The post-launch embargoes for Assassin’s Creed: Unity kicked up quite a fuss, with the game suffering from widespread bugs and issues that most definitely had an impact on the reviews and the overall conclusions that were drawn from the game. Needless to say, having a review embargo set after launch felt in some quarters like it was done to deceive consumers, so for The Crew, Ubisoft have felt it necessary to open up about how they’re accommodating reviews. Of course, the only reason why they need to do this is because reviews won’t be possible until after launch.
With such a heavily connected and online game, there are naturally mitigating circumstances which make reviews prior to release very difficult to achieve. Writing on the Ubisoft blog, they explained:
We also know that many of you will be eager to turn to experts for their professional advice. You want to read how the pros feel after their carefully considered road tests of The Crew. While we totally understand (hey, we read reviews, too!), The Crew was built from the beginning to be a living playground full of driving fans, so it’s only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world. And by other, we mean thousands and thousands and thousands of players – something that can’t be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press.
For this very reason, The Crew will be available to media to begin their reviews when the game launches on December 2. There will be absolutely no embargo on any type of coverage once the game is available for sale. While we fully anticipate that you might see some reviews immediately at launch – largely built around the preview sessions we facilitated during the past months or the limited content of the closed and open betas – they won’t be based on optimal conditions or reflect the finished game.
It’s a shame that the nature of The Crew does limit the potential for early reviews, as an important way of informing purchasing decisions, and doubly so that this comes so soon after the release of Unity.
However, there is at least a fully open beta launching today and running until 8AM on Friday (UK time) which, although short and requiring a hefty download, will allow a lot of people to sample the game ahead of launch and make up their own minds. This is similar to Destiny, which also lacked reviews on launch but was preceded by two major testing phases. So If you’re interested in the game, we’d advise that you simply try the open beta – here’s a link for UK PS4 owners – or at least give your trusted critics a day or two in which to patch together some first impressions.