Review of The Crew
It starts with your first moment grabbing the wheel of your first car. It doesn’t matter what make or model, it is your machine and for some, it is all about the speed. I have been a racing enthusiast for very long time, but not as knowledgeable as your admin Erika “Gauge” Pascal who gave me more insight of the racing scene and car parts. This is the racing game that has been in works for a long time, but at first, there were some concerns since Ubisoft never touched a racing game before. Let’s see how it holds up.
There is a Story
The story revolves around two brothers and the racing gang called the 5-10’s. They are a serious team that spans all over America, but with some tension among the leaders known as the V8’s. Here we have Alex who is the premiere driver who is trying to get his ink to join his brother, but things take a deadly turn. During a meet, Alex’s brother is shot and his murder is pinned on Alex, but as all things go the whole thing was dirty from the jump. Then walks into any situation a deal from an FBI agent to take down both Alex brother’s killer and the FBI agent that framed him. At the beginning, this story is very cliche and honestly I felt that a nameless/faceless character would have been better. It leaves a mixed signal because the character Alex is supposed to be on a serious revenge kick, but is pretty well adjusted to the situation. It seems that he is more concerned about his ink and losing sight in finding his brother’s killer. I would assume one would say to hell with the 5-10’s and just go on a racing spree taking down all the adversaries until you meet the guy in a final death race. However, I will let it slide since it is their first game.
Pack for the Road
The world of The Crew is open but limited to the United States which is not bad because the US is pretty done big with a lot of terrains to cover from all climates. The idea of “Drive anywhere” mechanic was on point, but there are some limits to re-enforced fences so you won’t race through homes. Now be prepared for long rides to areas from 15 to 45-minute rides, but lucky enough there are side missions to keep you entertained while on the long drive. There will be many challenges for you to tackle that will also help with the upgrades on your cars. These side missions can help you train for future story mode missions in dealing with stunt jumps, following a racing line, smashing obstacles, and many others. You receive upgrades as you progress through each mission and side mission, but if you are not at the level of said part it will just be sent to your garage. Or if you have a duplicate part it will be converted.
All about the cars
Variety is key to keeping any car enthusiast happy, but in my opinion having a racing game with a vast amount of cars is overwhelming. There is a small variety of cars and trucks for your all purpose needs, but keep in mind that the customization is where you take full advantage. I chose the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT, it is the only muscle car upgrade that I enjoyed the millennium style. Once you have picked your first ride to get ready for the progressing and each area will have different race style for your car to be modded. You will endure Street, Dirt, Perf, circuit and my personal favorite Raid. You will have to upgrade each class individually to progress throughout the game and certain races will be tough to achieve said goal if you do not meet the right level. However it is not difficult, but you will have to put all of your skill into finding the best tactic to beat that level.
You are not alone
Literally you are not alone because The Crew is a full online experience, however, there are situations where you will be dropped into an empty server or offline. This at times happened when I was already in a full area full of users, but then after a race I came back to an empty world. I had an incident where a friend of mine no matter what would just keep getting dropped into an empty world for a whole solid week and if after he fixed the firewalls, as well as opened ports it still had the same result. There are only a few that I have heard, but so far I am not getting that glitch much, but I am hoping Ubisoft has a patch in the works and by hoping I mean make it happen. In that with the world full of rivals you can also have crew members that are either permanent or temporary, which was confusing at first. This was my own assumption in how the crew system was going to work as you add people to your team, it becomes more of a team building scenario. I did notice that there are crew bucks accumulated which can be used to obtain parts or new vehicles, however, it will take a lot to acquire some of the cars.
As of right now, the online experience is enjoyable and I have helped out a few random people evade cops because that’s what I thought was the purpose of the interaction. I get notifications at times when someone is most wanted or get pinged to help out during the chat. I find that to be very satisfying, but more people need to speak out. There could be an even greater experience if gamers were not mic shy.
Ubisoft you have done a great job at a great racing game, the cars all feel different, you didn’t overpower us with a vast amount, but enough to stay interested. The United States is not totally accurate, especially when I visited my hometown of New York City, but I understand that you can’t be 100% on the environments. You kept your word about driving anywhere and over almost everything which gave the gameplay a fresh feel without restrictions or penalties during races. I will admit I did cut corners which I would have faced consequences if this was a simulator, however, that strategy to go through forest or jump corners to reach checkpoints helped me out in hard difficulty races. In that, The Crew gets a 4.5 out 5. You did a great job as a racer, but a better story and a customized character feature would have been best.
I hope you enjoyed this review and please check out more of The Crew on our Streams on Twitch.tv either through Seph_Dean or BeastGamerKuma itself. In that, I have to hit up Los Angeles for my Circuit tuner class. Stay frosty gamers!