The Crew: PS4 Review
Released by Ubisoft
With the relatively mixed release of Driveclub ringing collectively in gamers' ears, it's fair to say there's a small hint of wariness around the latest online racer, The Crew.
Ubisoft's got a way to go with convincing fans of the arcade racing game that this is the title to invest in - over the rival XBox One's brilliant Forza Horizon 2.
But it doesn't quite get there to be honest.
Mixing a plot that feels derivative of Fast and Furious (a bloke Alex, played by Troy Baker, infiltrates a racing gang), The Crew's open world nature and mash up of Need For Speed feels like it's not really trying for originality at all.
So, it's best to flip the story into reverse and ignore that side of things and concentrate on the driving, thanks to a completely massive open-road world and a map that allows you to go anywhere. Detailed and sophisticated with zooming in and out revealing growing levels of detail, the map's the best part of the game and the depth of the developers' efforts is clear to see. Timings and mission info are all there for you to factor in and a drive is not always a simple 10 minute burn through the country, which really helps you engross in the game (a trait lacking thanks to the story)
The game however, needs a constant internet connection to play, giving you the chance to be part of the bigger world if you want. Though I had the growing feeling there was no need all the time for such constant connectivity - sure, you can form Crews and team up with mates, but if you want to be solo, there's really no need to take the game to the WWW.
Transactions and level ups are all fine as they work on the usual XP; and there's plenty to work on around the game as well - but it's the story which unfortunately puts you off a deep dive into The Crew.
It's playable enough, but it's not quite the driver we were looking for at the end of the year. While it's to be praised for its real driving times and beautiful scenery, the cars very rarely stand out and the story really does drag it down.