Officially unveiled at Gamescom 2015, Crackdown 3 is set to be one of the most exciting games on the horizon. Not only does it offer a new game in the Crackdown saga, which was first released in 2007, but it showcases some truly amazing technical advancements that make it stand out from the crowd.

Intrigued? You should be.

When is the Crackdown 3 release date?

Crackdown 3 release date: Spring 2018

Crackdown 3 was meant to launch in Summer 2016 as an Xbox exclusive, but Creative Director at Reagent Games, Dave Jones, posted an update to say that the sheer scale of the game was proving challenging and that it had no real option but to delay Crackdown 3's release until 2017.

The developers again fell silent and many feared that this might signal another delay, possibly until 2018, but Microsoft took to the stage at E3 2017 to calm gamers nerves and announce a final release date, alongside a new gameplay trailer that can be seen below. That trailer announced that Crackdown 3 would be released alongside the new Xbox One X on 7 November 2017. 

Sadly, it was not to be as the game has been delayed once again, and is now scheduled for a release some time in Spring 2018. Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis told Polygon that the delay was "to make sure to deliver the right game, with the right quality, and at the right time."

“Crackdown 3 is an incredibly ambitious project that pushes the technological envelope with immersive true 4K gameplay, cloud-computing competitive multiplayer and a sprawling and futuristic open world,” Loftis added. “The team has been working extremely hard to deliver a great experience for fans and this extra time will help us do just that.”

Crackdown 3 will be available on Xbox and Windows 10 as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, so you can buy it on either Xbox One or Windows 10 and play it on your console or PC and your save-game progress will sync across both.

Can I pre-order Crackdown 3?

If you're in the UK, Crackdown 3 is available to pre-order on Amazon or Game right now for £41.99 with a pre-order price guarantee that means you’ll never pay more than that price – in fact, it may even go down.

US readers should head to Amazon or GameStop, where you can pick up a copy for $59.99.

Crackdown 3 gameplay and mechanics

So, what makes Crackdown 3 one of the best technical demos we’ve ever seen? The developers were proud to announce that Crackdown 3 will feature a fully destructible environment when playing online, meaning that if you desired, you could destroy every single building in your environment.

How can this be possible? It’s all down to Microsoft Cloud, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, which the developers can utilise.

When playing Crackdown 3 online, the environment you interact with isn’t hosted on a single server – it’s split into different segments, each using a different server's processing power to enable fully dynamic destruction.

In fact, the developers can use up to 20 cloud servers at any one time to power the destruction and chaos around you, providing more power than any other console.

You can shoot a circle in a wall and watch it fall to the floor and become a physical in-game object. While this doesn’t sound amazing in comparison to blowing up buildings, lets just stop and think for a second – the game is able to see that the circular segment of wall is no longer connected, and then calculate its size and mass on-the-fly.

You’re able to blast holes in walls and make your own paths through any building in the environment, which is something we’ve never really seen before.  

All buildings in the environment are built with real structures. What does this mean for gamers? If you spray at the concrete exterior of a building, you’ll eventually expose the steel frames that support the building.

If you blow up the steel frames, what happens? You guessed it: the whole building comes down, using a combination of physics and explosions for something truly exciting. 

Hands-on impressions

We spent some time playing a limited Crackdown 3 demo during Gamescom 2017, and we were impressed with what we saw.

While we couldn't test out the destructive environments mentioned above as it was only a single-player demo, it gave us our first look at the mechanics that make Crackdown 3 so exciting to play. 

It's essentially a mix of a superhero game and a third-person shooter, combining superhuman jumping (and the ability to slam down to the ground and wipe out nearby enemies) and super slick gunplay, allowing you to jump from building to building, taking on enemies of all shapes and sizes.

You can also use the environment to your advantage. Near a car? Pick it up and throw it at your enemy. 

There's also a wide range of weaponry, from the relatively standard (carbine, pistol, etc) to the exotic - we found a gun that resembled a machine gun but fired mini rockets in quick succession, causing massive destruction. Guns like that never get old. 

There's also a levelling system, allowing you to improve your strength, agility and more depending on your play style.

Essentially, Crackdown 3 is incredibly fun to play if you like explosions, super-human powers and over-the-top gunplay. 

Crackdown 3: Trailers and screenshots

Crackdown 3 first look:

Crackdown 3 E3 2017 trailer