the mines, where Khan stands, sneering over obviously ill workers choking on noxious fumes as equipment literally falls apart around them.
    • Djimon Keita: Keita stands looming over the chemical plant, sending glowing green down the pipes. The camera pans down to an impoverished slum as that same glowing green pours from open pipes all over the people, and acid rain falls from the sky.
    • Katala Vargas: The camera zooms in on a newspaper talking about Vargas winning the Nobel prize, with a picture of her standing near a machine, proudly. The camera zooms past as the glowing sphere on the machine turns into a globe, with Vargas face now horribly scarred, and her holding the globe in a death grip as she sneers menacingly.
    • Liv Sorensen: Sorenson stands over the city with angelic wings as transport planes and boats head toward a city. The camera pans over and we hear screaming, as it's revealed the transport planes aren't going to save people, but instead are rounding up prisoners at gunpoint.
    • Kuli Ngata: Ngata stands among citizens under a banner reading "your security is our priority" as a security robot hands a balloon to a child. The camera zooms in on the balloon... and then it cuts to Ngata standing surrounded by soldiers, with that same robot firing its lasers into a crowd of unarmed protestors and incinerating them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Of course The Agency (eventually) saves the day! ... But given what we know about The Agency from the first 2 games that may not mean much.
  • Catchphrase: "Skills for kills!"
  • Destructive Savior: Very, very much so. The sheer amount of chaos and destruction the Agent will cause in their crusade against TerraNova, much of it by accident, is unreal and is in fact a major selling point of the game.
  • Downer Beginning: The entire team sent to investigate the terrorist activity is killed off (including Terry Crews' character; Jaxon) when a strange pulse is activated inside the city, turning the entire team into ashes. A few years later, the remains of one of the agents (the player's chosen character) is recovered by a rebel movement fighting the Terra-Nova government.
  • Eviler than Thou: TerraNova, for people who know about The Agency's agenda. TerraNova is also a fascist police state trying to take over the world just like The Agency. However, while The Agency seems to still allow some degree of personal freedom and mostly uses their power to stop crime and to silence dissension, TerraNova controls every facet of their peoples' lives using drugs and murder in order to keep the people under their boot heel. The Agency's plan to foster crime then come in to stop it was pretty sinister, but nothing compared to TerraNova blacking out entire cities, doubtlessly killing millions of people in the process, so they could swoop in and "save" the survivors. Also, The Agency's director seems to think he's doing this For the Greater Good, while TerraNova is pretty explicit in the fact that they're Only in It for the Money.
  • Excuse Plot: As before, the plot is made in service of the game, and is there more to justify the action than to tell a story.
  • Foreshadowing: As the Director lampshades how suspicious and sinister TerraNova is, he claims that "next thing you know, Niemand will have a pet dragon and claim to be a god."
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Katala Vargas apparently really used to be the cheerful Wide-Eyed Idealist that everyone thinks she is, back when she won her Nobel prize. Then an accident occurred that horribly scarred her face. Now she just wants the whole world to suffer. Audio logs reveal that she joined TerraNova just for the chance to cause chaos.
  • Interface Spoiler: Played with. The Skills screen clearly shows the rewards you'll receive as you level up your skills to 5... while never implying a level 6 even exists until one of your skills reaches 5.
  • Keystone Army: ZigZagged. On the one hand, taking out an objective will always result in any wanted level being removed and the forces against you being called off. On the other hand, removing all the bosses of a faction will not fully remove that faction from play. For example, even after the Agent kills Berg, ROXY, and Quint, any leftover Logistics sites will still be open for assault, Logistics convoys can still spawn which will still result in a Logistics wanted level if they're attacked, and Logistics forces will still join in the fight on city lockdown events.
  • King Mook: A handful of the bosses are these. Unlike the first game, where many of the crime bosses were just regular infantry with a bunch of health, most of them here favor vehicles or Powered Armor instead:
    • Reza Khan and Katala Vargas pilot modified Goliath mechs.
    • Liv Sorensen fights aboard a gunship.
    • Kuli Ngata battles using what looks like a more powerful version of their Dreadnought mechs.
    • Wilhelm Berg, the game's first boss, is kitted out in a suit that would later be seen on TerraNova Elite Mooks that can Flash Step away from danger, just like he can.
  • Large Ham: Commander Jaxon, courtesy of known ham Terry Crews.
  • Le Parkour: As always, once you get your stats maxed up, cars become obsolete as you essentially jump from place to place with ease.
  • Lighter and Softer: One thing famous to people familiar with the series is The Agency and its Director both being revealed as Evil All Along in the first game's Twist Ending, and then playing as a Villain Protagonist in Crackdown 2. This game doesn't really talk about The Agency's One World Order agenda, and has them fight against another group that's doing the same thing, only being way more evil about it. The hints are there for people who know what to look for, but someone who's new to the series would likely never guess The Agency are anything other than heroes.
  • Mega-Corp: TerraNova Industries; owners of New Providence.
  • Power Incontinence: It is very, very easy for the Agent to cause wanton destruction completely by accident thanks to their powers, even when not actively using weapons or attacks. Benches and other small objects explode at your touch, physics objects can be sent flying just by running near them, and gently bumping a civilian with your shoulder while you walk can cause them to die instantly.
  • Recycled Premise:
    • The premise of going through a criminal syndicate's lower echelons to weaken those at top is the same as the first game.
    • The Stinger closing on a severed Agent's arm being used as part of an experiment, was the same as in 2.
  • Revisiting the Roots:
    • Transforming vehicles return, after being cut in 2.
    • The map is very vibrant, as opposed to the muddy and torn-down version in 2, more in line with the first game.
    • As stated in Recycled Premise, going through a criminal syndicate's lower bosses to weaken the higher ones returns from the first, after the second game instead focused on a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • The Starscream: Alois Quist, the head of Logistics for TerraNova. His real goal is to take charge of TerraNova for himself (or rather, to let ROXY take over) and start a Robot War to Kill All Humans.
  • Starter Villain: Wilhelm Berg, the gatekeeper of New Providence, has to be fought first in order to enter the city.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: The game offers your choice of lots of different operatives to play, with each one getting a bonus to experience gain for certain skills. The obvious "main character" however is Jaxon, who was voice-acted by and modeled after Terry Crews. In addition to having some of the most useful skills (Strength and Explosives) he's also got the most detailed character model (being modeled after a real person), is stated to be The Ace of the group, has a lot of speaking lines in the opening cutscene, and appears in giant hologram form to give rousing speeches whenever you take over a propaganda tower.
  • Taking You with Me: When Vargas dies, she detonates the chimera stockpile in her factory to destroy it, both in hopes of taking the Agent down with her, and to punish her own troops for failing her.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: The Director is substantially less of a jerkass to the Agent than in previous games. He also ends up agreeing with revolutionary Echo that people deserve to live free from oppression, though that could be a lie.
  • Tron Lines: These and bright neon holograms are ubiquitous in the city of New Providence, and naturally the Agents have them too.
  • The Unfought: Djimon Keita hides out in one of his chemical plants, and dies in the explosion when the Agent destroys the plant, without actually engaging in direct combat himself.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: The Player has two this time, as is standard for the series you're taking orders from the Director of The Agency. Additionally, a TerraNova revolutionary named Echo provides detail on the local situation.
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing:
    • TerraNova is this to refugees/victims of The Blackout; promising a haven with a bright future. The reality is a life of abuse, poverty, and slavery. They also don't tell said refugees that they caused The Blackout.
    • Also; for series veterans: The Agency. Coming to "liberate" New Providence.