Though the Azure-based destruction took a “lot of investment”, the additional time helped the campaign side as well, as per Joseph Staten.
Sumo Digital’s Crackdown 3 has had its ups and downs in development. First announced during E3 2014, the open world action title showcased its cloud-based destruction technology at Gamescom 2015. The development team has delayed the game multiple times since then, but has now committed to a February 2019 release. We even received more information on the multiplayer component Wrecking Zone recently, which sees two teams of five agents battling it out in fully destructible environments.
Much of the time taken with Crackdown 3 had to do with its cloud technology. Windows Central recently interviewed Microsoft Studios creative director Joseph Staten and head of production Jorg Neumannn, and the former admitted that Azure, the cloud technology powering the game, had driven the project schedule. “[We] knew going in when we started Crackdown 3 that this technological heavy lift — Azure powered, multiplayer fully destructible environments — was going to take a lot of investment, a lot of time to get right,” Staten said. “To a large extent, the project schedule has largely been driven by that technology investment. We really have landed this fully destructible Azure-powered experience. It’s really unlike any game that we’ve tried to design before, where you can blow up all of the geometry.”
Staten further noted that while the technology did affect the release schedule, it ultimately led to a better campaign experience with more polish. “[It] just took us time, longer than we originally thought,” he said. “What that’s afforded us on the campaign side is that it allowed us to go after a deeper story, add more tools to the sandbox, and create a more polished experience over all. We absolutely want to ship games as high-quality and polished as we can.”
What happened to the game’s four-player co-op? It’s now two-player co-op, and Neumann feels that it provided the best experience. “[It’s] friend-invite only. Crackdown 3 has very little structure, that’s always been the appeal of the game. It’s a big open world, with a huge set of guns, you can do things at your own pace.
“There’s no prescribed way to play through the bosses, for example. If you have too many players with completely different stuff on their mind, we found that they tend to go off in different directions and never see each other. We felt the best experience in Crackdown 3 was to play with a friend, making plans of attack, [healing] each other, blowing shit up together.”
Crackdown 3 releases on February 15th 2019 for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. You can pre-load it on Xbox Game Pass right now.