The Crew Review for PC

The Crew Review for PC

I Don’t Have Friends…

Welcome to our review of The Crew , a primarily multiplayer online racing game. Bear in mind we have only had limited time with the game, and the game also requires a lot of other players to really get the full experience… and I have no friends. So these impressions are limited in scope, as the game will likely evolve as more and more people join and populate the servers. But this is what we think of The Crew so far…. It makes you feel like you don’t have friends. Oh, and it’s a pretty fun racing game to boot.

The Crew is basically a driving movie simulator. Your goal is to find a group of top notch drivers in order to take on action packed missions in locales all across the U.S. It isn’t a straight racing game, although you’ll have plenty of racing objectives, usually hovering around beating a certain racer or time on a certain stretch of road. Like most “racing” games these days, the game is littered with a lot of other objectives that would please fans of high octane driving movies, such as running from the cops, chasing down rival drivers, and so forth. There’s practically everything except for big heist chases, and as I said before I haven’t seen the whole game yet, so maybe I will see them too eventually.

The U.S. is your driving ground, though it is considerably scaled down from the actual size of the country. Though, the ability to basically race in whatever locale you want is pretty cool. The game also has a fast travel system that allows you to get to exactly where you need to be without taking the time to drive through a field of daisies or whatever other motorized fantasy you have when it comes to cross country road trips. Being able to just drive around where you like is cool but, unfortunately, at the beginning of the game there isn’t a whole lot to do in places other than your starting location. This is all because of the game’s mission based structure.

The Crew Screenshot

As you complete missions in one location, missions in new locations open up. You can get a feel of the map just by driving around, but to actually progress you’ll have to take on a challenge and complete it to the best of your ability.

On the whole this system works well. Simply find a mission, complete it, lather rinse repeat to burn rubber across the U.S. However, there are points when the mission grind does get to be a bit much. Certain missions take a very long time to complete, sometimes coming close to an hour or more, and if you end up failing, that can be exceptionally frustrating. It also feels as if there are just a bit too many missions required to unlock activities in new locations, though maybe I have exceptionally little patience for unlocking things. I always wanted to try something new rather than driving the roads I always drove before.

Another interesting thing about the game is that a lot of missions are built for multiplayer play. This is what I mean when I say the game makes me feel like I have no friends. Running from the cops is enhanced by having other players to distract your pursuers. Chasing down a target allows players to work together in much the same way you would to take down a huge raid boss in an MMO, just with more cars and gasoline.

The Crew Screenshot

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a friend group ready and willing to play with you, The Crew can be a lonely place. Pickup games are really hard to find, and depending on when you play it can be hard to even contact random players. Not to mention these random players almost always have their own crews already picked out, and are well on their way to doing missions you haven’t even gotten close to yet. There is a sort of thrill to bringing a group of friends to tackle a hard mission and all of you getting the rewards afterward, but that thrill is significantly reduced if you play the game alone.

Not to mention, as I said before, many missions last for an incredibly long period of time, so even if you do manage to get your crew online you can usually tackle one long mission, or two or three short missions at once. This means that you pretty much progress through the game at a snail’s pace if play it the way it is meant to be played.

And you feel the loneliness if you try to tackle the game alone. The game is outstandingly hard if you are driving solo. It feels a lot like trying to take on one of the raid bosses in Borderlands alone. All of your opponents are super-fast and hit their nitrous at just the right time to take you out. When friends are working together, the A.I. just can’t keep up, but alone it feels almost superhuman, and this can be discouraging. Of course, if you are a psycho like me who LIKES soloing raid bosses, you might get a kick out of it.

Another problem with The Crew is that it’s kind of buggy. I’ve had races and menus freeze on me, missions inexplicably end, and of course there’s the “always on connection” problem. Even if you are playing The Crew single-player you have to be connected to the internet. I have a pretty damn good connection, good enough to feed my fighting game habit, but The Crew still booted me off every so often. I don’t know if this is a problem with The Crew ’s servers or what, but it is frustrating, and that’s just from a solo standpoint. If all the members of your crew were booted off, I could imagine steam coming out of your ears.

The Crew Screenshot

There are a lot of ways that The Crew lags behind other cars in the driving game race. Its models and environments aren’t nearly as pretty as, say, Forza ’s are. Its sound design is all kind of generic. Its controls, while meant to be simulationist in nature, feel a bit too loose for my taste. These are all nitpicks though, as the game looks and controls competent enough.

The best thing about The Crew is that it really does appeal to the RPG fanatic in me. It’s something about watching numbers go up in order to watch other numbers go up quicker that just keeps me in the game. Even if I pretty much stick to one or two cars, there’s something that makes me continue racing so I can get more cash so I can get more missions, so I can get more cash, over and over, and over again. In fact, the open world dazzle of The Crew wore off pretty quickly for me, and it became all business within a few short hours.

For the short time that I have had with The Crew , I have had a lot of ups and downs. I certainly see the promise in this game, but I don’t have the patience or the social circle to really take advantage of it. Nonetheless, I just keep playing, interested in seeing what I can unlock next. Personally, I’d recommend The Crew to anyone who has a dedicated circle of friends who would play with them, who all have great internet connections. If you do, this game is pretty awesome, and possibly even a better format than a lot of other driving games out there. If you don’t, the game can get frustrating at times. This is a “your mileage may vary” sort of game, good, but really only appealing to a very specific type of gamer. I’ll let you know if my opinion changes with more time… and more friends.

It feels a bit behind other racing titles, but not that far. 3.8 Control
The controls feel a little loose, but they work well enough. 3.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound design feels kind of generic and muted. 4.0 Play Value
With a group of friends this game is awesome, but without, it feels overwhelming. 3.6 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • NEVER DRIVE ALONE: Jump in and out seamlessly and build your crew of four through bonding or intense rivalry.
  • A PLAYGROUND OF UNPRECEDENTED SCOPE AND VARIETY: The entire United States is your driving playground all the roads coast-to-coast and everything in between.
  • PREPARE FOR THE NEXT JOB: An extensive tuning system combining depth and simplicity allows you customize your licensed cars according to your style and driving preferences.

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