There's games that have done similar things, but years before this one.

User Rating: 5 | The Crew PC

In my opinion, a good driving game is one where you feel like you need to fully concentrate at all times and skilfully navigate the road. You need to pick out the best racing line and utilise the correct speed in order to exit the corner at the correct angle whilst maintaining the highest speed you can.

However, a lot of the gameplay in The Crew is boring. The racing usually takes place in American streets, where roads are long and straight, and the handling in the game means you can often casually tap the brake and swing your car around the corner without much thought. Early on in the game, I felt it didn't seem to matter how badly I took the corner, but rather on if I managed to not hit a car. This can come down to luck, given that a lot of the time, you cannot see around the corner until you have begun to turn.

Even if you do collide with a car, the impact it has is almost random. The physics in the game are severely wonky, so you often just jerk to the side and carry on, but you may lose a lot of speed. There was one instance where I got rammed in my left hand side, and my car flew high into the air, travelling in a south-west direction; completely the opposite direction it should have travelled.

The game takes place on a full map of the USA, although it's obviously not to scale. Once you have driven in a particular location, you can fast travel to that location at anytime, even selecting to play an event directly from the map screen. If you haven't visited that area before, then you must drive there.

The Crew tries to play like a MMORPG, where you can play as a group of players online and win races to earn rewards and level up your car. It wasn't very clear to me how the 'Crew' features worked though, and my attempts to play the story events with players were always turned down; so I stuck to the single player.

You play as Alex Taylor, a driver working undercover for the FBI. He is tasked to infiltrate a gang of street racers to get revenge for his brother's murder which he was framed for. He works his way up the ranks and travels across the USA in order to take on the leader; Shiv.

There's a variety of event types from races against many cars, time attacks, take-downs, follow the leader, and include both road and off-road courses. Completing these earns parts for your cars which improves their performance and 'car level'.

There's only a couple of events available at once and these require you to have a certain driver level before you can attempt them. Despite the game appearing to be open-world, you are basically dictated which events you can do, although sometimes you need to gain extra experience from the events scattered around the map. These include smashing targets, driving through gates, slaloms, driving as far as you can in a given time, jumps and more.

Since your car improves as you play, there's not much of an incentive to purchase new cars (not that there is a great selection anyway). Even when you unlock new race types and require a Street/Dirt/Performance/Raid/Circuit car etc., you can simply upgrade your current one to this new style.

If you do visit the stores, there will be cars listed that you have to purchase using real money. There's micro-transactions in other areas too, and can use real money to boost driver perks such as receiving more in game money when completing events, cheaper repair costs and more.

Graphically, it's okay but nothing remarkable. People walk about in the streets, although it's not exactly densely populated. You see different animals in different areas of the country which is a nice touch. You don't get the satisfaction of running them over though, since they jerk to the side like some of the car collisions.

The Crew is another example of a game that turned out to be 'jack of all trades; master of none'. The various mission types provide variety, but it didn't entertain me as much of a game that would specialise in racing. There's other games that take a similar approach to The Crew, but I don't really see anything here that makes The Crew a preferable choice. I didn't enjoy Burnout Paradise too much, but I think that was the more enjoyable game and came out several years earlier.