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We’ve Seen Very Little Of Crackdown 3, But, With Games Pass, It Might Not Matter

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Crackdown 3 is only a few months away from release, yet we know very little about the game. Normally, this would be cause for alarm, but I think a strategy may be behind the marketing of this title.

We finally got a look at Crackdown 3‘s multiplayer yesterday, which gave us our first glimpse of the impressive destruction on display, which is powered by Microsoft’s cloud servers. Once again, however, that was only a short glimpse of the game, and a trailer so fast-paced that even really seeing much of what was going on was hard.

Curiously, we also did not get a look at the single-player portion of the game again. At E3 2018 we got a trailer and no live gameplay demo, which is typically what you would expect from a big first-party title at a Microsoft conference.

I tend to think Microsoft is waiting to really blow the lid off of Crackdown 3 just before release. The game has enough controversy behind it already; I’m betting Microsoft wants to show the game off once it is polished and basically ready to ship.

At the same time, I’m not sure Microsoft needs to do all that much marketing of Crackdown 3 before its release thanks to Games Pass.

Games Pass is a big deal for Microsoft, and, with all the new first-party studios that will be adding titles to the service, Games Pass is only going to continue to grow. The service is also getting gamers to try out new games they may have missed before, engage with them longer, and actually increasing sales for games.

Without Games Pass, I don’t think State of Decay nor Sea of Thieves would have seen the player counts that they do, and I believe Microsoft is making that same bet with Crackdown 3. How often do you click on a movie on Netflix after seeing its short preview to see what you think of it? Microsoft is applying the same logic to Games Pass.

People are already subscribed to the service, so, when a big new first-party title drops in (much like a Netflix Original), little holds people back from jumping into the game, regardless of how much hype or positive coverage surrounds the game. Microsoft has mentioned before that Games Pass allows it to be a bit more experimental with its games, and I think with Crackdown 3′s “Wrecking Zone” multiplayer mode, we are seeing our first glimpse of that in action.

With Microsoft’s current track record of marketing for Crackdown 3, I honestly would not be surprised if we saw very little of the game aside from a few hands-on previews leading up to release. X018 was the last chance for Microsoft to really dive into Crackdown 3 on the main stage—unless it has something for The Game Awards, which I highly doubt.

I’m personally hoping Crackdown 3 is a lot of fun, as the first game is definitely in my list of favorite games from the last generation. Yes, I did only try the game because of the Halo 3 beta, but ended up loving it.

OnlySP founder and former site owner.

Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in May 2019

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May

May offers no respite from the big, bold games that have released so far in 2019, bringing with it a host of games almost certain to appeal to gamers of every stripe.

Close to the Sun

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Platforms: PC, consoles later in the year

May’s first major release may also be its most intriguing. Close to the Sun has regularly attracted comparisons to BioShock for its art style and premise, though the relationship between the two titles is, at best, spiritual.

Players take the role of journalist Rose Archer as she steps aboard Nikola Tesla’s ship, the Helios in 1897. Like Andrew Ryan before him (or after him, depending on perspective), Tesla has created a microcosm in which scientific freedom is unrestricted, with disastrous outcomes. Rose’s first impression is of a quarantine sign at the entrance to a still, dead ship, but she presses on regardless in search of her lost sister.

With Close to the Sun, developer Storm in a Teacup aims to provide an intense horror experience. The Helios holds none of BioShock’s shotguns or Plasmids. Instead, players have no means to defend themselves, with gameplay focusing on hiding from and escaping the threats on board.

Check out OnlySP’s final review of the game here.

RAGE 2

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

For anyone to whom the slow, meditative approach does not appeal, Bethesda is busting out the big guns with the long-awaited, little-expected sequel, RAGE 2.

This time around, id Software has tapped Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios for assistance in developing an open-world game. The result, if the trailers are any indication, is a breakneck, neon-fuelled experience that focuses on insanity and ramps up all the unique aspects of the earlier game.

One focal point of development has been ensuring the interconnectedness of the game’s structure, and the teams have promised a greater focus on narrative this time around. Perhaps in keeping with that, RAGE 2 is being distanced from its predecessor, taking place 30 years later with a new protagonist and a whole new story, though some callbacks will be present.

Although id’s legendary first-person gunplay is a driving force throughout the game, it will be supplemented by some light RPG elements, robust vehicular combat, and post launch challenges and support (though the developers deny that RAGE 2 is designed with a games-as-a-service model in mind).

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Out on the same day as RAGE 2 is the vastly different A Plague Tale: Innocence. A historical adventure, the game challenges players with overcoming obstacles with brains rather than brawn.

Players become Amicia, an orphan girl struggling to survive in a plague-infested medieval France while also keeping her younger brother safe. With the landscape rife with rats and members of The Inquisition, one of the core tenets of gameplay is reportedly the need to use these threats against each other. As such, though Amicia has a sling to use, the gameplay is designed more as survival puzzles than combat ones.

Developer Asobo Studio is not a household name, though it has a lengthy history of adaptations and support on major titles, including Quantum Break and The Crew 2. Furthermore, even though A Plague Tale is yet to release, publisher Focus Home Interactive has displayed remarkable confidence in the project by extending its partnership with Asobo.

Honourable Mentions

Although RAGE 2 is the incontestable action-blockbuster of the month, gamers in search of another kind of frenetic may want to wait until May 21, when Curve Digital drops American Fugitive, which has a more than passing resemblance to the earliest Grand Theft Auto games. Alternatively, PlayStation VR owners may want to look into Blood and Truth come May 28.

Sega also shines this month, dropping Team Sonic Racing on May 21 and Total War: Three Kingdoms two days later.

Anyone looking for an RPG has indie’s answer to The Outer Worlds, Within the Cosmos, to look out for on May 30, while those looking for slower stories get the latest episode of Life is Strange 2 on May 9, Observation on May 21, and the fjord-noir Draugen at a yet unspecified date.

Have we forgotten anything that you’re excited for? Let us know down below or on our Discord server.

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