GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES
Ubisoft’s MMO racer hybrid The Crew is on the starting grid, but is it in pole position?
The United States is a vast and beautiful landscape. Break through the perimeter of one of its many sprawling cities and, depending where you are, you can be greeted with sun-bleached deserts, lush Alpine forests or snow-capped hill passes. America’s visual variety invites the urge to travel, to explore, to see every part of it.
It’s this urge that occupies every space in The Crew, Ubisoft’s new open-world racer. The Crew is the biggest game of this type ever created – games like Burnout: Paradise and 2012’s reboot of The Need For Speed were open-world racers, but The Crew is a genuine Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) experience.
Its massive map is teaming with story missions, side quests, dynamic events and more. It wants players to explore it, so it makes sense to give players the wideopen and diverse expanse of the USA as its starting
➜ point. According to the game’s creative director, Julian Gerighty, The Crew’s DNA was written by the development staff before they left their last project.
“Ivory Tower was founded by the guys who worked together on Test Drive: Unlimited,” says Gerighty. “The lead on that project, a guy called Stephane Beley, has been obsessed with the idea of an MMO racer for the last 12 to 15 years. His three passions are cars, MMOs and the challenge of creating a shared world between those two spaces.”
In-between those spaces exists the hook to keep players glued to The Crew. Ivory Tower’s game isn’t just a series of races and challenges; it’s a living, breathing role-playing game where the player is rewarded for everything they do, and Gerighty says the aim was to break the back of traditional racing games.
“We all felt when we were working on The Crew that all racers are capped by a repetition factor,” he says. “So it was cracking that problem – ‘how can we make something that’s a hub for video game racers for the future?’ – that led to this game’s creation.”
The Crew is an ambitious project and plants its flag in the ground early; there are races that are over in mere minutes, but some missions can last up to the better half of an hour. According to the developers, the longest mission in the game takes four hours to complete. Best to empty your bladder and turn off your phone before you attempt it.
But beyond its mods, its challenges and its mission, the main draw of The Crew remains its vast and beautiful environment. Simply driving across the map rolls out a plethora of visual delights. America awaits you, driver, and you don’t even need to be there to see it. FROM $80,THECREW-GAME.UBI.COM, OUT DEC 2 ON XB1,X360, PS4 AND PC
AMERICA AWAITS YOU, DRIVER, AND YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO BE THERE TO SEE IT
This month… Take a US road trip / Delight your inner superhero / A musical tribute to WW1 / Take a journey into the stars
Rockstar has beefed up the physics of its vehicles with an enhanced damage system, and returning PS3 or 360 players get rare versions of classic vehicles, such as the Dodo Seaplane
Accelerate into TheCrew – the largest open-world racer ever created