Insane open world street maps across USA let’s you explore locations from Detroit to Los Angeles to Miami to New England, but the game play feels rusty.
Every year new racing titles surface with a lot of hype and expectations, but half way through the game, you realise that the game is just another ‘wannabe’ Need For Speed or Test Drive. The latest to join the bandwagon is The Crew, which basically is a tribute to the iconic American highway routes. Hats off to the game developers, Ivory Tower, for getting the essence of cities like Chicago and New York right with accurate detailing. It certainly is easy on the eyes with beautiful landscapes, but is The Crew all show and no go? We find out.
Undoubtedly, The Crew is the most realistic game when it comes to racing. The expansive open world stage encourages you to explore the alluring surroundings rather than just drive by. Apart from acing iconic urban architecture, the rural Appalachian villages, dirt roads and even the mining quarry are spot on and bring out the rustic feel. What keep things interesting is that each region offers different driving conditions, which is quite challenging, as you are required to tune and prepare your car according to the tracks. There are five regions — the East Coast, the South, the Midwest, the Mountain States and the West Coast. Different specifications are available like ‘Dirt’, which will lets you take on the East Coast’s rural areas, the ‘Circuit’ option is perfect for the straight roads in the West Coast. There are also other challenges like slalom, which let you win cash, experience points and car parts.
I hate to say it, but it’s all downhill for The Crew from here. What kills the game is the cliché plot. You are an undercover FBI agent, who has to infiltrate and take out an underground racing gang. Very original, right! To make matters worse, the cars feel very mechanical and lack any sort of feedback, like in Forza. Also the artificial intelligence is always a step ahead of you and will, more often than not, out maneuver you. By chance, if you skillfully go past the AI, it will shamelessly cheat.
There are two types of missions: Getaway and Takedown. The first, going by its name, is all about escaping from chasing cops or bloodthirsty hitmen hired by a rival gang. No matter who is chasing, their cars will be superior to yours. You can take them down by crashing into them, but they can easily dodge your attack move. In Takedown missions, roles are reversed as you chase down the AI and crash into them. But it is easier said than done as they have unimaginably fast cars and it is a difficult task to catch up and ram into them.
No doubt, The Crew’s open world stage and graphics make it one of the best looking racing games, but the cars lack feedback and the AI is frustrating. The game is a lot of fun when you are playing against friends online, but it remains average at best and lacks the bite.