|Developer||Ivory Tower, Ubisoft Reflections|
|Platform||XB1, PS4, PC|
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Sitting somewhere between Need for Speed: Most Wanted and the Fast and the Furious movies, The Crew is a next-gen driving game that mixes in story-driven, co-op missions alongside standard racing. You and three other friends will be able to form a crew and work your way up through the ranks of a criminal organization, all the while exploring an open-world based on the entirety of the United States. While none of the locations are one-to-one recreations of their real-world counterparts, the game will feature modified, scaled-down versions of several prominent cities, complete with their most iconic landmarks. The scope of the map is pretty enormous, too—it’ll take two hours to drive from one coast to the other.
I love everything about The Crew—except, you know, the actual driving. I really dig the concept of allowing you to customize each vehicle down to the individual component parts, I like the massive open-world based on real-life locations, and I’m even down for the seamless drop-in, drop-out co-op and persistent, MMO-esque world full of other players. The trouble is, once I actually got to pick up the controller, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something about the behind-the-wheel action was just wrong. The handling wasn’t as pick-up-and-play arcade-y as Criterion’s Need for Speed or Burnout games, and it certainly wasn’t anything close to a proper sim. Everything felt slippery, but I couldn’t get a decent drift going, either. Maybe it was just the car I was in, but then again, I don’t think a Nissan 350z should ever corner like an oiled-up go-kart, no matter what audience you’re shooting for. Still, my time with the game was limited to a pair of events and a few minutes of free roam, and I’d love to be proven wrong once I get some more exhaustive hands-on time.