Ubisoft’s The Crew aims to revolutionise action driving games. Aimed at team play as much as solo play you are encouraged to team up and conquer the massive playground provided to you.
You are now part of a street gang called 510’s and must prove yourself in the underground racing scene and rise up the ranks. Taking on all types of challenge from straight up racing to raid’s, hits and more.
Set in the USA covering cities from Miami, LA, Detroit to New York The Crew is huge.
Every racing game is determined by the handling of the cars, if its too real, then it can be too hard, if it has no feeling then you can’t control them well unfortunately The Crew nearer the latter. Having driven a large number of the cars they didn’t have enough variation in the handling, it felt like straightening the car up after a turn or slide that the back end just turned to jelly, flicking from side to side the car just had no feeling.
Initially I thought this might just have been tricky cars and not being used to the style that The Crew was offering, but as the hours passed me by my initial fears were realised…… Handling sucks.
Originally dubbed as made for Next Generation console only only to be backtracked and offered to Xbox 360 owners as well, its the 360 owners who will feel like the game was made for them not the Xbox One owners. Cars have almost a cartoon finish to them, details are lacking on other vehicles (but there are hundreds of them on the road) the only part I was impressed with but already getting accustomed to was the cut-scenes.
In vehicle view was even more disappointing that out of car, I could barely make out the dashboard in the cars and there were just no details that other racing titles offer.
Backgrounds look nice but then when you’re whizzing past them at 100mph+ its hard to notice issues, slowing down actually surprised me that there were good levels of detail on surroundings and buildings.
Lighting was really good though, switching from day to night as the game went on I found myself staring at the horizon a few times (when I want in the middle of a city)
But it just lacked that something special that we are now looking for games in the next generation. For me it was disappointing to find out the game was only 16bg. Mapping the USA is a huge task and when you hear that coupled with 13 car manufacturers you would expect a 40gb plus game. Perhaps we have already come to expect too much?
I’m a headset gamer and love my TB headphones and there is no doubt that with these on and the volume levels adjusted the way I like it, Engine up, music down that The Crew is thumping! In game soundtracks, radio stations or just pure engine you will love the variety.
Engine noise is amazing every rev and screech of the tyres is captured.
Nice little touches when you turn to playing like a hooligan and running people over are the sarky comments made by the innocent pedestrians.
This is the true element that Ubisoft wanted to hit with the Crew. Targeted as revolutionary action driving there can be no doubt that they have added something new to the racing genre.
No multiplayer just an always online game, more varied driving experiences from Street, Dirt, Raid, Performance and circuit covering so many game modes and mini racing experiences such as slalom, jumps, scramble, climb to name but a few.
The crew offers so much gameplay it is almost overwhelming, the great part is in the mini map you can filter different races and choose your path. Go straight for the career mode or tag on all those mini races and if thats not enough to keep you busy jump in some online racing PVP.
In addition to this there are collectables that will help you build a secret car, police alert levers if you have been driving like a hooligan and believe me if you’re in the middle of a mini game and the police alert gets activated you’ll do well to still complete the mini game, the choice is yours!
All that and still more! Tuning cars and making them look mean can cost you a bundle so make sure your getting gold in the races to pay for your upgrades, not only do you need to worry about performance parts for your ride but also build styles. I mentioned them earlier: Street, Dirt, Raid, Performance and circuit you decide what’s needed to enhance your ride but don’t waste the cash, if you want more rides you’ll need to green to buy them.
And if that wasn’t enough there are perk points to help you as the game goes on, ranging from money off parts to a higher % chance of getting perk points you had better check back regularly to activate them as the money saving and potential winnings could just make the difference.
Dubbed as never having to drive alone also sounds great but when you select co-op and no one joins guess what YOU’RE ALONE! Frustrating really as when you’re in a crew you get more points and £
The huge maps would suggest long loading times but then for only 16GB total in 12 cities you do the math as to how big each is, and the nice touch of having next to no loading screens in the game really does keep the action coming all the time.
Fast ravel allows instant access to anywhere you have already been at the simple click of a button, so if you’re just loving the driving experience or needing another adrenaline filled race your needs are catered for.
And if you like driving and setting your waypoints the innovative guidance follows a abov ethe head blue directional line, At first I really liked this, it doesnt detract form the road, allows more cars on the road as the line doesnt need to be seen but I found myself not seeing teh turn easy enough from 1 junction to the next.
You know there is alot to do when one of the achievements is earn a gold medal on 500 Skills. The crew offers alot but for me it just didn’t seem to gel together, perhaps its just too much all at once or they didn’t work well together but one things for sure, if you want to cover the whole map it will keep you busy for weeks.
Aimed at changing the face of driving games for the next generation, well don’t backtrack and make it for the 360 then (sorry 360 fans) defining a new type of arcade racing, success but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you did it well or should have done it.
I’ll happily play the crew for many more hours but more for the exploration that completion of the game it just didn’t reel me in and capture the essence of driving that varied arcade racers like Need for Speed and most recently Forza Horizon 2 achieved.