Crackdown 3 is pretty close to launch on Xbox One and PC (Xbox Play Anywhere title) and we thought this would be the perfect time to interview Jeff Bartrom (aka DocCupCake on Social media) who is a playable Crackdown 3 agent. How cool is that? The answer is pretty cool if you ask me.
Featured image by NorthernZoot.
Jeff Bartrom (@DocCupCake84) is a retired Fleet Marine Force Corpsman who served most of his time in the Navy with the marines, providing medical support on the battlefield and in hospitals. He is currently the Development Director of Gaming for 8BitSalute which helps active duty military and veterans through OSD, a Non-Profit veteran organization.
TLG: Hi Doc, first things first, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, we really appreciate it. Now, with your permission Agent, let’s get started!
Please, give us some background on how you ended up being a Crackdown 3 playable character. Also, what was the first thing that crossed your mind when you got the offer and what was the experience like?
JB: Almost 3 years ago, one of the members of the Crackdown development team sadly passed away unexpectedly. They did a fundraising campaign to help raise money for his wife and children. Well, one item up for bids was to become a character in the game. As many people know I have devoted my life to helping others and causes. With it being Crackdown I was ecstatic at the chance to help. I bid what I had in my savings at the time and I won! I only thought it was just going to be an NPC named person. But then time past and I got an email asking for pictures and headshots etc. It was surreal, I had no clue what was going to happen until I saw the very first build at Xbox Fanfest in 2017 when it was revealed I was a main playable character opposite of Terry Crews.
When You go to play @crackdown 3 this Friday- please take a moment and check out Agent Forgey.
He is actually Mike Forgey who was on the team-sadly passed away March 2016 from cancer.
Very touching gesture 💚 pic.twitter.com/8zCF4V9bXe
— Doc 🔜 #E3expo (@D0cCupCake) February 14, 2019
TLG: Are you also voicing your own character? If so, how was the voice recording process?
JB: I did get to voice my agent! This was an amazing experience which opened my eyes to the hard work that actors in Hollywood go through. I arrived early in the morning to the studio and we recorded for almost 8 hrs. I never strained my vocal chords so much in my life lol. Thank heavens for the tea it’s a life saver to continue to act! But I will say that The Director was amazing at being able to coach me to get the right sounds for every movement as well as being able to bring out my inner agent. Once I stopped thinking, it really started to flow! I was sweating as I started acting, doing the movements, throwing the objects, jumping ledges and taking damage. This experience by far was one of the coolest things I have done in my life. I want to ensure people know in full transparency by law they had to pay me per the Harley Taft law, but we in turn donated the money to Xbox Extra Life campaign.
I can now publicly say I got to voice act "Agent Bartrom" in @crackdown 3!
Thank you to the whole team for making this childhood dream come true! Such an awesome experience to be in a game with @terrycrews !
— Doc 🔜 #E3expo (@D0cCupCake) February 14, 2019
TLG: Were you a fan of the previous Crackdown games? Any remarkable memories you would like to share?
JB: I have always been a fan of the Crackdown series as they reminded me of my childhood dreams of being a superhero and helping people while taking out the evil in the world. The art has always appealed to me in the sense it was like living in a comic book world. My fondest memory has to be getting those orbs… Trying to get to the highest point on the Agency tower… so many hours poured into collecting every orb!
TLG: Is there any other game you would like to collaborate with? As a playable character or in any other way?
JB: If there was one other game I could collaborate with it would have to be the Battlefield series because of their medic class! I love playing that role on the battlefield in real life as well as in the digital world. It’s in my nature to help others and think it would be cool to be in that role!
TLG: How much have you played Crackdown 3 so far? What’s the game’s selling point in your opinion? If you could only choose one… would you prefer the single player campaign or the multiplayer?
JB: To be honest I played maybe 5 mins at Xbox Fanfest and 2 hrs of the Wrecking Stress test. The reason being I wanted to let it be a huge surprise when It launched! I wanted to share in the excitement with the community as it unfolded. I wanted my reactions not to be nullified by having already watched or played a lot of it.
— Doc 🔜 #E3expo (@D0cCupCake) February 12, 2019
In my honest opinion, the selling point is Fun, when you get Crackdown you know it’s over the top, crazy antics, chaotic bosses and gunfights.
If I could only choose one mode to play, this is tough because the PVP brings a new fresh mode that is epic. But alas I would have to go with the Campaign as I love the worlds that are created in Crackdown and I get to relive that epic dream of being a superhero.
TLG: What’s your personal opinion on the several delays Crackdown 3 has suffered? Do you think that could hurt the game?
JB: Opinions on the delays are: games need as much time as the creators feel they need. It makes the anticipation that much more exciting! I don’t feel it has hurt the game, as the fans will get to play and enjoy! Plus, it’s coming to Xbox Game Pass where it’s going to be accessible to so many people, so I think it will do great!
TLG: Here’s a quick round of your personal gaming bio questions;
-When did you start playing games?
I started playing when I was 5-6 years old on Atari and Nintendo.
-What is your preferred platform to play games nowadays and why?
My preferred platform is Xbox and has been since the Original Xbox system came out, but I love games and play on every system… there’s just too many amazing games out there not to!
– What’s your favorite game of all time?
My favorite game of all time, this is a difficult question as there are so many. But I will say Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past is my all time favorite due to the sheer amount of time I played that game every night growing up in my 13-inch television in my room and would always get in trouble for staying up playing it.
-What’s the 2019 game you are most excited to play? -Besides from Crackdown 3, of course 😉
In 2019 my most anticipated game is the Division 2! I have been excited for a second one since playing the first one!
-Got any favorite developer and/or publisher?
My favorite Developers are Red Storm and Ubisoft. The games they make for the Tom Clancy world just are phenomenal. Being a veteran, these speak to my core as the mechanics and gameplay allow me to be tactical!
TLG: Does your character have any standout feature in order to choose him instead of other agents? Is it available right from the start, or is it an unlockable?
JB: To be honest I have no clue on this as I wasn’t given any info about my character and its abilities. I believe it’s the same as everyone else and will progress in the same manner. If I could suggest they add health regen +100 that would be epic lol.
TLG: We are guessing on your first run once the game launches you’ll be using yourself to patrol the streets and combat crime, can you confirm that? Or will you be playing with a different character?
JB: Yes you are correct, I will be playing as my agent as it’s just too meta. But my second playthrough will be with Terry Crews!
TLG: For people who don’t know about the Crackdown franchise, what makes the third one stand out from the crowd?
JB: I can only give what I, a gamer, have seen and that would be its unique innovation of the destruction and wrecking zone!
TLG: Crackdown 3 will be available day one on Microsoft’s subscription service Game Pass. What’s your opinion on including these AAA titles on day one? Do you think that could benefit the IP in some way?
JB: I think it always will benefit as it allows consumers who normally don’t have the $60 dollars, this allows the gaming medium to reach more consumers and gamers! How can that be a bad thing? I think it’s an amazing win for the whole gaming community!
TLG: You know it’s the era of battle royale modes in nearly every game, do you think there are any future plans for a Crackdown Battle Royale mode? Would you like to see it happen?
JB: Battle Royale is tricky for me, as many in the community know from my previous statements on IGN that I love this genre and think it’s a refreshing take on multiplayer experience. It’s a social interaction like none other. I honestly don’t feel like a BR mode for Crackdown is right, as the world and the setting don’t align in my opinion. The lore and cannon doesn’t seem to align with a BR version or mode.
TLG: Where can you see the franchise going after this entry?
JB: I can’t honestly know where it goes from here as I haven’t completed the game or seen the storyline. But The agency is always in need of Agents, so criminals will sprout up eventually and the Agency will be there to defeat them.
TLG: Have you been involved in any other aspect of development aside from lending your voice and face to the project?
JB: I haven’t been involved in any other aspect besides voice and face.
TLG: Did you provide any feedback to the developers about gameplay or any other element of the game? Any changes you suggested?
TLG: Would you like to share with us your Crackdown 3 Metacritic prediction?
JB: Metacritic is funny to me as it is a collective group number averaged. I respect the gaming industry and love to see other opinions on what they enjoyed and what they didn’t. But for sake of argument, let’s go with 90. I’m optimistic and heck, with Terry Crews at the helm how could we go wrong!