Ubisoft’s open world racing game The Crew was at the Pax Prime 2014 event where we had a chance to experience the game one more time besides its beta sessions.
The game was open for play in two different booths at the event which allowed ample space for most players to give it a shot. For those of you who managed to come to Pax we need not explain how good it was to play it live at the exhibition floor. But for the majority who couldn’t make it to the show, we would like to tell you that it was definitely one of the best racing games we have played in recent times.
Instead of directly jumping into the game, we started off by going into the car tuning setup screen. It is really elaborate and had a whole lot of features that would even make professional racers happy. Our best time was spent in tuning the car, making upgrades and altering its overall mechanics so as to create a wacky machine as our hearts pleased. It was fun but then came the time to take the vehicle to the roads to see how well it could put up against the competition.
Playing On a Steering Wheel
We admit that playing racing titles like The Crew is best done on a racing wheel but the particular one at the Pax Prime exhibition was too responsive to handle. It was jumping at random incidents and took a while before we could get in sync with it. There were three other friends to team up with during this hands-on demo and there were two mission modes open to explore. The first mission was easily understood. All we had to do was to ram into a target vehicle and make sure the enemy doesn’t reach his checkpoint. We had quite a bit of fun in this destruction derby style mission.
The second one was a classic street race but it was against AI opponents rather than real human players. That was a bit of a turn down because The Crew is all about keeping you socially engaged and making sure you get to always stay in touch with other players than going against computer opponents. Another graceful aspect of the game is that the car damages are minimal and you can continue racing for a long time before having to hit the garage.
Balancing Arcade and Realism
From the time spent during the Pax event, The Crew looked more of an arcade racer but the touch of realism was readily incorporated into the game. You can plow or crash through almost any part of the map without losing complete control of the car. It does look mandatory because if it is made like a racing simulator, players may end up skipping the game altogether. After all, it was designed for the majority of the audience and has to be a racing game that everyone can play. It was fun while it lasted and we look forward to the game’s release.