Wednesday 26 November 2014

Tried out The Crew Closed Beta

Some time back, I had the chance to try out The Crew during their Closed Beta.

Ok, let me tell you about my thoughts before I actually tried the beta. I was a bit unconvinced about  a car racing game from Ubisoft. To me, Ubisoft was all about Action Adventure games like Prince of Persia & FPS-shooters like the Tom Clancy series. Of course now, they are largely popular for their Open-World titles like Assassin's Creed and Far Cry games.

The last time I remember them breaking out of their comfort zones was a football game during the 2014 World Cup. It was a poor game. Sure, it made marketing sense to release a football game during the biggest footballing event but no one expected it to break the monopoly of the Winning Eleven or Fifa games.

Now they try a Racing game.. It's like Ubisoft wants to try every gaming genre. 

For some reason, I wanted to like this game but at the same time, I felt that this wouldn't be a success. The racing genre isn't exactly Ubisoft's forte but the concept sounded fun.

So, what do I think after trying?

I did find it fun! It wasn't like woah, this is stunning kind of fun but I liked it. 

The Crew is a typical open world racing game with a story to follow and side missions strewn across the map. Mission rewards are split into 3-tiers depending on your performance. Rewards include car parts that you can add to your ride for better performance. 

I actually enjoyed racing in this. Burnout Paradise was the last racing game that I actually played thoroughly but I hated the racing on that. They gave you a start point and end point and you had to figure your route. That was something refreshing but it was annoying having to keep my eyes on the road as well as the mini-map to figure out my route. Led to a lot of crashes or going up the wrong lane.

I prefer The Crew's checkpoint-racing style. That's not to say that there aren't shortcuts to explore but more or less, the route is laid out for me and I can just focus on the racing and on the road in front of me.

There's also plenty of off-road racing which refreshes things up a bit. 

Like most racing games these days, The Crew has a story to follow AND like most racing plots, The Crew's plot is exactly the same. I feel like knocking my head against a wall. It is the most generic story-line ever for a racing game. I can tell you the story right now and it wouldn't even be considered a spoiler because..there is nothing to spoil.

Guy is in the racing scene, with a brother. Brother has some dealings with some shady characters. Everything looks fine but shady characters decide to backstab Brother and kill him. Our protagonist gets framed for the murder and goes to jail. Some time later, Good Cop (Has to be a lady) makes an appearance, helping our hero get revenge, in the hopes of taking down Bad Cops & Criminals. Hero & Good Cop Lady have an uneasy relationship but Hero obliges and has to work his way up in the racing scene to get close to Top Criminal & Bad Cops.

As generic as you can get...

This is the plot laid out for you in the first few chapters. Yes it might change and have plenty of twists as we go along but still looks pretty generic to me. 

To conclude, I enjoyed The Crew more than I think it would. The plot however, hasn't made me want to pick this up to see what happens next. I might pick this up if I have the time but considering the many games in front of me this 2 months, this game is coming out at a very wrong time.

The one thing I didn't manage to try was the co-op feature which probably is the biggest selling point of this game. If I don't get this now, there might be no one playing this in a few months. So, it's a bit of now-or-never.

However... some Good News!

The Crew is having a Open Beta on Nov 25 - Nov 28!

Details here: The Crew Official Site

I wanna give this game 1 more try for it's co-op and online experience before I make a final verdict. Join me on PSN guys! My PSN ID is Jengoboy