Cars From Coast To Coast
The saying goes that variety is the spice of life. In this game, that's definitely something that is taken to heart. In both environment and car selection, there is a large variety and while there could definitely be more vehicles, by no means do I feel that the car count is low. It's just that several other racing games have much higher counts. Sitting somewhere in the mid 40 count (keeping in mind I have the two included with the Season Pass purchase) there is a lot of variety consisting of mostly USA and European made vehicles with the only Asian vehicles I've seen making an appearance being two from Nissan.
From classics to modern day heavy hitters and plenty in between, there is no shortage of options. I just wish there were more. Chalk it up to greed, or the need for speed, but more would be nice. A nice cherry on top of the vehicle variety is the amount of customization available for vehicles, both cosmetic and practical. The only thing more I could ask for on the customization side of things would be vinyl designs or custom license plates that would help player rides stand out further.
Once you're out on the open road, you'll experience much of what this version of the USA has to offer. Whether you're speeding through the autumn colored woods of Maine, the bustling streets of New York City, or venturing out west into the Rocky Mountains or the desert surrounding Las Vegas, there's a lot going on. The level of detail is quite nice for such a large game, but sometimes it's nice to slow down and just take in the sights. As previously mentioned, it's a heavily condensed version of the USA and it's noticeable by the absence of some major cities mostly in the midwest and southern regions. Still, the twelve major cities offered and the small towns dotted around the map are more than enough to make the world feel lived in and not just an open space with empty roadways.
The controls are something I think are indeed worth mentioning in a racing game, and The Crew is no exception. You're either going to love them, or hate them. Plain and simple. If you're willing to adapt to the small learning curve, then you're going to find a game where car handling lies somewhere between the arcade fantasy and the professional racing simulators. Personally, I loved this approach to the handling as it makes the game overall more accessible to a wider audience. Sharp turns at high speeds are still feasible without being too easy to pull off, acceleration and braking both have the sense of added weight to the vehicles, and I haven't played a racing game yet with drifting as fun as in The Crew.
That being said, there are some things I think could improve the overall handling as far as controls go. The game excels when you're playing with a controller, but with a keyboard and mouse it's... not awful, but it's not great. There's a feeling of siginificantly less precision in maneuvering when using a keyboard and mouse. I can't stress enough that it definitely feels like this game was meant to be played with a controller. So if you don't have a controller, be prepared to either buy one or simply grin and bear it if you try to play without one.
A Slightly Bumpy Finish
For as much as I enjoyed the game, there are still some major flaws that could have been easily avoided. The game starts off trying to convince you that there's a story worth mentioning. Don't get your hopes up, because the story is both nonsense and awkwardly paced and only gets worse as the game goes along. The music is also not really anything to write home about, as very few tracks actually fit the racing theme. Taking the good and weighing it against the few negatives or things I would've changed or added, The Crew carves a name for itself amongst the ranks of long standing racing series with one quick motion.
Large variety of cars and customization options, massive and interesting world to traverse, never a lack of player or AI interaction, intense racing overall
Though an "MMO" players are limited to 8 per proximity limit, keyboard and mouse controls are somewhat sluggish, music doesn't fit, story is just awful