The first time I heard the concept of The Crew, I was quite interested. We, with friends or players from all over the world, can work together on a wild street action. It will be like playing the movie Fast & Furious with us behind the wheel. But what happened was the other way around, mission after mission I undertook alone and if I saw another driver then the driver would try to hit me at full speed. The Crew is not as beautiful as I imagined.
Actually The Crew has a pretty good concept. This game might be quite appropriate if I call it MMO racing with a grinding concept like RPG. You will play as someone who is unfortunately in the wrong place and time. FBI agents then promise you freedom and revenge if you want to be their accomplice to infiltrate a crime organization that is very thick with racing activities. You run various dangerous missions to begin to infiltrate and gain the confidence of the big boss.
Quality Stories Taken by Television Series
But there is one big problem with this story and you might already realize it. Too many movies or TV series use a similar plot. The first few minutes you might be intrigued by what happened, but once you work for the FBI agent then everything starts to get boring. Whatever cliché scenario you have in mind is very likely to occur here. But perhaps the most disappointing thing is that the storyline is accelerated 30 times. A car lane leader will ask you to do a mission as proof of ability, but after that the boss will begin to entrust a dangerous mission that if it fails will result in mutual destruction. And this happens on average throughout the game.
If the developer wants to take the classic plot route of an FBI agent who blackmails bad guys / bad people, then that’s fine. I also can still follow it and maybe enjoy it to a reasonable degree. But unfortunately, almost all cut scenes and briefings are done on the car. Indeed this is a racing game but it seems there is no need to force it so much. Occasionally seeing our hero being at home or meeting his friend by walking (like people in general) will make the Crew more easily enjoyed. But not this time, everything was basically done on the car. This also makes character development limited and easy to forget.
Around the United States through the Crew
I might not be impressed with the storyline at all, but it is different with the size of the folder offered. The Crew ambitiously uses all parts of the United States as a map in this game. Certainly not on a scale of 1: 1 but still very impressive to me. Driving from the end of the map to a point that isn’t even 1/2 of the map takes about 20 minutes. I can only imagine that driving from end to end will require more than 1 hour.
Unfortunately, this vast map comes with its own shortcomings. The first is the building is not too detailed and quite a lot of reps. Not too much to make you bored, but if you spend 2 hours to get around then you will know that a same coffee shop will have every 10 buildings. Important buildings will have a better level of detail, but other buildings will look different from the original. The Crew tried to give you a very wide playground by taking on American country designs, but they didn’t promise that this would be an exact replica. Fair enough.
One thing I don’t like is the way The Crew limits our movements. When we walk in a crowded area, most shops that have parking lots will put a fence that can’t be destroyed so you can’t enter. Actually the programming of the land already exists and you can enter, but for some reason these silly, non-destructive fences must be there. This makes the Crew’s vast world a little less accessible.
This Racing Game With RPG Sense
For the main gameplay, The Crew will make you explore all of America in different racing modes. And I’m not talking about time trials, knock-outs or other common modes you meet. The Crew will invite you to try various types of racing types with different car specifications. You can race in the city using spec street, a little off-road using dirt spec, or if you like to race on a circuit then there will be a circuit spec. If the RPG has classes for each function, then The Crew has 5 specs that are suitable for use in undergoing mission after mission.
Of course this can be a nightmare or vice versa. If you hate off-road action, passing through the forest, or jumping uphill and landing hard with your good car then you will be tortured here. The Crew will force you to try a variety of racing actions, each not too deep and detailed (for example, we compare circuit racing on The Crew with say Drive Club). Personally I like this variation even though you have to really practice using it with different specifications.
The part I like about The Crew is that you won’t change cars too easily. Once you buy your first car, you will use it for a long time. This allows me to learn and drive my car better. Something that is difficult to do if every 2 hours you can buy a new car.
To make your car can still compete with other cars you must undergo the mission and challenges that are spread. Every time you successfully undergo a challenge, you will get spare parts that you can directly use to make your vehicle better. The better you complete the challenge, the better the spare parts you will get. You can find hundreds of challenges scattered throughout America so it’s almost impossible to run out. And even if you’ve gone through all the challenges, you can repeat them again to get better spare parts. This is grinding RPG style, but you do it by car on the road.
You Won’t Drive Alone … That’s Right.
So far, The Crew has a story that seems to be taken from a TV series, a very large map, different types of cars and races, and a leveling system similar to RPG. It doesn’t sound bad at all, but this is not the end of this review. Once The Crew showed off the features they had, the game began to overwhelm and destroy itself with vital deficiencies.
After playing a few hours and quite understanding how the Crew works, I began to have the spirit to do co-op missions with other players to pursue a target. I turned on the co-op feature and I never got a playmate for 1 full week. This is because when I play I usually only see 3 to 4 other people who are playing in the same session. Their levels vary so much that it is very difficult to carry out a mission together.
PvP mode between gangs is not too different. Waiting for 8 players to come and play can take between 2 minutes (rare) to 1 full day. If The Crew is an MMO then there is clearly something wrong here. Even if I meet other people who are still equal then they will take a swing and hit you hard from behind. Normally I would reply to this and 30 minutes had passed spent crashing into one another in the city with other players. Exciting but stupid.
The second thing is that you have to be online all the time to play The Crew. OK that doesn’t sound too bad, because my PlayStation 4 is constantly connected to the internet and anyway this is an MMO. But what makes me upset is that there aren’t many people to play with, so you will end up playing alone on mission after mission. During this mission, if your internet is cut off then you can say goodbye to the progress of your game (the race session). I have often experienced this even to the point where 2 seconds I win and suddenly the connection is lost. With a race time of 15 minutes, I almost cried.
The last thing that made The Crew into an overly mixed playing experience was a stupid AI. My point is that the developer cannot make an AI that is smart enough to compensate for humans so they compensate by making AI faster and more agile. In normal racing you can nudge their car to spin, but 10-20 seconds later they are right behind you. Or in a runaway mission, you can immediately rotate 180 degrees when the chase starts, take a narrow path, and 30 seconds later the mission is complete. Fortunately not all missions can be completed in this way but it still does not provide a good sense of consistency. After you come out of the garage with a solid paint and modifications, you can still be defeated with a plain Mini Cooper car that seems to have just come out of the dealer.
Do You Have Money To Buy The Crew? Save First Then
So do I recommend The Crew? No, but this game can still be played and even I will continue to play it because I have already played long enough. I consider The Crew to fail to keep its promises for multiplayer business and their servers sometimes break up, making the playing experience worse.
But the 20-40 hour playtime with dozens of racing scenarios and the opportunity to walk around in America cannot be ignored. The Crew clearly has a lot of potential through major updates in the future. What Ubisoft now needs to do is bring in more players, provide a more stable server, and improve their AI. For now you should hold your money first.