Officially unveiled at Gamescom 2015 in August, 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. Read on and find out more! Read next: What happened at E3 2016

Update June 2016: Developer Reagent Games has announced the game will be delayed until 2017. But in better news, it's now an Xbox Play Anwhere game

Crackdown 3: Platforms and release date

The question on everybody’s lips is “when can we play Crackdown 3?” and the answer you don't want to hear is: not until 2017.

The game was meant to launch in Summer 2016, 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:

"Crackdown 3 is a game built for the future with a multiplayer experience that will redefine what it feels like to play games, and as we continue to work on this, it has become clear that our original timeline of delivering multiplayer to fans this summer, while maintaining the size, scope and quality of the game, would be challenging. Our top priority is to give gamers an experience they have never seen before at a scale never thought possible, and sticking to our original timeline would have compromised that goal.

We know that many are looking forward to becoming Agents in Crackdown 3 and we are committed to delivering the best experience in 2017. This decision was made with our fans and their gaming experience in mind."

At Gamescom 2015 there was mention of a multiplayer beta that should make its way to consoles in Summer 2016, but that is also delayed. However, there's good news for PC gamers: Crackdown 3 will be 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 savegame progress will sync across both.

It won't be available on the PS4.

Crackdown 3: Pre-orders

Although there’s no release date for Crackdown 3 in sight, that doesn’t mean you can’t pre-order it. It’s available to pre-order on Amazon right now for £42.85 with a pre-order price guarantee that means you’ll never pay more than that price – in fact, it may even go down. If you’re not a fan of Amazon, you can also pre-order Crackdown 3 at Game for slightly more, priced at £42.99.

See also: Xbox One vs PlayStation 4

Crackdown 3: Mechanics and gameplay

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 feature, which the developers can utilise.

When playing Crackdown 3 online, the environment you interact with isn’t hosted on a single server – in fact, it’s split into different segments, each using a different servers 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, which provides more power than any other console and maybe even high end gaming PCs.

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, but 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 calculates 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. Then, if you blow these up, what happens? The whole building comes down, using a combination of physics and explosions for something truly exciting. Check out the gameplay trailer below for more information and a sneak peek at what’s to come.

See also: The most anticipated games of 2015 & 2016

Crackdown 3: Trailers and screenshots

Crackdown 3 first look: