Crackdown, despite only consisting of two games, has become something of a fan favorite.

It's easy to see why: the games are all about running around, jumping over buildings and blowing stuff up. The second entry in the series may have fallen flat at launch, but the original game is still fondly remembered as one of the better open-world Xbox 360 games.

That's why, when Crackdown 3 was announced back at E3 2014, fans were ecstatic. The original games had always felt somewhat limited by what Microsoft's last console could do — but Microsoft promised that the power of the Xbox One and their computing cloud would bring fans the chaotic, destructive experience they'd always hoped for.

Sadly, it's been some time since anyone outside of Microsoft has seen Crackdown 3. A few short teasers have been released here and there, but there's been nothing new from the team since last August, and few were surprised when the game was pushed from its original release date into 2017. Microsoft was quick to console players, stating that Crackdown 3 had been moved to 2017 simply because of the publisher's crowded release schedule.

... though it's starting to look like Microsoft may have had other reasons for pushing the game's release date. According to Microsoft Studios general manager Shannon Loftis (via GameInformer), Crackdown 3 was actually delayed due to issues with its single-player campaign:

"[The campaign is] just starting to come online. We have lots of time to put together our missions. I don't like letting gamers down and asking them to wait, but I'm also kind of proud of giving developers the time they need."

Loftis also mentioned the scale of Crackdown 3's campaign, and the fact that the team is essentially building a number of never-before-seen systems from scratch:

"So the Crackdown campaign is definitely the most fully-featured campaign we've ever done. It's basically running a sim on top of the traditional Crackdown environment. We created this thing called a 'hate table.' Depending on what you choose to destroy in the environment, there will be massive, big reactions all over the city. Gangs will get together against you. This is the first time we've ever had something like that."

Given the size and scope of open-world games, it's not necessarily all that surprising that Crackdown 3 was delayed — though it's good to know that Microsoft is willing to take its time with the game. Gamers may groan about having to sit through delays, but giving the developers more time to work typically results in a better game. Of course, that's not always the case, but it'd be hard to imagine that Microsoft would let one of its premier exclusive franchises release with anything sub-par.

Be it issues with the campaign or a crowded release schedule, the Crackdown 3 delay is probably for the best. The second game in the series felt like a rushed, hollow shell of the original — and nobody wants to see that happen a second time.

While the game still has no solid release date, Microsoft has confirmed that Crackdown 3 is set for release sometime next year.

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