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Posted September 27, 2013 by Zeth in Eurogamer Expo
 
 

The Crew Hands-On Preview

The Crew Logo
The Crew Logo

The Crew was revealed back at E3 this year and formed part of a long list of open world and integrated game title from Ubisoft .

The Crew is effectively an open-world racer, similar in ways to earlier work from Ubisoft Reflections’ Driver series of games.  This title is a joint venture between Ivory Tower (containing some Eden Games former employees) and Ubi Reflections and represents a significant step forward for persistent racers.

We managed to snag a hand-on session with the game that brings together the talents of the Driver, V-Rally and Test Drive series.

It strikes you early on how well the game moves 0 the pedigree of the face paced driving of V-Rally and Driver is mixed well with the world building and tarmac cruising of the Test Drive franchise.

The 20 minutes of play time that we managed to get with The Crew started with a brief turn around a wooded area, crisscrossed with tarmac and dirt roads.  The idea here being to try and attend some of the environmental based challenges like fastest times, keeping on a predetermined line, time trial across off-road areas etc.

The-Crew-Gameplay

It gave me a great opportunity to not only dip in and out of those challenges but to generally put the engine through its paces and hurtle the cars around mercilessly.  It all stood up pretty well indeed with a silky smooth and consistent frame rate throughout even on this early beta build.

Next up we’re taken to a garage screen where your car is stripped to its sub frame.  Here a new, more robust, frame is put on that will take some more rough punishment.  We’re then dumped in a city and told we have to pursue another vehicle.   The vehicle is heavily reinforced so it will take team work and co-ordination to bring it down.

Working together with a handful of others we set about chasing down this vehicle through the city streets and eventually on to the local beach.  Part way through the pursuit a voice over comes on from a police scanner – the mayhem and destruction we’ve left all over town has been reported.  Bow the police are chasing your crew whilst you chase your target.

It all makes for a frantic and fraught time as you battle to take them down before the police take down the members of your crew.  Once again the game holds up really well and control is both tight and still fun.  Handbrake turns and moderate drifts are executed with ease and reasonable precision with the game edging towards arcade handling over a heavy simulator style.

Untitled-3

Overall the game felt fun and well rounded even at this early stage.  It did feel a little “seen that” in places with the game influenced heavily by Test Drive Unlimited (not surprisingly!), Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed Most Wanted.  It did seem to have enough tricks up its sleeve to make a compelling racer and carve a place all of its own.

The Crew certainly is an interesting prospect.  The open-world, almost RPG, nature of the environments and the emphasis on seamless single and multiplayer integration all shout “next gen”.  You’ll have to wait until early next year for The Crew to screech on to a PC, Xbox One or PS4 near you.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.