WeView: The Crew

Do you want to be in my crew?

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.

9 Comments

  1. To be complete honest I’m not a huge racing gamer and very must like to aviod these games (mainly because I am terrible at them). But with the launch trailor and the spectaular visuals in it I decided to give it a bash.
    Personally I very much enjoyed the overall gameplay even though the story was abit predictable, but to be honest who buys racing games for an intense and exciting story.
    The glory points in this title for me were the spectaular detail to the iconic landscapes, which made good veiwing during the very long faction races. The stocky feel to the driving made it frustrating at first but you slowly get the hang of it, well atleast I took a while.
    I would say to those looking to play this game in the future to PLUS IT as its fun and enjoyable but not without its flaws and being a MMO you are unable to play it if having online difficulties. Which is something I would never be happy paying for.

  2. Must admit I only played the beta, not the full game but that gave me enough of an impression of the game to cancel the preorder I had. By the time the beta ended I knew there wasn’t much new in the world to see and it would be a case of grinding the same events time and time again to progress a horribly clichéd story (up to that point at any rate). I’d had enough of the same grinding and limited events with NFS Rivals so wasn’t up for a repeat.

    I’m fairly sure if you got a group of friends playing it together it could be a riot, just as I’m having with friends in DriveClub; which also does the whole social racing aspect infinitely better. One of those friends also has both titles and only ever plays DC so that should tell you something…

    As for a verdict, I guess avoid it. It’s an ambitious title with impressive world scope let down by a poor story, boring repetative missions, dubious handling and ultimately just not that fun to play IMHO.

    • I’m in the same boat, I played the beta and wasn’t impressed. Within an hour or two it was patently obvious that this was a sprawling map littered with fairly generic tests/races which were tiered so as to constrain traversing across the map without first levelling up equipment.
      I suppose what I was most unimpressed with was the graphics. It just looked so mediocre for new/current gen PS4. There were, or seemingly so, no fancy visual filters, the effects felt like they were dialled right down and as for the pedestrians, wow, just, wow. They appeared to be character models from Assassins Creed 2.
      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not solely focussed on graphical quality, gameplay and handling should be paramount… And that’s where I felt this game really failed. The handling of the car felt so artificially hampered for the first hour or so that when it finally became drivable the scripted hobbling of driving controls was far too obvious and the thin veneer of believable driving was worn away.

      Thanks to the beta/demo I was also able to cancel my pre-order and save some pennies. After the poor ‘The Crew’, the numerous bugs in the latest ‘Assassins Creed’ and the graphical downgrade applied to ‘Watchdogs’ I am giving anything by Ubisoft a very wide berth. Oh dear Lord! I’ve just realized that Tom Clancy’s The Division is being published by Ubisoft – CANCEL PREORDER! Must wait for reviews which will no doubt be embargoed until after release.

  3. Bought the game on launch as I was in the mood for a racing game and the trailer blew me away when I saw the racing all the way to the end trailer showing the whole map of hundreds of activities. It was an instant buy (didn’t pre-order due to folks saying it was terrible when they played the Beta) That didn’t put me off and bought it. I fell in love with this game from my first car and had some story mode races. I was hooked! I wish I knew how many hours I put into The Crew but the statistics were very inaccurate and been like that for 2 months when I got the Platinum. I decided to trade it in as soon as possible as you cannot play the game offline not even free roaming with was a huge downside since you have to be online all the time! I feared the servers will close in years time which I do not like at all.
    I loved the races from street races to Takedown and playing Co op is brilliant fun. The story was very predictable like Cambo said but it can be ignored and just drive! The map is huge and has a lot of replayability with so many side missions and skill missions to test yourself and to upgrade the vehicle. It did start poor with terrible handling but after a few races and you can upgrade the vehicle and the perks and the handling becomes better. The online races was the most fun I had in all different states and probably spent more hours into it than skills and story missions. I loved the vehicle customizations and got every type of car (street, dirt, performance, raid and circuit with Platinum parts installed)
    It is a great racing game with so many missions on solo or Co op aswell as Factions and online races.
    Only downside is that you have to be online. You cannot play if there is a maintenance from Sony or Ubisoft. There will be times you could face an odd disconnects from either in free roam or during a race which can be a worrying as some races are 4hrs and 2hrs (Faction Missions) I believe that is a Health Hazard, 4hrs is just too long!
    I’d say BUY IT! If you love arcade racing games and customizations aswell as enjoying online races this is the game for you.
    For trophy hunters who wish to Platinum this game requires a lot of dedication and hours of gameplay to build up your skill and to get The Breadwinner Trophy which I believe should have been a Silver, maybe Gold Trophy and not Bronze!

  4. Unfortunately, as massive as the scope is & as fun as the game actually is to play, it has to be a solid Avoid it.

    Why? It seems that they decided to have their server as a single PS3 (at least that is what I assume!) & as a result, crewing up is often much more difficult than it needs to be/should be, requiring a variety of hosts before it actually works. I also managed to get a corrupted save through no fault of my own, that I had to get in touch with Ubi to fix (as all save profiles are stored on their server). R1MJAW is currently having issues where he can race, but as soon as he finishes/places he gets kicked back to the main menu, which then requires a full reboot as attempting to get back into the game results in a perma-loading screen.

    In Ubi’s defence of my issue, they were pretty quick to fix it, but I had literally no communication from them other than they had closed my call due to ‘inactivity’. Turns out that they had fixed the problem, but some notification to say “Hey, we fixed your problem. Aren’t we great?” would have been advisable instead of making me think that they had closed my ticket without even looking at the issue.

    It’s a shame as when the game works it’s great & it’s even better with friends, but as we have only had a couple of successful sessions where no-one has had any issues, it does unfortunately have to be an Avoid it.

  5. When i saw the original announcement trailer i thought this was going to be THE racing game to be excited about – but the more i saw of actual gameplay the less enthused i became. I downloaded the beta but it wouldn’t connect to Ubi’s server – no huge surprise there from Ubi as i had to sign out of PSN in order to play Far Cry 3 offline sp campaign or the game would crash every time i went to the crafting menu – and now i find with Far Cry 4 the game won’t even load if i’m signed into PSN.
    i’m on Nat 1, which i know isn’t ideal for online gaming but i rarely play online and anyway it doesn’t cause any of my other games to crash.
    It’s an always-online game by Ubisoft – Avoid It seems to be the only logical conclusion for me.

  6. If you can’t play the game offline during a lull then it’s broken…Avoid it!!

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