I don’t think 2014 is going to go down as the finest year for racing games. Sure, we’ve had the sublime Forza Horizon 2 and the delightful Mario Kart 8, but we’ve also had the hobbled DriveClub, a game which was saddled with launch day issues. There’s one other game in the genre on the way, that has plenty of hype and cash behind it: Ubisoft’s The Crew. And according to its developer, it’s a game that won’t be driving into a launch day wall after having one drink too many.
And that’s thanks to a rather lengthy beta period, which lead game designer Serkan Hasan believes has prepared the game for a proper day one launch. “For The Crew, we’ve reaped the benefits of a long term beta program, designed specifically to push our infrastructure as far as possible in real world situations, with thousands of players from all over the world playing the game at the same time,” Hasan told The Metropolist.
The launch of any online game these days has potential issues but I hope that players will be encouraged by our open approach. If you had any doubts that we could pull this off, I hope that the betas proved our credentials and the game’s stability.
Hasan may be right. The Crew worked remarkably well during the beta phase, and if they take that infrastructure and multiply it, launch day will be golden. I played the game during this testing period, and it ran just fine for me, with many an annoying person messaging me to join them constantly and race around Detroit. Damn socialism.
But the game is going to need more than that to succeed. The Crew isn’t a bad game, as I gathered from the beta. It just doesn’t feel all that special, and is arriving far too late this year. The visuals feel sub standard, the RPG mechanic feels weird and the story is ripped straight out of a cheese factory.
Still, if it manages to be working from day one, it’ll be one of the few games that has managed to live up to its own hype this year. And that’s something that I’d like to see happen.
Last Updated: December 1, 2014