The Crew is a new racing game IP by Ubisoft. The game has a massive map spanning across all of the United States and its all free roam as well. It also has online support much like an MMO, where you will see plenty of other people driving around the game in real time. They recently had a Beta and I was lucky enough to get my hands on it, so sit back and let me walk you through my thoughts of The Crew.
First off let’s talk about gameplay itself. The first thing I noticed is it felt like a mix between arcade racing and a simulator. Going crazy fast is all part of the fun much like a NFS game, but taking turns is more like Forza where you can lose control of your car pretty easily if you are not careful. At first, this threw me off and it was just kind of awkward, as I played more and got use to the controls I most certainly improved and it didn’t bother me. As you drive through this gigantic map you will come across random events. Ones that will put your driving skills to the test. Some will have you go as far as possible within the given time limit but you have to stay on the road. Depending on how far you get will depend on the medal you get, and depending on the medal will depend on what level of car upgrade you get. The map is very large spanning all across America. There are only a few big cities actually on the map such as New York, Detroit, San Diego and a few others. My trip from NY to Detroit took about 15 real time minutes.
One of the new features The Crew has to offer is a car level. I’m not talking like a grade such as E, F, D, C, B, and A like Forza. I mean an actual numbered Level. As you get new parts and upgrade for your car, your car level will go up. This is a way that other drivers can see how much you have improved your car. For example I had a Mustang that was level 75, so this shows other drivers that I have put some work into upgrading my car.
The Crew also has its own unique twist on Customization. So one of the first things you do in the game is picking the car you want to start with. From there you can go and look at just how many parts of your car can be upgraded, and trust me, it’s a lot. The main way you will be getting your upgrades will be from completing races and or random challenges. Depending on the medal you receive from the event will depend on the quality of the upgrade you get. What is nice is once you do complete the event you can just instantly upgrade your car if you choose to. No need to drive or fast travel to the shop to install upgrades, unless you want to. Of course you can change the color of your car and they even have a very wide amount of paint types to choose from! (All of what I have seen was in beta so there may even be more). One thing to note is that different car dealers will have a different selection of cars to choose from. This means if you want to see some different cars you will have to be willing to drive to a new dealer, which may be very far away depending on your location, just to see the selection. I personally enjoy this feature just because it gives me another reason to just drive to these random locations.
One aspect of the game that actually surprised me was the story. There is one. I’m not going to say anything about it because I don’t want to spoil anything, buts let’s just say that I enjoyed what I saw and I cannot wait to continue it. The online seemed to work out pretty well. I was asked by several people to join their crew. I did join one and we did a few races together. It was quite fun to play a race in a co-op type fashion. It seemed that as long as me or the other guy won the race, we both got rewarded which is very nice to see. Visually the game looks good. It’s not on the level of Forza by any means ( again this was a beta so it may change) but all in all it was a good looking game.
I enjoyed my time with The Crew and can’t wait to get my hands back on it when it releases on November 11th of this year!