E3 2013: The Crew hands-on preview

The CrewIf you watched the Ubisoft press conference last week for E3 you should have caught a glimpse of The Crew, a next-gen open world racing game taking place in the USA. The trailer looked amazing, taking everyday streetcars and tuning them to the likes of the Fast and Furious movies. Look for the gameplay video and gallery at the bottom.

Similar to what EA showed off for Need for Speed Rivals, The Crew aims to “blurs the lines between the game’s single-player, multiplayer, and co-op.” This means doing away with loading screens and game lobbyies. I was fortunate to get my hands on a new Xbox One controller and test out the game. While the world looked very detailed and rich, it didn’t totally strike me as next-gen graphics (Maybe I was just a bit spoiled with several other games on the show floor). Driving the cars reminded me of a mix between Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition. Both of these games were fun, but they were a bit over the top when it comes to driving, and so was my impression of The Crew.

The open world racing was fun but didn’t really wow me, as the steering had a bit of a lag in my opinion. However, what did have me excited (laughing at the time and a bit frustrated) was the co-op mission. First, the customizing element of this game looks great! The detail of the inside of the car looked almost real. Things like the engine and its moving components looked like you were in a tuning shop, watching your ride getting upgrade. Once my everyday hatchback was turned into a rally style racer, I was ready to go.

The controls seemed very standard, except for the “back on track” button, which I soon found myself using frequently! In the co-op mission, “the crew” needed to take down a heavily armored Hummer. While chasing down the Hummer was a bit frustrating (because of the controls), I still had a lot of fun just destroying everything in sight, flipping over the SUV and completing the mission.

With next-gen games the trend seems to be doing away with loading screens and lobbies to join games. The switch between single player and co-op missions was as quick as pressing a button. The vast open world is said to cover the United States, and going from the East Coast to the West Coast could take 90 minutes or more. I can see this being some sort of challenge in the game itself.

The Crew will release in 2014 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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