After spending a week in revolutionary France, it’s time to change gears and pull on your driving gloves as we explore The Crew for this week’s WeView. While The Crew’s multiplayer focus does share a few similarities to our last racer, Driveclub, its open world and street racing tendencies do suggest it’s a very different beast.
That open world is absolutely massive, impressing Dan Jones with its scale in our review of the game. It wasn’t just the scale of the game that impressed Dan, it was also that the world was actually populated with things to do throughout, rather than the “barren and empty” map that he complains other open world games feature. Instead you “can’t drive for more than 30 seconds without a mission or skill popping up on the road ahead of you”, which is a great way to encourage people to explore everything the game has to offer.
The story, however, didn’t draw such praise, with Dan complaining that it’s “just too cliché”. Based on his summary of the story I have to agree, it sounds like the plot to a bad knock off of the Fast and Furious series, albeit one set over the entire United States.
The game’s online didn’t fair much better, which is a reasonably large flaw given a lot of the game seemed to hang around the online pre-release. While the game does feature eight players inhabiting the same world, Dan pointed out that that’s simply not enough racers “when you take its scale into consideration”. He also felt it simply doesn’t do “enough to get you actually playing online”, with invites to co-op events going unanswered, largely because you can only invite the players in your world. While forming a crew does seem to mitigate some of these issues, it still doesn’t sound ideal.
Fortunately, Dan was more impressed by the game’s visual presentation. While there “may be a few jagged edges here and there”, he feels that when you take the game’s scale into account “you can only be impressed”. He also highlighted the game’s day and night cycle, in particular the sunrises and sunsets. These are particularly impressive to watch, with the “glisten of the setting sun off the road as you meander through the Grand Canyon” having certainly been one of his highlights of the game.
Dan also praised the game’s RPG elements, highlighting the way performance in challenges feeds directly back into improvements you can make to your car. He wasn’t so pleased with the game’s handling though, calling the game’s first hour “a painful experience” and complaining that steering feels “unresponsive and you’ll find you have no grip whatsoever in a corner”. He does say that things get easier once you’re used to the way cars handle, although the off-road sections still caused him trouble.
Overall, Dan felt the game’s negatives weighed it down a little, scoring the game at 6/10 and having this to say in conclusion:
I really want to love The Crew. The in game world is absolutely huge and it’s filled with a great deal of content – it looks brilliant at times too. Although the handling takes some time getting used to it does feel natural as the game begins to open up. Despite that, the driver AI can be infuriating at times, as with the traffic placement which I refuse to believe is a coincidence. The online doesn’t feel well integrated either and the story is uninspiring. If you know that you have friends playing The Crew it could turn out to be a great arcade racer, but if you’re playing solo for the majority of it, it will no doubt start to feel lifeless and lacking a bit of soul.
With Dan’s thoughts on the game nicely summarised, it’s time to ask you what you thought of The Crew. Do you agree with Dan, or did you like the game more than he did? Would you like to praise it or curse it? Whatever your thoughts on the game are you can share them by dropping a comment below, remembering to include a rating on the Buy It, Sale It, Plus It, Avoid It scale. On Monday we’ll collect all the ratings in our WeView Verdict, as well as highlighting a few of your comments.