The Crew is an online-only racing video game developed by Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with an Xbox 360 port developed by Asobo Studio.
The Crew is a racing game set in a persistent open world environment for free-roaming across a scaled-down recreation of the contiguous United States. The map is split into five regions: The Midwest, East Coast, The South, Mountain States, and West Coast. Each region has its own unique geographical features. Six main cities (one in each region, two in the Midwest) are featured in the game: Detroit and Chicago in the Midwest, New York City on the East Coast, Miami in The South, Las Vegas in the Mountain States, and Los Angeles on the West Coast. Various other cities, namely St. Louis, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, San Francisco, and Seattle, are also featured in the game. Over thirty smaller cities and towns line the countryside, such as Nashville, Norfolk and others. It takes approximately 45 minutes in real time to drive from coast to coast in-game.
The single-player campaign is up to 20 hours long, and entails infiltrating criminal groups with protagonist Alex Taylor (Troy Baker). Players can also participate in minigames called skills challenges that are peppered across the world. They are triggered when a player drives through them and involve completing challenges such as weaving through gates and staying as close to a racing line as possible for a period of time. Players' scores are automatically saved so friends can try and beat their scores, in similar fashion to how Autolog works in games of the Need for Speed franchise. Missions can be played alone, with friends, or with online co-op matchmaking. The multiplayer mode lets a maximum of eight players to compete in races and other game types. There are no in-game loading screens or pauses. Players can also build cars with a tie-in app for iOS and Android.
The Crew's creative director Julian Gerighty has called the game a role-playing game with large-scale multiplayer elements. The multiplayer is not separate from the single-player. Players can form "crews" to race together or against ghost records.
Though the player can play alone, the game requires a constant internet connection to play.
Why It Sucks
- At launch, the game suffered from client instability. Many users complained that they couldn't open the game and ended up getting stuck on a white screen.
- The game server is horribly unstable, which occasionally restart frequently. This also makes some players lose their progress in the game.
- Similar to most of Ubisoft's recent games, Uplay is mandatory to launch the game and save the game's progress. It also increases the game's open time to around 1 minute if you didn't open Uplay before playing.
- Small rosters of cars. There are only 40 cars in the base game with little customization. The rest of the rosters are being sold separately in overpriced DLC and season pass. Some of the car packs contain only 3 cars and being sold for $9.
- To make this matter much worse. Ubisoft later released the expansions The Wild Run and Calling All Units for the game, but it isn't given for free to anyone who purchased the season pass (which generally allow players to get upcoming expansions for free), which adds more insult to injury considering that the season pass adds only 7 cars (including 12 cars from a separate DLC pack).
- Microtransactions. Though there aren't as much as NBA 2K18, it's still unacceptable, especially for a game that sold for $70.
- Terrible physics. Cars drive like they're running on ice and also tend to flip a lot when driving off-road. or come to a dead stop instead of crashing when you hit a wall.
- Broken stats system. There's no speed limiter on any cars, which makes literally ANY cars can reach 400km/h speed regardless it's a sports car or not. It's possible to beat Ferrari or Lamborghini supercars with civilian cars like the Ford F150 or even a Fiat 500.
- You cannot upgrade your cars in the garage. Instead, you have to collect performance upgrades after finishing a match.
- Complicated user interface, which leaves new players (or even experienced ones) confused.
- The single-player campaign's story consists of various cliched characters, countless plotholes and a similar story to The Fast and Furious.
- Unfair enemy AI. Even if they drive inferior cars, they can accelerate very fast and often outrun your car in no time.
- Contrasting with the enemy AI, the police's AI is stupid. They'll try to ram your car but usually end up sliding off the track and crashing.
- Annoying and unskippable crash cutscenes that take around 15 seconds, which is too long compared to other street racing games like Burnout or Need For Speed, and those aforementioned game's cutscenes are skippable.
- Poor soundtrack consisting of boring and forgettable mainstream music.
- Lack of sound effect varieties. Many cars reuse the same engine sound, including supercars.
- Some races are extremely long. For example, there is one event called "Landmark Tour" that takes roughly FOUR HOURS to complete.
- Terrible open-world maps. There's only two major cities in the game; New York and Los Angeles. Both cities are small in size, but take large amounts of area in their region (New York takes up 40% of the East Coast while LA takes up 25% of the West Coast). There are only a few places of interest in the maps, and various other major cities (Dallas, Washington DC, Miami) are depicted as small towns or even a single house.
- False advertisement: Ubisoft advertised this game as a "huge Racing MMO game", while in reality, only 8 players can join in a single session.
- The concept of open-world racing is interesting, but poorly executed.
- The graphics, while mainly relying on shaders and shadowing, are still nice to look at.
- Decent voice acting for the characters in the single-player campaign.