Ubisoft always like to break barriers and they have definitely succeeded in doing that with The Crew.
Developer: Ivory Tower, Ubisoft Reflections
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Price: From $59.99 (Amazon US) to $79.95 (Uplay AUS)
Most of the time you don’t want to play a racing for the story and it is no different this time but Ubisoft have still created a much more ambitious story which unfortunately gets in the way of the games open world experience. It seems like Ubisoft decided to follow Fast and Furious or the more recent Need For Speed route and have tried to create a story that revolves around cars and their drivers.
You play as Alex a man framed for his brothers murder and must prove his innocence, to complete this task you must climb the ranks of a corrupted street racers to gain enough evidence to arrest the corrupt police who run it. The story is unfortunately a cliche revenge story which was not needed in the game and because of this style of story it is just an unfortunate distraction in what is otherwise a great game.
But if you don’t want to spend the majority of your time playing the The Crew’s campaign there is a solution, this solution is to join a faction, this will not skip the campaign but it will speed up player progression making missions easier which will cut the length of the campaign vastly. Once again, the game follows the guidelines that are usually used in racing games which means that the majority of the missions are either: checkpoint races, take-down missions, and regular races against NPCs.
Since the game contains a total of 65 missions they will tend to drag on after the first few hours. Despite the fact the game is constantly online the campaign takes away nearly all of that online elements, and this is when you will begin to notice that the Crew isn’t that unique.
This especially affects the cars in the game because the game has taken many traits from Role Playing Games, for example making you level up. This makes racing both AI and other players incredibly boring and hard because your car wont be up to the task.
However once you complete the campaign you will be free to speed across the open world of America with no loading screens to interrupt. The game also has a very unique mechanic which will sometimes cause a civilian to call the police if you are speeding or driving recklessly in a largely populated area.
Since you are tasked with climbing the ranks of an illegal mafia corporation throughout the game the police will obviously get involved, and this is when the issues with the game really start to break through. First of all the police have some sort of catch up mechanic allowing them to constantly keep up with your car even when you use a boost.
So the only way to get away quickly is to take them down and this is a hard thing to do alone, so this is where coop comes in most handy. If for example you are trapped in a vicious battle against the police you can call upon your friend who will not have any notoriety which will allow them to get the police of your tail with ease.
Since The Crew is technically an MMO there are various different challenges placed around the map that will range from simple drag races to hunting down high value targets.
The player will have to complete these missions if they want to advance their car and beat any opposition, and since the game is an MMO it requires an online connection and this has been causing various issue from sudden pauses to being completely kicked from the game.
The Crew has a huge array of ideas that have been compressed into the games huge map which on paper is an amazing idea but once you enter the game you are bombarded by linear missions and a disruptive storyline. You will hardly be able to experience all of the games glory and by that time it is unlikely be able to appreciate it