The Crew is a game that can only be described as ambitious and Ivory Tower remains supportive of the game. The question that hits me as I play it is: “Is The Crew really ambitious or was the game overhyped?” In order to answer that question, we need to look at the different parts of the game. So does the car MMO truly shine or does it fall flat on its face?
The Crew is a racing game with an average revenge story. You play as Alex Taylor who seeks revenge on a corrupt FBI agent and the leader of the 510 (pronounced five-ten) car club after you are blamed for your brother’s murder. It’s not the most exciting of stories, but it works for what it is. Once the story is done (either solo or co-op), players can go back to the story missions and attempt to get a better score. On a side note, Ubisoft seems to be sticking with revenge stories in games outside of Tom Clancy games.
As I said earlier about the game being a car/racing MMO, I meant it. As you are on the map, you will see people that are in your instance. At any given time, there are eight players in the immediate area. As you change from one area to another, the players around you will change. If you are part of a crew, you will be able to see where your fellow crew members are at any given time. Ivory Tower tried to make the game as sociable as they could. I believe that they succeeded in that aspect.
After you hit max level and complete the story, what is there to do? The major option is to continue leveling up your car to the max level of 1299. Players can also take part in PvP and PvE co-op events. With the addition of the Wild Run expansion, players can take part in Summit events that allow you to win money, performance parts, and cars. The Summit events have players driving monster trucks, drag cars, and drift cars. Performing well will place you on a leaderboard which determines the prize that you get at the end of the “season.” There’s no shortage of activities to compete in.
Moving on to one of the two big points of the game: how big is the map? The map is the United States. A condensed version of the US actually, but it’s still the US. To give you a sense of scale, I started at the lowest point in Miami and set a waypoint to the Space Needle in Seattle. The distance said that it was 97 miles away. The trip took me almost an hour and a half to complete. The map is by far the biggest that I have ever seen in a racing game.
The second major point is: how do the cars handle? That’s a tough one to answer. The handling isn’t quite as fine tuned as what is in Forza Horizon 2, but it isn’t bad either. Each car can be changed to a different performance spec that changes how the it handles. The different specs are Street, Performance, Dirt, and Raid. The Street and Performance specs are perfect for racers who like to stick to the asphalt. Dirt and Raid specs are all about off-road racing. The Raid Spec is a better all around off road choice since it performs better in the canyons of the Mountain States. While each spec handles differently, players can get perks in their HQ that allows for even better stats for their vehicles. There is something here for all different types of racers.
Overall, I’m pleased with the current state of The Crew. I believe that Ubisoft and Ivory Tower have created something that is pleasing to both amateur and hardcore racing fans. The game has certainly come a long way from the time that I was in the original closed beta. Ivory Tower has released the Wild Run expansion and made some updates to the game that include changing the graphics. I look forward to seeing if Ivory Tower will continue to update the game by adding in more expansions and more cars. I would recommend picking up the game as I did. $60 for the base game, expansion, and the season pass. If you think that you still be on the fence, there is always a two-hour trial that you can download and your progress even saves to the full game. Give The Crew a try and experience it for yourself if you haven’t already.
The Crew was released on December 2nd, 2014 for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PC.