Ever since the announcement at E3 with the reveal trailer, I have been patiently waiting to get my hands on The Crew. I did spend some time with the game back in September, but it was in its beta phase. Now that I’ve had a couple of hours with it, I feel comfortable enough to share my thoughts on it. Now this is a direct response to my preview-in-disguise of The Crew, so I recommend that you skim over it before continuing.
First, it works! By that, I mean I was able hop on day one and get playing. That is right — UPlay did not crash, the game was not having connection issues, and I was able to play for a solid two hours straight. It seems like I bet on the right horse this time.
I hate to admit to it, but I bought the Gold version of The Crew. This version is essentially the Limited Edition with the Season Pass. That is right, send your hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would recommend not getting this version, as it pretty much breaks the early game. After finishing the prologue, I had the keys to: a Mini Cooper S, BMW Z4, Dodge Ram SRT-10, 2015 Ford Mustang GT, McLaren 12C, and Ferrari 458 Speciale. Even without those cars, I was able to bolster my garage with one of the Kit Cars and a Nissan Skyline R34. Before you ask — yes I did, I had to pay my respects to him.
I never thought I would see the day when the customization level of Need for Speed: Underground matched another game, but The Crew has come incredibly close in its own way. To give you an example, each car has, on average, at least two possible specs and each has a substantial number of options. The usual suspects can be changed including: the front and rear bumpers, side skirts, spoilers and hoods. Instead of stopping there, The Crew allows you to change the wing mirror and the interior decor. Then there are the liveries, oh so many liveries, to choose from. I do not think I will ever see the same looking car twice.
The best way to describe the sense of scale is to tell of my adventure when I drove around the perimeter of the starting region. After specing out the 2015 Mustang GT to my liking, I decided to take a tour of perimeter to the Midwest region. I went into the cockpit view, tuned into the Co-op Podcast Ep 101, and went about my way. It was all going well until I found myself in the snowy mountains of the Mountain States by the North West. Instead of turning back, I switched to my off-road car and made the first left The Crew allowed me to.
Later, I found myself on a peak with only two ways down, the on-road way or the off-road way. Instead of being boring, I shot off down the side of a rocky mountain. I flipped my car and wiped out more times than I can care to remember. Having reached the South West and seeing the road to the North East, I switched to my McLaren in an attempt to speed things up. That would have been the case if I sticked to the roads instead of through the farmlands, swamps, and dirt roads.
I’ve already come down on the side of the fence of which challenges I’ll play in the future. The challenges seem to fall into two categories for me: the strict ones and the fun ones. The strict ones force you to go down a certain path, and it can be frustrating when you get them wrong. On the other hand, the fun challenges give you more freedom and seem more entertaining to play.
The Thoughts So Far
I’ve had little under ten hours of playtime so far, not all of which have been spent playing the story; I’ve only reached level 16 out of the max of 50. However, I seem to be progressing through these levels a lot faster than I think I should be. Then again, I spent a good two hours hunting for the kit parts, a couple more going through the various customization options, and most importantly getting used to how the cars handle.
There is something which concerns me, but I do not know exactly how it goes yet. I am talking about everyone’s favorite microtransactions. I’ve seen the option to buy new cars and cosmetic options — all of which can be purchased with the money you earn in-game. This is not too bad, but it may go deep, so only time will tell.
On the whole, I’ve enjoyed my playtime so far. Getting new cars is pretty simple, as you unlock new dealerships every ten levels, and I have not been short of cash so far. Unlocking new parts are challenging and fun enough, as you can choose which various challenges to go for. There has not been a day when I have not looked forward to getting some play time the game. It’s fair to say that The Crew has its claws in me deep, and I am looking forward to get seeing just how deep this rabbit hole goes.
The Crew is available now for the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360.