The latest installment in Microsoft’s Crackdown series has been in development for several years now. Crackdown 3 features an exceptional and in-depth destruction system, all of which runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers. Windows Central talked with Head of Production Jorg Neumann and Microsoft Studios’ Creative Director Joseph Staten about how Crackdown 3’s extensive destruction mechanics impacted the game.
In Crackdown 3 multiplayer, the destruction rules apply to all types of structures, including floors and buildings. “Geometry is gameplay,” says Staten. “Whether it’s cover based, or any sort of shooter type game, so much of the gameplay is about “what is my position relative to cover? what is the enemy’s position relative to cover?” If you can just blow up everything, a lot of those principles of game design need to be rethought.”
Development on Microsoft Azure’s cloud tech was a challenge, and it caused several delays during development, but it allowed developers to “go after a deeper story, add more tools to the sandbox, and create a more polished experience.”
Not all is sunshine and rainbows, however, as the advanced mechanics are heavily taxing on the cloud-tech, meaning there are defined limits to elements such as max players. When asked about the lack of a battle royale mode, Neumann responded, “There’s a reason we have five versus five, and the map sizes too. There’s so much stuff that you need to keep in memory, due to the destruction, that there’s limits. Once you have a map that is a nice size and creates the pace of destruction the way we dreamed of it, having more players can be counter-productive”.
As technology continues to advance, we might see new multiplayer game modes supporting more than 10 players at a time. The developers are still “experimenting” and will continue to look at the “long-term hooks”. Regarding the cosmetics, loot boxes are not a part of Crackdown 3 and there are “hundreds of things to unlock”.
Microsoft is aiming to release Crackdown 3 by February 15th 2019 for Xbox One and the PC.