It’s been a busy month or so for Ubisoft but it has ended in something of a damp squib.
After releasing the critically-acclaimed Far Cry 4 and the highly fancied but bug-laden Assassin’s Creed Unity last month, last week saw the launch of what the developer dubbed an openworld racing MMO game, The Crew.
Let me start by talking about the positives.
Ubisoft has taken what it has done in FC4 and ACU and transferred the amazing vastness and even revved it up a notch for The Crew.
The sheer scale of the map is immense. You can literally race across the US (a scaled down version, yes, but huge nonetheless).
In fact (I haven’t tried it myself) we are told it would take over 90 minutes of continuous driving to get from one side to the other. So, the openworld, vastness box gets a big tick. So too does racing content. The crew is packed full of it.
You won’t ever find yourself without somewhere to go or something to do and the concept is interesting, if a tad cheesy along the lines of Fast and Furious.
But this is an arcade racer and does what it says on the tin in that respect.
Now on to the negatives. Oh the negatives.
The AI is maddening. Simply maddening. It is often slow and always seems to be playing catch-up which ultimately hinders the gameplay experience.
I mentioned how the vastness of Ubisoft’s FC4 and ACU titles had been transferred in The Crew. Well sadly the graphics were not.
The game looks distinctly average, last gen in fact, and buildings inparticular are so bland and lack any detail.
The cars are ok looks-wise, but don’t begin to compare to the likes of Forza and Driveclub. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly comes the handling. Not only do you get an unfulfilling sense of speed (unless driving into head-on traffic) but the rear of the car swings about more than Beyonce’s bottom.
The Crew has big ideas and brings something new to the racing genre, but the overall package just does not hold up as a quality next gen title.