Review copy of The Crew provided by Ubisoft.
Illegal racing, drugs, murder, revenge.
Alex Taylor watches as his brother Dayton, leader of the 5-10 motor club, is gunned down. To make matters worse, Alex is framed for the murder. The FBI finds out who actually committed the crime and asks Alex to help catch the killer. The perpetrator turns out to be the new leader of the 5-10s and Alex is tasked with climbing the ranks of the 5-10s to get close to the crime boss for the FBI and to avenge his brother’s death.
The story is the standard Fast and Furious story line. It works and serves as an acceptable plot to drive the gameplay on.
This is the part where I am a little divided on this game. On one hand the cars handle amazingly, the sense of speed is great, the game world is huge and varied, and the gameplay between missions is fun and addictive. While you travel to the next mission, you can take part in these mini events by driving through set markers on the board. These events will range from seeing how far you can jump your car off of a ramp to seeing how fast you can slalom your car through imaginary gates. This is where The Crew shines and makes me long for the days of the Burnout games.
But on the other hand the missions suck, and the car upgrades seem arbitrary. Every mission I have taken part in so far is a must win or a must get there in time condition. If you fail that condition, you must try again and some time missions make no sense in the story. I had one character ask to get them across town. Okay. Sure. I can do that.
The mission starts up and the timer starts. I drive the wheels off the car and crash into everything and barely make the time. All the while, the character is talking to me like we are taking a leisurely drive in the countryside. The win condition wouldn’t have been so bad but the NPCs are way too good. They know the path through the on-coming-traffic. They know how to take the turns the best. Not to mention that my car is way slower than theirs. It makes it tough to continue on and finish the game.
As I have mentioned before, the upgrades to your cars are arbitrary. I win an event or a mission, and I get a car part. The game tells me my car is so many points better. I get that it makes my car better. I know that better brakes will make my car stop better or better tires will make my car corner better. To me the simplification of the upgrade system has gone too far. People who, like me, are into cars like to know which stat of the car is getting better not just that the car is getting better.
It is kind of sad that they have built this amazing game and then gone and ruined the fun by creating this must win condition to all the main events of the game. If that is how the game has to be, then they should have made the AI more human and prone to mistakes.
The presentation of this game is amazing. The graphics look awesome on the PS4. I cannot believe how great the character models look when 95% of the time you don’t see the characters at all.
Where racing games shine is in the car details, the environment details and the sense of speed. The Crew nails it on all these points. The cars look amazing, the world is huge, detailed and diverse, and the sense of speed has a very nice arcade-type feel. It makes you feel like you are driving really fast.
The Bottom Line
The Crew had an amazing game on their hands until they ruined it with the must win condition.