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Microsoft's Cloud Finally Put to Good Use: Blowing Shit Up in 'Crackdown 3'

Microsoft's cloud tech is powering a "100 percent destructible" city.

by Emanuel Maiberg
Aug 4 2015, 4:20pm

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft today revealed the first gameplay footage for Crackdown 3, the superpowered, open-world, crime fighting game.

Microsoft first revealed the game at E3 2014 with a pre-rendered, cinematic trailer that showed the characters collapsing buildings in order to catch criminals and cause even more chaos than the series is known for. Quite simply, the notion of being able to realistically demolish any building in a Grant Theft Auto-style seemed too good to be true, but today Microsoft showed it can pull it off with the power of its cloud technology, Azure.

If you're having a hard time reaching that bad guy on the bridge, just blow up the bridge and watch him come crashing down. If you can't get a clear shot at your target, the trailer showed that you'll even be able collapse one building so it falls onto and destroys another, creating a domino effect of destruction. Basically, if you can see it, you can probably blow it up with realistic physics.

Microsoft and developer ReAgent revealed the new video at Gamescom, the largest gaming conference in Europe. They didn't dive into the details of how Microsoft's cloud tech is powering what it called "100 percent destructible environments," but we've actually seen Microsoft demo the tech for this exact purpose over a year ago, we just didn't know it would end up in Crackdown 3 at the time.

Microsoft showed off the cloud tech for Crackdown 3 at the 2014 Build developer conference.

As you can see in the video above, Microsoft is offloading the incredible number of calculations on the physics, geometry, and rotations of all the objects involved in the collapse of a tall building to the cloud to maintain a playable framerate.

Crackdown 3 will release in 2016.