Ubisoft isn’t done for the year yet. Despite launching Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 in November alone, the developer/publisher powerhouse is dishing out The Crew tomorrow, December 2. In just a few hours, you and your friends will be able to race across the States, cooperatively completing minigames, races and missions that pit you and your group (or “crew,” as it were) of ne’er-do-wells against the cops in high-speed chases.
The game launches at midnight, and reviews drop soon after that, but here’s what you need to know about The Crew before getting behind the wheel and buckling up.
1. It Takes More Than an Hour to Drive Across the Map
The Crew is a huge game. It’s so big, in fact, that it takes an hour-and-a-half to drive from one coast to the other in the open world Ubisoft has created. The map is a smaller version of the United States, but it’s still impressive it will take so long to cross it. If I’m doing my math correctly, if it takes a car traveling 90 miles per hour an hour-and-a-half to drive from one coast to the other, it’s, what, 135 miles wide? That’s pretty big, especially considering there are no loading screens to slow you down as you cruise.
2. Minigames Are Scattered Across the World
Tons of missions will be available in The Crew. In fact, Ubisoft has stated that it will take players 20 hours to make it through the story — and yes, there is an actual story in the game, with real characters (one of them voiced by the legendary Troy Baker, no less) and everything. But besides the campaign that involves infiltrating organized crime groups, there are challenges called “skills” spread across the map in the form of minigames. One might ask you to weave through gates while another could task you with speeding next to a curving line for as long as possible. Scores are saved automatically so your friends can try to top you at any time.
3. It’s Been Referred to as a Role-Playing Game
Julian Gerighty, creative director for The Crew, has alluded to the racer as an RPG, complete with multiplayer components. The is probably due to the fact that The Crew requires a constant Internet connection because the single- and multiplayer aren’t truly separate beasts; they run and mesh together in an open and persistent world. True to its name, groups of friends can create crews to pull off missions or race together. If anything, The Crew sounds like the world’s first racing MMO.
4. You Can Build Custom Cars With a Tie-In App
It wouldn’t be a good racing game without car customization, right? You’re going to want the option to fine-tune your vehicles in any way you see fit. Want a different spoiler? No problem. How about a stylish paint job? Done. Need some powerful headlights and a sturdy set of tires for off-road driving? The Crew‘s got you covered. But besides being able to do this in-game, tie-in apps for both iOS and Android devices will allow you to customize cars even when you’re not in-game. If you’re bored at work, school, the doctor’s office, or wherever, I’ve got a good idea of how to burn some minutes.
5. It’s Called “The Crew” For a Reason
It seems strange to hear the words The Crew only to learn the new-gen game is a racing title, but obviously Ubisoft didn’t throw any random name onto their upcoming game. As easy as it is to run through the entire game as a lone wolf, The Crew emphasizes online play. As the trailer shows, you and a few buddies (or random online partners) can group up, form a “crew,” and drive across the country together, tackling missions as a team. So long as the servers can handle the launch, it should be a blast tearing up the streets and off-road environments of the greatest country on earth. Just don’t get pulled over.
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