My initial impressions when picking up The Crew was that of excitement. From the offset, this game seems to scream “The Fast and the Furious” and that pretty much what it delivers. Huge muscle cars, super sleek racers, criminal gangs, bent cops, and a shockingly wooden story line that is so predictable, Ray Charles even saw it coming. However, just like the film, it’s something to enjoy just the once. After the first playthrough, it feels a little empty. However, don’t be totally dissuaded from the game, as Ubisoft and Ivory Towers certainly got something’s right. From the moment you jump into the game you’re instantly thrown in the deep end to a kick-ass sound track and arcade-y ram-raid fun as you try to escape the five-oh. Using the stereotypical race car controls we are all familiar with, you’re seamlessly thrown into the start of the story mode with total ease. I say with total ease but I believe my exact words were “Waahhaahaaaaa!” The basis of the game is a massive expanse of what looks and feels like the USA. Each state that you pass through even has its own individual characteristics that can be closely matched to the real thing. The difference being you can pass from one side to the other in less than 2 hours. You complete tasks set to you through the story mode or complete side missions resulting in varying rewards. The main story objective is you climb the ranks of the 510 gang to become their new V8. I know, award winning creativity eh? But with this being The Crew you can do it all solo or Co-op with your very own Crewmates. The Co-op aspect of the game has varying successes. On most of the missions I tried, the Co-op had absolutely no effect or advantage whatsoever. In fact I often found myself at a disadvantage, as the Crew I was driving with were all considerably better drivers than me. I found that despite the game being pushed as a multiplayer format, I was penalised for driving poorly in a group. I know crazy right?! In all seriousness though, this did have a negative impact on the story mode rewards, which meant I had to complete more side missions to get my car quality level higher which was frustrating to say the least. Talking of quality, as mentioned before this is an old school arcade game with ramped up graphics. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty more titles on the market that put these graphics to shame, but let’s face facts. Do you really need to see the reflection of an albatross’s turd in your rear view mirror? No. No you don’t. Then again, this is supposed to be on a next gen console although the game looks great when it’s all blurry and passing you at speed. The moment you slow things down and look hard at the surroundings is when you realise it leaves a lot to be desired visually.
Pros • Great sound track containing some big names • Good for relaxed multiplayer. Not to be taken too seriously. • Not overly complicated and certainly doesn’t punish you for being a crap driver. Cons • Repetitive mission structure, a lot of which feel identical. • Below par graphics, even for an arcade style game. • Terribly balanced AI which varies from impossible to laughable.
I am really enjoying this game but I can see it getting stale fairly quickly. There is a lot to do, a lot to see, and even more to smash into at 100mph. However, there is a repetitive feel to the game I can’t seem to shake off. I can’t help get the feeling that this game could have been far more than what it was.