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The Crew Review

  • First Released Dec 1, 2014
  • Reviewed Dec 10, 2014
  • PS4
Robert Handlery on Google+

Hit the brakes.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

The Crew tries to be a driving game with something for everyone. You can team up with a group of friends for an epic road trip filled with fast-paced illegal activities, and seamlessly explore a massive map of the U.S., from the tip of Maine, all the way down to Miami, over to Los Angeles and back again, passing through other iconic cities along the way. Though it's true that all of this is possible, the experience isn't all that it's made out to be. The Crew tries to do a lot, and while it technically delivers the features it promises, it frequently stumbles over itself. There are brief moments of joy within, but just when you start to think the game's turned a corner, a bump in the road sends your joyride careening off course. When the best thing a racing game has going for it is the variety of environments it has to offer, you know something's amiss.

You start off in the streets of Detroit, but it's not long before you're rolling through mountains, everglades, and forests. The huge maps and its colossal number of activities is intimidating at first, but that's great: the more places to go and things to do, the merrier. Story missions, which take you through a trope-filled campaign that plays out like a Fast & Furious sequel, send you from one region of the country to the next, and missions emerge out of the blue along the way. You street race, smuggle contraband, take down competing criminals, and tackle bite-sized emergent challenges that test your abilities behind the wheel while you're on the go. There are hundreds of things to do, but only some are truly fun. The problem? With so much ground to cover, The Crew feels and looks like it's stretched too thin, and it's evident from the start. The Crew's world may be massive and varied, but it's not good-looking. It's constantly plagued by texture and geometry pop-in, and looks generally outdated. People, buildings, the environment, and most importantly, the cars, are represented by disappointing models that suffer from an unsightly amount of aliasing.

At some point during your journey across America, you wonder: what was that about forming a crew, again? Despite the game's title and pitch, The Crew is a single-player experience tucked into a multiplayer server. It starts with a story that casts you on a grand mission, and you're constantly encouraged by your cohorts to head to the next step along the way. You always have the option of inviting three of your friends along for the ride, but at no point does the game inspire you to do so. Think extra crewmates will help you on a difficult mission? Nope; the game scales its difficulty accordingly. If anything, forming a crew is a chore that's easy to brush aside. The best thing you can do to improve your chances at success is to upgrade your car, but the way in which The Crew facilitates this can get a little frustrating. While the game won't prevent you from entering a story mission, it will tell you if you're below the recommended level. You can purchase kits when you're avatar's level is high enough, but it takes a while to hit successive milestones.

In practice, you earn new parts as rewards for missions, but playing story missions alone won't provide you with enough parts to get your vehicle to the appropriate level towards the end of the game. That's when you have to grind through optional missions, which pop up as you drive around the map. Some of these objectives are enjoyable, such as long-distance jumps and missions that challenge you to drive as fast and as far as you can while keeping your tires on the road. Others, like the missions that challenge you to hit a series of targets that are strewn both on and off the road, are frustrating. Essentially, the game asks you to drive like a jerk, and it's not fun when you can't help but careen into other cars and buildings as you try your best to fulfill the criteria to earn a medal. It comes down to the luck of the draw. Sometimes the coast is clear, and other times you're bombarded by a phalanx of other vehicles that you can't avoid when pursuing objectives.

No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided
Where we're going we don't need roads.
Where we're going we don't need roads.

These optional missions can be useful when you need to level up, but they can also be an annoyance when you're just trying to get from point A to point B. Every time you hit the road, you eventually cross the virtual gate that activates these missions, but there's nothing you can do to prevent them from activating automatically. Pass through a gate, and you have to suffer through a cluttered user interface, which starts with icons, but ends with a large results screen that blocks your view while driving. Apart from driving off the road to avoid a gate, or entering into a menu to abort after a mission activates, you're at the mercy of the map.

One of the best aspects of a racing game is the selection of cars that you get to choose from, but The Crew has a meager selection and does a poor job of incentivizing you to explore your options. Story missions are broken up by the type of vehicle they require: street, dirt, raid, performance, or circuit. Not every vehicle can be kitted out to fit every spec, but the one you get at the start of the game definitely can. Given that you earn new parts for the vehicle you complete missions with, you are never compelled to pick up new cars. Maybe your curiosity will get the better of you and you'll check out a new car, but there's nothing stopping you from using the same car from the beginning of the game through to the end.

Although the variety of cars is underwhelming and underutilized, the story missions take advantage of the different car specs in a good way. As you travel from one region of the country to the next, you encounter different terrain and environments that call upon the different types of kits you can fit to your car. You race street cars through dense cities, take on dirt car races through construction sites and rough terrain, and tear across states in souped up performance vehicles. The story missions are largely the best moments in the game, however, there exceptions: raid car missions and fleeing missions.

Raid missions are fun at first--you charge through mountains, swamps, and back country in an armored vehicle--but at some point, the game decides that you need to fulfill precise criteria, such as collecting objects on rough terrain under a strict time limit, and raid cars are anything but precise. They slip and slide all over the place, and when these missions leave no room for error, you end up very frustrated when you're cut short due to the game's poor physics. The same can be said for missions where you have to flee from cops, who are incredibly overpowered. These missions are not fun in the least, and the cops' unusual bursts of speed feels like a product of driving games of old. This isn't the only example of frustrating AI. During races against the computer, cars sometimes drive off of tracks for no reason, taking a 90 degree turn out of the blue before flying off of a cliff.

Essentially, the game asks you to drive like a jerk, and it's not fun when you can't help but careen into other cars and buildings as you try your best to fulfill the criteria to earn a medal.

With rough physics and AI, you get into a lot of collisions, but luckily, damage doesn't hinder your car's driving capabilities. However, you do have to endure a slow-motion cutscene as punishment when you take a strong hit. Eventually, you have to pay a negligible fee to fix your car if you've gotten in a lot of accidents, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to how much money you earn during missions. If crashing is not a big deal, wasting players' time with slow-motion cutscenes as punishment is pointless and disrespectful of their time.

Unfortunately, you have to endure the game's questionable physics in other scenarios, most notably during player-versus-player races. It's nearly a guarantee that each PVP race will start with a ridiculous display of bugginess when opponents' cars suddenly speed up and flip in multiple directions at the drop of a hat. I've seen cars teleport into the sky, and rotate uncontrollably before appearing 20 feet down the track for no reason. These moments of chaos are funny, but they make for an inconsistent and unpredictable experience. Pray it doesn't happen to you. That's assuming you can even get into a PVP match. There are a handful of lobbies across the map, but they're severely underpopulated. It's a rare occurrence that you can find enough people to race against in less than 15 minutes. Luckily, you have the option to drive around while you wait, but it's still deflating when you can't find anyone to play with.

Keep in mind that if UPlay, PSN, or Xbox Live is down, you can't play The Crew, even if you just want to go solo. During my time with the game, I was booted due to server or connection issues on a daily basis, which was very frustrating. The most enjoyment you get out of the game's connected world comes from player-vs-player competitions, but even they have issues.

When The Crew puts you into races with good AI, and you get to race through interesting and varied environments, you get the feeling that you're playing a good game. When you struggle to find people to join your crew online, balk at the outdated graphics, and shake your head at the AI and the occasionally unpredictable physics, you realize: The Crew isn't that good after all. When you can't play due to server issues, you find a new game to play and leave The Crew in your dust.

Back To Top
The Good
A massive map to explore
A wide variety of locations and environments
A good amount of challenging races
The Bad
Poor physics and AI
Outdated graphics
Lackluster use of the connected world
Cluttered user interface
Buggy netcode
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for The Crew

About the Author

For the majority of his time with The Crew, Peter played on his own with the same car. He only explored other options in the game because they were available, but quickly realized that playing with a crew and upgrading other cars simply wasn't with the effort.
920 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

I remember all the hype that was going around for this game and then it comes out and gets trashed by every reviewer. I was thinking about getting it, because it’s on sale right now, but I decided to go through reviews again. No thanks.

Avatar image for snakerider987

The crew is the stupidest game in the world, I was in a long ass race, I had been driving for 115 minutes real time and was about 1mi from the finish when my internet cut out and I lost ALL of my PROGRESS, GIVE ME BACK MY 160000 BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k

I got this game on the humble bundle and I'm really enjoying it so far.

Is it the best racer ever ? No, but it does offer a lot of variation. One minute you drive on the road, the other off-road. The next minute you are driving between goalposts, the next you are racing in super cars. I really like that.

Poor physics and AI -> AI is always a problem in racing games I feel

Outdated graphics -> has been fixed with the free update it seems. Game looks great on my PC.

Lackluster use of the connected world -> agreed so far

Cluttered user interface -> there is an options menu for that. Dunno if Ubisoft has fixed this since release or if author was too lazy to go into options menu.

Buggy netcode -> No problem for me. Game runs fluid here.

Avatar image for Ezioprez9709

Let's forget corporate stuff for a minute and focus on the core gameplay.

Let's pretend that the game has absolutely zero add-ons.

Let's all forget about the lag, just for one moment.

The game is a very fun title when you ignore the obvious issues.

Avatar image for jay30mcr

Worst part is they actually charge for this as if it was a new game so if you bought the mess that was originally The Crew you are going to have to pay again for basically the same game with slightly updated graphics.

Typical Ubisoft and the way it treats its existing customers.

Avatar image for topgun182

@jay30mcr: Should have waited. They are giving it away right now. How typical is that? But you might need a PC.

Avatar image for darkprince2

"You can purchase kits when [you're] avatar's level is high enough,..." - nice grammar fail.

Avatar image for bamf1984

whatever mods!!?? The thing is when you go over a guardrail? You're stuck with no way out.

Avatar image for danj500

can someone please tell me if i shud get nfs rivals or this

Avatar image for bamf1984

@danj500 forza horizon

Avatar image for thetobias

This review is heavily misleading, if you find the handling frustrating then your using the wrong car. If you find cars are to expensive you just can't play RPG's and if you find it boring you just don't like arcade racers, simple as... but the game is actually very good and even though the graphics aren't that great, it has a whole load of depth and variety.

Avatar image for mingmonger

For any hardcore car racing gamers out there there is only one thing you need to know about this game..

It has not got any rear view side mirrors..

Let's compare this with games that had this feature on the PlayStation 1 ten plus years ago and well no more needs to be said really does it?

The only way of seeing behind you is to hit a button and get a owls head point of view of what is happening behind your car.. Of course while you are doing this you can't see out the front screen.

Avatar image for deathBRINGER201

@mingmonger yea I'm gonna wait for the next gran turismo hopefully they don't rush the next one. my steering wheel is collecting dust :(

Avatar image for bamf1984

@deathBRINGER201 @mingmonger Yeah, hold your breath...have you heard anything about GT6? NOPE.

Avatar image for mingmonger

All I need to add for anyone who is a seasoned racing. / car enthusiast style of gamers is the fact that there are no rear view side mirrors in this game.. What developer releases a racing game that has no way of seeing behind you or tactically driving to cut people off from overtaking you?? The only way of seeing behind you is to press a button then you get a owls head point of view of the rear of the car. The oldest of racing games has this feature. But not this game.. Check out the game play videos to see what I mean.

Avatar image for kx_123

@mingmonger I got used to this quick, you just gotta play the game for at least 10 missions while frequently pressing L1 to get used to it

Avatar image for absolut_plus

The Crew multiplayer experience has been ruined due to lack of dedicated servers, a faulty PvP system, a frustratingly insane amount of disconnections from game.

There are hundreds of people in the forum waiting for technical support. Speaking of forums, why don't you check them right now? It's full of angry people who want to play The Crew, yet you don't seem to notice. Maybe if you cared about gamers like you claimed you do, then this wouldn't be a problem.

We demand that Ubisoft dedicate a group, a task force of sorts, to figuring out how to fix this immediately, if not sooner.

Sign the Petition!

Avatar image for KowtowRobinson

@absolut_plus A petition? I got a better idea for you, stop buying Ubi/EA games with ridiculous review embargoes on launch day. People like you, who buy the game full price and preorder AND THEN come back to complain are the reason games like The Crew and AC:Unity exist in the state they're in. It's YOUR fault for being crummy uneducated consumers, not their fault for sitting back and making money hand over fist like they're supposed to.

Avatar image for CommandoAgent

Outdated graphics? How realistic do you possibly want it?

" Lackluster use of the connected world"

Thats i assume because some of the gamers that played it want Canada to be in the game to right?

Avatar image for mingmonger

How about the fact this game has no rear view mirrors this game has square grey rectangles in place of the side mirrors ? Are you going to defend a racing game that has no way of seeing who is trying to overtake you so you can't drive to block off people overtaking you ? Games had this feature ten plus years ago.

Avatar image for Julio_Brutal

Gran Turismo 5 and 6 has set the bar too high for me, so now every other racing games suck ass... specially this one.

Avatar image for bamf1984

@Julio_Brutal Don't kid yourself buddy.

Avatar image for Geist1087

I'm tired of these shoddy gamespot reviews. Play the game for once before reviewing it. It's like saying skyrim was terrible after only playing the main quest.

Avatar image for thetobias

@Geist1087 THANK YOU

Avatar image for Accuracy158

Thanks for the review. All you had to say was always online Uplay DRM and that automatically knocks 5 out of 10 points.

I'm trying to replace a Strix 970 I had to RMA and my choices were faster shipping and no advertised "Pick Your Path" promotion or the promotion advertised but slower shipping. ...I'll go for the faster shipping. (Already have the other two games from the first two cards I bought.)

Avatar image for seann_currell_7

here in the UK shops have given THE CREW a good sales boost by knocking 50% off the price . the result of which has caused most stores to sell out. the next gen versions were being sold for £25 and the xbox 360 version was being sold for £20. i decided to buy it cross platform and went for the 360 version and the ps4. im enjoying it so far. its way better than forza horizen 2 on the 360 ( which had a really poor port compared to the xbox one version ) so far internet connection has been fine and for the sheer size of the world the graphics do the job. its fun and i havent had any lag or performance issues. the ps4 version isnt that much different to look at. seems to be slightly better draw distance but once the world fills up with other people performance drops a bit and ive had the connection cut out on me a couple of times. overall doesnt seem as broken as it was on day one release and any improvements would be welcome if ivory tower act on their promise to constantly add content and patch the game when required i think it could be a good long term progressive experience. so far im giving both versions a 7/10. the 360 version plays best overall it gets the extra edge for having the better online performance. this game reminds me alot of testdrive unlimited 2.

Avatar image for bamf1984

@seann_currell_7 Hey...No one cares about the brits...smaill little pee wees.

Avatar image for yourdenversport

@bamf1984 @seann_currell_7 ur mum would know

Avatar image for deactivated-5c13ed0e6897f

Are we ever going to see an open world racing game like Burnout: Paradise again in the future? I still long for that day.

I really had hoped The Crew would be that game, but I guess hope (or hype) should just be abandoned from the very start. This is so disappointing.

Avatar image for deathBRINGER201

@SteelCurtainX I'm waiting on a Underground 3 announcment, imagine if they done it right. Paradise 2 would be sick though

Avatar image for thetobias

@SteelCurtainX The crew felt so much more than burnout Paradise, it's similar but you can customise your car and the open world is huge, not to mention online

Avatar image for ahmed_haitham1

@SteelCurtainX Hi i am thinking on buying it, how is it online? is it like burnout racing

Avatar image for thetobias

@ahmed_haitham1 @SteelCurtainX Better, if you like burnout you'll like the crew

Avatar image for kdogpa

@SteelCurtainX Fellow Steeler fan, I don't think we'll see another game like Burnout:Paradise, but I did get a chance to play this game on xb1 and in all honesty I think it's a fun game. Being able to drive through places I've never been is really fun to be honest. I would suggest maybe renting it and giving it a shot. The problem with reviews like this is that a lot of people will use it as an excuse to not even try it. Do yourself a favor, pretend you didn't read this review, go rent it from a redbox or online and tell me what you think. Could it better in some places? Yes, but overall this game is very fun, and very big.

Go Stillers!!!

Avatar image for depman1972

Heard a lot of good from this game apart from graphics, but that doesn't bother me.

And its made by ubisoft too, after playing far cry 4, unity and rogue, they have done me good for games this year.

Avatar image for deviltaz35

''playing with a crew and upgrading other cars simply wasn't (with) the effort. ?''

Please have someone check your work before posting.
Avatar image for deviltaz35

This game is alot of fun on the PC. Got it with the free Ubisoft game deal and there is nothing wrong with it. I chose the 5 litre mustang and it's fun fishtailing around every corner.

It looks beautiful too running maxed out at 1440p 60fps. Very nice lighting. Love the cast the headlights make at night. Maybe i would feel differently if i paid for it but as a free game it is tons of fun.

Avatar image for milkymilkshake

lol i got this game for free with my graphic card so what the hell

Avatar image for Freboy

Who would "buy" a game that puts limits on when you can play it? That's not a purchase - it's a rental. I may be an old fossil from the 80's, but when I got into gaming, you OWNED your games.

Avatar image for AdrianJNYC

This game just looks incomplete and I'm not sure if its worth $60 dollars. Perhaps, I would buy it The Crew when its half off the retail price.

Avatar image for thetobias

@AdrianJNYC It has way more depth than most racing games out now, so much variety as well

Avatar image for greaseman1985

Ubisoft needs to take a break for a year or so, then come back and give us some of the excellent Tom Clancy games that they became popular for. Enough with AC and Far Cry and crappy overhyped new games.

Avatar image for kdogpa

@greaseman1985 That's unlikely, AC and FC are their 2 biggest sellers now, why would they stop making new ones? You can say they are overhyped, but I still find them both fun. Didn't try FC4 but FC3 was an amazing game. Also Black Flag, Rogue, and Unity are good games imo. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy the Splinter Cell games because I do, actually. Besides they have a Clancy game coming out next year, is that overhyped as well? Just curious.

Avatar image for ratchet200

See, that's your own opinion though. Now in my opinion, I wouldn't touch Unity with a 50ft pole, given how badly it's reviews have been.

FC4 is fun, but it's incredibly similar to FC3 and if the release the same thing next year, people will definitely start to notice this.

As for The Division (I assume that's what your talking about) im genuinely concerned as to how it's going to turn out with the year Ubi have had.

Avatar image for kdogpa

@ratchet200 Yes I was referring to The Division. I'm assuming though you haven't played Unity by your comment? It really is a fun game, sure it has a lot of the same AC formula but it does a good job bringing the series into next gen. I have no doubt the next entry will be improved upon and the AC series will continue on. The devs already said there is a definitive end for AC so who knows when the last one will be, but not anytime soon.

But regarding your comment about that being my opinion, it's really fact though, those 2 entries, AC and FC, are their biggest revenues of income. With a company as big as Ubisoft you don't just take that away. It's like asking Hostess to stop making Twinkies, and look what happened there. It's a fan favorite and they have a very loyal fanbase going back to the original. And as far as games like FC3 being similar to FC4, Ubi had an exception in Splinter Cell, Blacklist was rated on of the best in the series I believe and they improved a lot with that game.

It's just a matter if there ever comes a point where people will stop buying the sequel games because they aren't bringing anything new to the table, and from what I've read FC4 is very similar to FC3 like you said. But like I said, those aren't going anywhere soon, and that really is a fact, in fact you can ask Ubisoft yourself and they'll tell you the same thing. Enjoy.

The Crew More Info

  • First Released Dec 1, 2014
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • + 2 more
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    The Crew is a street racing game from Ubisoft that is set in a persistent, massive and living world developed exclusively for next gen consoles and high end PCs.
    Average Rating211 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate The Crew
    Developed by:
    Ubisoft, Ubisoft Reflections, Ivory Tower
    Published by:
    Driving/Racing, Simulation
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Language, Mild Blood, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence