Gaming

A quick run with The Crew beta on Xbox One

After Grocs’ comprehensive review of the PC beta of The Crew, I was fortunate to get a beta key for the Xbox One version. I’m not going to go into too much detail here as that’s already been done; I will however add my own perspectives based on my limited time with this version.

First up impressions are the story is something you’d expect to see from a Need for Speed or GTA-lite. The cutscenes convey the story well, they just aren’t all that great to watch. The plot is merely there to give reason for mission variety.

Visually the game does well to project the size of the game world. There’s a lot of detail there and some complexity to the road networks. But it seems to let down badly by texture quality which in this version are quite muddy and dark. The first mission looks plain ugly and there is little punch with anything beyond that. The PC beta’s visuals are far more impressive.

In direct competition is Forza Horizon 2 which was released last week and may be smaller in map size but has a strong engine behind it. That it also has an abundance of brightness and colour is in stark contrast to The Crew which feels quite last gen with it preference for the brown side of the palette.

Controls are arcade like and are surprisingly more reminiscent of GTAV than Forza Motorsport. Handling isn’t as responsive as I’d personally like and the AI seems less than impressive. The first mission does not help on that front either when it appears to make it challenging by giving  your opponents better vehicles with which to crowd you in.

The game makes me think back to another recent Ubisoft title in Watch Dogs; initially it appeared to be pushing the envelope but on delivery it turns out that it borrows more than it innovates and is feels very cookie cutter in implementation. If the games released at the console’s launch it may have been a different story but time has shown bigger titles on the horizon (pun intended).

The beta comes to an end on the 6th of October. As this is still a beta a lot can change when the final game arrives in stores but I wonder if the timing of this may have backfired for the game. Launching the beta at the same time as Forza Horizon 2 only highlights the difference in quality (especially visually) and may sink the game before it even has a chance.

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3 replies »

  1. I didn’t get the chance to test out “The Crew” on Xbox One but I am disappointed so far in the feedback I’ve read. I was hoping this game was going to be the next Test Drive Unlimited (I still hold some hope). I am hoping to review “The Crew” in November so I guess I’ll be able to give some final impressions then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We all loved the original TDU; it was a unique and innovative game that has a lot of love here. This kind of feels like it tried to leap over it but stumbled after tripping over the still burning corpse of TDU2. 😛
      I was really hoping to find some “wow” in it but I was surprised with how little there was to grab me. I’m sure it will be better at launch and there’ll be more to see in the full game but it didn’t work. I was looking to see something at least equal to those PC screens but no luck.
      First impressions go a long way in determining if a player will continue playing the game and The Crew could do with some help in that respect. It’s something both Forza games do very well.

      Like

      • Well we’ll have to wait a bit longer before we can judge the full version for ourselves. It has been delayed until December 2nd. Chances are if Ubisoft don’t get it right they may delay further. Another console beta is due November.

        Liked by 1 person

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