The Crew is an action-driving game developed for next-gen gaming hardware. It takes players on a reckless ride inside a massive, open-world recreation of the United States.
Note: This is a buy-to-play retail game.
Playerbase: Very High
Type: Open World Racing MMO
EXP Rate: Medium
Pros: +Open world exploration. +Social/club features. +Tablet/mobile app features. +Beautiful world and cars. +Car tuning is intuitive and meaningful. +Great solo story experience.
Cons: -Difficult to find equal level players in your region. -Races often decided by cars rather than player skill. -End-game feels repetitive.
The Crew Overview
Never Drive Alone: Seamlessly jump in and out of others games at any time, joining forces to overcome tough challenges.
Driving Adventures: Discover areas across a re-imagined United States without any barriers to restrict the players.
Next-Gen Driving: Earn new vehicles as players progress and customize them according to your style and driving preferences.
Multi-platform options: Use an iOS, Android tablet or web browser to access The Crew companion game, and ticker with car parts and customization or browse player profiles while on-the-go.
The Crew Screenshots
The Crew Featured Video
The Crew PC Launch Review
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
After many delays and open betas the racing fans finally have the long awaited, MMOCaRPG, The Crew. The game has been out for a few weeks now, though I’ve been busy racing from coast to coast for many weeks prior in the beta testing phase. Assuming Ubisoft saved the best for launch, I drove right into the action to check out all the changes and bonus content. In the last beta I had a lot of fun with my friends, racing against each other and touring the world that is made to resemble the United States. But this time, I decided to do things different…
But before I tell you about my experiences this time, let me give the uninitiated a brief introduction to what The Crew actually is. The Crew is a racing game in an open and persistent world. But it’s not just an epic sized sandbox with a buy to play tag on it. You follow the story of a driver named Alex Taylor through a roughly 20 hour campaign designed to introduce you to the various regions of the game, available garages, and a serious adrenaline rush. You, as Alex Taylor, will have to gain a reputation with the 510, a criminal gang that is controlling huge parts of the United States. Thankfully you have friends within the federal government backing your mission like something straight out of a Fast and Furious plotline. Scattered around the world you will find missions and mini games that you can complete for better reputation as well as a variety of car parts to upgrade your rides. In short, you have a racing MMORPG that not only puts past attempts at the genre mix to shame, it rivals single-player focused racing games in its gameplay quality, and my Nvidia powered PC visuals were breathtaking.
The last time I tried this game with my friends, we tried to do all the missions together. Most missions are designed with mechanics allowing you to do them with or competitively against each other, meaning this style of gameplay is ideal for getting maximum enjoyment out of The Crew. However, I wanted to see how the ever half lives to get a better idea of what The Crew offers for my review, and went into the launch as a lone wolf, seeking out strangers to ride with. I quickly discovered that there isn’t much in place to help you find people to team up with. That’s not to say that the skeleton of such function isn’t present. Once you get to a mission, the option appears asking if you want to try it in co-op with others, seeking out players in your region of the same level. Unfortunately this feature doesn’t work as well as I had hoped. I’m not sure why, but most of the time I never found any people to race with, and I didn’t really want to wait longer than five minutes for the system to work its magic in a game all about speed. In the end I found myself riding solo for a full day along the east coast before reaching the milestone letting you join a faction. It’s a nice little touch to try and bring people together, but again, it works better in principle than practice. The launch also brought with it the introduction of a chat function, but I have yet to see it be used.
When you do however get matched up with other players, balance seems to be of secondary concern. Since most of the time you race against each other rather than together against the computer, you will need the fastest car to win. And even though you will still get a nice prize if you do not win the race, it is still a bit unfair that the guy with the fastest car has such a huge advantage. Obviously you will need to account for the fact that each track is different, and other components can play with the outcome, but more often than not both drivers will do decently well, resulting in the fastest car spec dominating. And this is a huge flaw with the current parts system; the parts system is a little funky. When you win races, missions, or mini games you get new parts. These parts immediately replace your old parts without visiting a garage or anything like that, and since in each new area there are a ton of mini games to do for new parts, people focusing on collection will always have an edge above those just trying to race. Thus purely fair races are a rare occasion. Rather disappointing for a racing game, as one car can be outright better than another within the same tier.
Just like in any racing game you can own a lot of different cars, but you need to be careful how you spend your resources to make the most of your second car. The primary concern is a car’s kit. Different kits are used in different races, such as a street kit benefiting you in big cities while a dirt kit covers you for serious off-roading. Dirt kits specialize in steering improvement when faced with sand and mud, whereas the street kit will falter when faced with the same challenges. Sure you can make it work, but after a few attempts you won’t want to willingly face this challenge any longer. While this is a fun system that adds more tactics to your car purchases, it can also punish idiots like me that jump for their favorite vehicle without concern for kit. In my case I went for an Aston Martin as my third vehicle, only after the fact to realize its a full stock car, a kit type I have yet to find more useful than my other kits on a variety of road types. But if I go touring on a mission free joyride, I at least have a beautiful vehicle to cruise in. And its hard to stress just how enjoyable driving aimlessly on long tours can be in The Crew. Since a lot of places are made after landmarks in the United States, some places will feel very similar, turning the game into a virtual vacation for an EU player like me that has yet to see iconic locales like New York and Las Vegas. My site’s editor pointed out that he even recognizes minor bridges in Los Angeles painstakingly placed in their appropriate locations.
Later in the game when you get to level fifty the real grinding begins, you will be able to grind for platinum parts. But other than that there is not a lot of things to do that you haven’t already experienced. That’s not a serious knock on The Crew. Any racing game is bound to get repetitive after a while, but the loss of the progression of leveling makes doing the same thing more boring at end-game. The beautiful scenery and graphics of the game make up for it though, and most of the time I’m having more fun just driving around than doing actual races against other people that have better cars than me and thus have the odds stacked on their side. I want to win races as well, but if I can only win if someone else makes a mistake, then there isn’t really a lot of fun involved.
Conclusion: Great (4/5)
The Crew is a fun game. I wouldn’t say it is the best racing game I have ever touched, but definitely somewhere near the top of my list. The leading factors making it so enjoyable though are the MMO setting and beautiful recreation of so many US locations in one game. As it turned out that MMO rush is not as enjoyable if you’re going into The Crew solo rather than with friends, as complete strangers are hard to find and even harder to find in cars of comparable power to your own. The lack of options and effectiveness of the options present to get solo players into the MMO experience is the main factor holding The Crew back from a perfect score. If you love racing games you will like The Crew, but if you want to experience the full potential of the game, you definitely need a group of people to play with.
The Crew Beta Preview
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
A few weeks ago a select group of people were invited for beta testing of the new upcoming racing MMO, The Crew. In this game you will be encouraged to play together with other people because unlike other racing games, The Crew takes place in an open world representation of the United States. As such, The Crew is pushing beyond the standard lobby based racing title by allowing you to cruise around the largest map ever brought to the genre in a never ending quest to build up your wealth and garage of supped-up vehicles.
Before you get to pick your own ride, you are first put into a few story missions that introduce you to a rather accurate recreation of North America. Before I explain what happens next, I do want to remind everyone that when I played this game, it was still in an early beta state, needing much work to realize the goals of its official release. The storyline is very straightforward and matches the likes of a Need for Speed title. You get caught by the FBI, and then strike a plea deal to work as a spy to exonerate yourself. The Crew isn’t a game you play because of its rich story line that’s for sure, as the player driven story between rival crews is the true story players will be following.
After a couple of missions you are given a choice between a few starter cars. For me these were mostly muscle cars and lacked any real variety. Statistically they had some key differences such as one specializing in top speed, another in acceleration, and a third in handling. Overall early races will be determined by your individual skill and not picking the car that best lines up to a track’s challenges. Though if you truly must min-max cars to match your natural skills, then a garage test drive option exists to try before you buy. I knew I would be moving on to bigger and better vehicles though and just grabbed one on a whim to rush towards the main world. My driving style matches the same one Jeremy Clarkson likes to use, the good old fashioned SPEEEEEEEED.
Cars are fun, in the real world many people can get sucked into tuning their own 4 wheeled vehicle and I can see why. It’s a labor of love that I don’t want to put the physical effort into doing, but in the virtual world I go full throttle to pimp out my ride. After all a race can be lost before it even begins if you don’t put the effort into the RPG elements of The Crew, so don’t slack on upgrades and modifications. The Crew allows you to tune almost every aspect of your car. While the choices initially are few, just about every change will noticeably impact the looks of your vehicle, making your power all the more intimidating to would be opponents. Currently The Crew starts you off with far more cash than you need to buy your first car, letting you get a taste of the garage customization whenever you’re ready to put the time in. As you complete missions and skill challenges, further part options unlock to allow you to tweak the less common pieces like breaking and handling.
We’re halfway through this article, and I have only talked about how awesome it is to tune your car. Time to move onto the gameplay itself. First off I can’t stress enough how much effort was put into recreating signature regions of major cities and signature landscapes around America. Even for someone that hasn’t been to the States before, it is really awesome to find similarities that you have seen before in movies or pictures.
As such I spent most of my first gameplay sightseeing rather than hunting missions and objectives. The missions were fun, but basic. The current beta only had content populated up to level 10, roughly a couple hours’ worth of gameplay for a focused grinder mentality. What is present is though is solid, but the open world aspect of exploring and randomly running into other drivers was a far greater selling point in my eyes. Together with a group of friends we made a Crew, and decided to check out all the different cities and areas around the map. We went to the Big Apple, Miami, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, the west coast and many other areas around the map and never lost our sense of wonder at the scale of each. For example the Grand Canyon wasn’t just a simple canyon themed bumpy off-road track, but rather a monumental landmark that took a couple hours of driving to say we had explored it fully. Granted we were by no means an organized unit and spent most of those hours stopping for screenshots or trying to bump each other off the road. And it never felt boring.
The driving is… special. Hard to describe well in words. The Crew offers different modes of control, some adding more realism or making it feel like a real sports car, and each catering to a different user’s expectations of a racing game. My only concern is if anyone will actually use the more realistic controls since the added difficulty punishes you and makes it less likely to win races, slowing your progression as a result. But for challenges between friends I certainly see each style getting some use.
While doing the missions, you get the choice to race against the computer or try to invite other players in your instance. You see, while playing the game you are put in an instance with people around you. Since the map is insanely big for a racing game, this is made to make the overall experience a lot more fun, but unfortunately this makes doing the missions lack something. Inviting people in your instance is not enough. I prefer to have it search people in a more global way so you have a faster way of finding other, random people to do the mission with. The missions themselves offer a variety of types with some seriously chaotic challenges. In addition to typical racing scenarios, I faced cop chases and even taking out a targeted vehicle. Overall they felt arcady, emphasizing fun gameplay when shared with other players.
If proving you are the best is more in line with your idea of fun gameplay though, ranked PvP race battles exist. These battles are played on racing tracks that resemble areas in the world. Because of this there is a wide variety of maps and race tracks. At this level of the game, having a variety of kits for different terrains will be necessary to stay competitive across a full nation of race track possibilities. A public ladder ranking indicates the best racers on the server, and here’s hoping they do something similar for Crews as a whole.
The Crew gives you the pleasure of being a solid all around racing game. Because the game is an open world game in the style of an MMO, it caters to social gamers as well as your typical racing junkies. If you don’t feel like doing the missions and racing, you can go sightseeing and there is a lot of that. The world feels alive, sadly more so than recent Grand Theft Autos that I have seen. While driving around I have seen the world as a living being, in the countryside I have seen people sitting around in their gardens, relaxing on their beach, or doing something else in their gardens. And the same can be said inside of the cities. The realism offered here blows its competition out of the water, while maintaining beautiful vistas that don’t hinder gameplay with much graphical lag. While the buy to play model makes an open beta unlikely to happen, it’s certainly worth putting the effort to try to get into a closed beta test before launch. The Crew is an absolutely amazing experience for any gamer or car fan.
The Crew Videos
The Crew Coast to Coast E3 2014 Trailer
The Crew Driving Social
The Crew Links
The Crew System Requirements
The Crew Articles
- The Crew: SPEED LIVE UPDATE now available - Posted on February 17, 2015
Today, Ubisoft® announced that The Crew™ Speed Car Pack and Speed Live Update are now available. The Speed Car Pack, the second of four themed Car Packs, includes three new cars and a set of exclusive performance and aesthetic enhancement essentials and accompanies the second live content update for the action-driving MMO.
- The Crew PC Launch Review - Posted on December 22, 2014
The Crew is a fun game. I wouldn’t say it is the best racing game I have ever touched, but definitely somewhere near the top of my list. The leading factors making it so enjoyable though are the MMO setting and beautiful recreation of so many US locations in one game.
- The Crew: Single-player Cinematics Revealed - Posted on December 8, 2014
Puppetworks, a high-end animation studio based in Budapest, working closely with Ubisoft, produced the entire cinematic story arc spanning 13 minutes that make up the single-player campaign in “The Crew,” Ubisoft’s revolutionary action-driving MMO. The 8 cutscenes tell the story of Alex Taylor (voiced by legendary voice actor Troy Baker), who infiltrates other criminal “crews” on his reckless drive across America seeking to avenge his brother’s murder.
- The Crew: Closed Beta Now Available - Posted on November 6, 2014
Today, Ubisoft® revealed Season Pass and live content details for the action-driving MMO, The Crew™. The first of four themed Car Packs, new missions, new stickers and tuning kits, will start rolling out to players from January 2015 with new PvP modes to follow shortly after.
- The Crew: Launching in December - Posted on October 7, 2014
UBISOFT has announced their online multiplayer racing game "The Crew" is currently set to be released this December.