E3 2013: The Crew - Hands-On With Ubisoft's Next-Gen, Open-World Racer

Ubisoft's The Crew is an open-world racer that uses the entire United States as its playground. Yes, you read that right: in The Crew, you can drive from Los Angeles, where I first saw the game, to New York unrestricted by loading times. 

Of course everything is not true to life in scale. Going full tilt in an advanced car will take somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour, Ivory Tower producer Guillaume Barry told me. By comparison, a similar drive took me just over two and a half days when I attempted it with virtually no stops last year. 

Still, the scope and ambition of The Crew is hard not to admire, and it's all thanks to the ultra-powerful next-gen consoles on display here in LA. The sheer variety of racing environments that the game could potentially offer is enough to make my mouth water. 

A screenshot of Ubisoft and Ivory Tower's The Crew in action

Guillaume walked me through one in-game mission, allowing me to get my hands on the PS4 version to push the throttle myself. As I sped offroad in a souped-up Ford Focus ST, I noticed the handling leaned far more towards the arcade side of the spectrum than the sim side. This was fitting, as my mission was to take down an enemy racer tearing apart Miami in his Hummer H2. Okay, no problem.

I plowed by poor Focus offroad, across beaches, and over jumps. The roads and their surroundings were totally open, allowing me to demonstrate my poor driving skills by tearing up all sorts of local property. Eventually I caught up to the Hummer, and took it down by repeatedly plowing it into other cars.

Car modification will be big in The Crew, and you can even do it on the go thanks to a mobile app. Just like Watch_Dogs before it, The Crew impressed me with its mobile integration. Players can enter the garage, add or take away parts, and make sure that their cars are ready for the road by the time they get back home. It's promising stuff.

I can't wait to play more of The Crew. Luckily, I shouldn't have long to wait - the ambitious racer is currently slated for next year on PS4 and Xbox One.

Comments (0)

New comments are currently disabled.

Subscribe to me on YouTubeFollow us on Twitter!
Join our Steam group!