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The Crew Reviewed by Jonathan Bradley on . Fun as both a single- and multiplayer game, The Crew mixes arcade racing with the tropes of a massively multiplayer online game. The result is a fun, albeit flawed, racing experience with almost too much content to deal with. The story is lacking and some of the single-player content is tedious, but The Crew is a thrilling ride on PlayStation 4. Rating: 71%
The Crew
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  • Review Score:

  • B
The Crew has divided critics, and I really think it's because people don't know how to take it. I've waited for this game for almost a year just wondering what a massively multiplayer online arcade racer would be like. I heard stories about a map of the United States where you could drive around freely while picking up races with online friends. What I think critics were looking for was something more straightforward, like DriveClub or Forza Motorsport. This is not what The Crew is, and that's fine by me.

I'm a classic gaming guy who owns a Wii U and, very recently, a PlayStation 4. I've stayed connected to major Nintendo releases, but I haven't really truly played a Sony/Microsoft game since the PlayStation 2. I say that to qualify my lack of concern for supreme graphical fidelity. As I understand it, The Crew isn't in the top 40 for best-looking PS4 games. To me, it looks fantastic, especially considering its lofty ambitions.

The Crew (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The map is huge. It's not a true 1:1 scale of America (obviously), but just about every landmark is accurately represented. Downtown Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Detroit, Portland and so on, it all makes you feel like you're really there. When you're not in a major city, the game is full of mountains, wilderness, plains and other scenic locales. From the biggest cities to the middle of nowhere, you can drive there in The Crew.

To put the size into perspective, I decided to drive from New York to California at full speed. The entire trip took an hour and twenty-five minutes, with not a single load screen. I felt like I truly had "cruised the USA."

The Crew (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Unfortunately, the game gets off to a slow start. The set-up involves a clunky revenge story where you are looking to find your brother's killer in the world of the 5-10 car gang. The story involves racing around the map boosting your stats, upgrading your cars, unlocking new missions and discovering the United States. With the same mini-challenges (speed skill, scramble skill, slalom skill) repeated all over the map, the early bits are tedious at best.

After leveling up, the game stars unlocking player vs. player events and skill-based faction missions. You'll also find car dealers and spec shops, which allow racers to upgrade their cars and unlock more challenging missions. This is where the game starts to get interesting. Suddenly it opened up a whole wealth of options, including playing the story online, racing against real people, losing myself in separate missions or simply cruising the United States of America exploring every nook and cranny. It's fun watching people driving around with you and there's the growing element of getting random invites to take part in missions and races.

The Crew (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Sadly, there are a few glitches that Ubisoft needs to patch. Matchmaking during PVP and missions can stall. These issues aren't as frequent as they once were, but they persist nonetheless. The good news, as mentioned above, is that despite the massive size of the game, there is relatively no loading. The interface is snappy and once you get to the map the initial load is mere seconds. From there you're off to explore this huge world with no lag. I'll take the diverse world over flashy graphics.

The Crew has elements of Shenmue, Tokyo Extreme Racer, Cruis'n USA, WarCraft and even Grand Theft Auto, and yet it still comes off as something fresh and original. Perhaps the story could use some work, but everything else is worth discovering. Although it's far from perfect, The Crew offers race fans an ambitious open world with an overwhelming amount of content.
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