Persistent multiplayer across a driveable USA. Thanks, Obama!
It might be quicker asking The Crews creative director Julian Gerighty what games his Ivory Tower team hasnt worked on--V-Rally, Need for Speed, Test Drive Unlimited, Split Second. Either the ratio of driving game developers to driving games is really low, or Ivory Towers pedigree is really high.
Its probably a bit of both. In terms of ambition The Crew has few rivals, a progressive racer where players can cover the entire continent of North America, alone or with up to seven other players, without the slightest flicker of a loading screen. Its an idealised skew, meaning some locales get the chop (sorry, Boston), but from the hustle and bustle of Times Square to the sombre wilds of the bayou, whats there makes for a thrilling drive.
250 landmarks line over 6,000km of open road, each with their own data entry and cinematic, and discovering them all feels a bit like collecting stamps on your passport. Indeed, this collect-em-all philosophy sits at the heart of The Crew. See, beating races unlocks parts for your car, which can be modified inside and out with 20 different customisables. Banana-yellow interior with flame bonnet decals? Please.
Events and terrain change so drastically youll need to master several specs. Dirt spec transforms your ride into a bulky beast with squishy suspension, while circuit adds an extra layer of nuance. Its a shame the controls generally feel too loose, the minor delay between button press and result making cars feel unresponsive. Youll often get snagged on scenery but at least resetting is painless--a short button hold warps you back on track instantaneously.
Events and challenges make the most of the setting: inner-city traffic slaloms, state-hopping point-to-points, laps around fully licensed circuits like Laguna Seca. Best is takedown, in which players team up to smash an AI opponent. Ripping through an Arizona dust bowl in raid vehicles, trading paint and veering off ramps in pursuit of a fleeing motor, is amongst The Crews highlights.
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