E3 2014 – The Crew hands-on preview

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The crew

Ubisoft is looking to shake up the racing genre with their impressive addition – The Crew. It’s all vroom vroom and loads of fun. I got some hands on time with the game, and this could just be the racing game for me.

The Crew takes a more RPG approach to racing. Sure, the cars are relatively realistic, but it’s more about the fun – the tracks, the adventure, and challenging your friends.

First of all, there’s the environment. The developers made a huge effort to replicate the entire US of A. Not just the cities, not just random stretches of highway, but to give players the opportunity to race across the country, go off-roading and experience a variety of experiences.

Using that, you can team up with your crew and go racing – not just on a specific track, but using all kinds of weird and wonderful combination. How about racing sports cars from New York to LA? Or perhaps you want to grab some dirty off-road vehicles and head into the bayou? Or maybe you can just jump into some drag racers and speed down Route 66. Whatever you want to do, The Crew has unique experiences on offer.

Speaking to the creative director, Julian Gerighty, he explained that he loves playing with his friends, but is also a father. As a result, his prime gaming time is 6:30 in the morning. Of course, none of his friends are awake then, or willing to play games. As such, they built-in a challenge system into The Crew – do your race and then challenge a friend. Your race, including your car, route and times will then be saved as a ghost. When your friend is ready, they can take on the challenge and race you – results will be delivered to both of you once completed. I think this is a fantastic option – people aren’t always able to coordinate schedules and this means that you can still race against your friends.

The racing itself is lots of fun. The tracks take you on unexpected off-road journeys, and there are a variety of missions. The first part of the demo was actually a take down race – my team had to gun it to catch up to an enemy vehicle, and then we had to force it off the road or ram into it so that it took damage and eventually we won. It was an odd race, but a quite cool with the team.

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Next up was a more standard race, but still team-based. Our crew of four had to race against another crew of four. I apologized in advance because I am such a horrible driver in games, but it was still nice to explore the tracks and go as fast as I could.

Beyond racing, you can also fully customize and level up your vehicles, adding performance enhancements as well as visual customizations. I had a fantastic time changing my rims and paint job – it felt like an old school episode of pimp my ride.

Despite the fact that I’m not normally a racing kinda girl, I’ve got to say that Ubisoft has made a very fun entry into the racing genre. If you are keen for a game that’s all about riding around with your friends, you really can’t beat The Crew.

Last Updated: June 19, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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