Crackdown 3 will finally, actually, for real be released on Feb. 15, 2019, publisher Microsoft Studios announced Saturday.
The game will be available on Windows PC and Xbox One, and since it’s part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program, customers who buy either version will be able to play the other at no additional cost. The same applies for Xbox Game Pass subscribers — Crackdown 3, like all of Microsoft’s first-party exclusives, will be included in the Game Pass library at launch.
Microsoft announced another freebie at X018: From now until Nov. 30, anybody can download the original Crackdown, which debuted in February 2007 on Xbox 360, for free. Earlier this year, Microsoft added Xbox One X enhancements to the game — it runs in 4K on the high-end console via backward compatibility.
An Inside Xbox episode broadcast live from X018 in Mexico City featured a new trailer for Crackdown 3 that focused on the game’s competitive multiplayer mode, Wrecking Zone. Microsoft announced the mode ages ago, but this was the first time we’ve gotten an up-close glimpse of it.
Wrecking Zone will be the only part of Crackdown 3 to feature full-on destructible environments; the online mode uses physics technology powered by Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. In Wrecking Zone, two teams of five agents duke it out in a fully destructible arena. The trailer showcased players breaking through walls and blowing up bridges.
The latest entry in Microsoft’s open-world action franchise has had a tortuous road to release. Crackdown 3’s new launch date means the game is now scheduled to debut nearly five years after it was originally unveiled, way back at E3 2014; back then, Microsoft only revealed that it was making a Crackdown title for the Xbox One. The project has clearly been through some fits and starts — Microsoft has delayed it repeatedly, and the game did not make appearances at multiple major trade shows, including E3 in both 2015 and 2016.
Crackdown 3 was originally scheduled to arrive in the second half of 2016, before being pushed back to 2017. At E3 that year, Microsoft announced that it planned to launch the game in November 2017 alongside the Xbox One X. Just two months later, the company delayed it again to spring 2018. Shannon Loftis, Microsoft’s head of internal publishing, told Polygon at the time that the company “probably announced [Crackdown 3] too early.” And this past June, the week before E3, Microsoft delayed the game’s release one more time to February 2019.