So the NDA on The Crew has been lifted. Ergo one can discuss the thoughts that I have through being part of The Crew’s beta.
My immediate thoughts are: It’s good! There is a massive world to drive around. Plenty of things to go and explore and look at. The cars that I’ve driven seem good. Some of the systems feel a little bit weird such as the upgrade path for cars. By completing challenges you can get parts for your car, if you complete challenges to a higher level you get a better part as well as a random bonus to a stat.
This makes the game feel very interesting as a numbers game. The higher the level of your parts the higher the level of your car which in turn makes things easier to complete in the story missions.
The story itself is fairly interesting and they’re at least trying to do SOMETHING rather than the usual crap. Test Drive Unlimited 2’s Story is nothing more than an excuse for races with some really awful characters for AI drivers. In my time with The Crew the characters felt like characters even if some of the links are tenuous at best. It at least tries and it tries with success which I like. Right now some of the discussions are with animated talking heads where as some are just static pictures.
Now the important stuff. The driving. In a game like this the single most important thing so even though there is the a huge map to drive around (there is) where you can drive anywhere, even off the roads (which you can!) if the cars feel crap there’s no point! So, how are they?
They’re alright. Arcady which is as expected and they mostly feel solid. Basically only played with “entry” level cars and an Aston Martin Vantage. They all feel a little floaty and good for drifting but they feel good enough for the context of the game. It doesn’t take away from the enjoyment.
The controls feel really solid. Not only the controller but… Dun Dun Duuuuun!! The keyboard controls are really nice.
Obviously about 12 hours worth of playing a game THIS huge with a Beta version is very different to playing the full game with lots of cars to drive but I am happy enough to pre-order the game and will enjoy it even if I spend most the time just driving around for the joy of driving around. Spent most of my time driving from City to City. From Detroit to New York over the see the Grand Canyon then San Francisco finishing over in Miami. That took about 6 hours but I loved every minute of it.
Looking forward to what happens with the final version of the game. These thoughts and feelings are purely based on the beta version but I am confident from the beta and would recommend the game to people who enjoy have enjoyed the Test Drive games.