Press weren’t allowed access to Ubisoft’s The Crew until the game was live. It’s been out for over a week now, so people are able to properly assess Ubisoft’s online, cross-country driving game. The Crew was released on December 2 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Here’s what those who’ve played it think of the game.
I don’t know what’s more unfathomable: how all of these shortcomings made it into The Crew, or that they’re piled high atop one of the most ambitious, masterful game worlds I’ve ever had the privilege of exploring. I’ve never seen a game deliver, dead to rights, on something that huge, difficult and elusive, then completely drop the ball on so many other basic fundamentals.
The result may very well be the most frustrating game I’ve ever played — not because of its myriad frustrations, but because of the painstaking artistry buried beneath
There’s no doubt that a huge part of The Crew’s appeal is nostalgia for US road trips, whether previously experienced or just imagined. No game has mined that cultural seam quite so authentically or with such all-encompassing ambition. It’s a game that requires and occasionally enforces patience, but like all great road trips it’s about the journey, not the destination.
If the Xfinity-branded hypercar race a few hours in is anything to go by, The Crew is an overt attempt to capitalize on the popularity of modern car culture, and it would seem entirely cynical if not for a few redeeming design decisions. In the world of modern racing games that’s just not enough to earn a victory lap.
Counterintuitively, for a game whose ostensible allure is online co-op and the ability to explore an open world, the Crew’s story (along with its car parts) might be more of a draw than you think. Despite its cliched story, following the main path does provide some motivation. It features a mix of events that include some scripted chases and moments, and the voice actors give it their best to try and make the game more than a big map. As far as road trips go, The Crew is about as average as they come. There are some fun times, but you may be surprised to discover that America is a pretty empty place.
Such is the slow death of The Crew, a foundation of a serviceable racer, weighted down with the worst tendencies of AAA “added value” game design. There’s a good game buried alive inside it, and when they finally plant the headstone, the cause of death will be chiseled as “trying too hard.”
We’ll have our very own review of The Crewbisoft soon.
Last Updated: December 11, 2014