The Crew: Wild Run Review

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Driving
 
Rating: false
 
Release Date: Out Now
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
3/5


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Positives


Monster Truck challenges are fun
New challenges from The Summit
Visual upgrade is significant, and free to all
Sense of speed is finally present

Negatives


$45 pricetag is steep for what it is
Still some bugs and physics still a bit wonky


0
Posted November 21, 2015 by

 
Full Article
 
 

If you own Ubisoft’s open-world racing title The Crew, you may have noticed a massive update downloading automatically onto your PS4 or Xbox One in the last week, containing The Crew: Wild Run, which includes fixes, improvements and extra content intended to complete the original experience. Among the additions are bikes, monster trucks, drift trials and drag races. However, most of the content is sealed off behind an unlock from the online store for the Wild Run expansion, itself AU $44.95.

Let’s start with the good news first. If you’re still playing The Crew a year after its release, you’ll still receive the visual upgrade the update delivers. Assets have been upgraded across the board, as have visual effects and the game’s lighting system. Driving on freeways or barreling down sidewalks actually conveys a sense of speed that was largely absent from the original game. A new weather system is part of the package, which looks pretty slick, especially in the car’s cockpit view. The physics themselves are still a bit hit-and-miss. Drifting around corners on slippery surfaces feels exaggerated, but workable, and driving near-vertically up one of the new Trackmania-style loop-de-loops and coming to a halt when you’re at a 90 degree angle is a bit suspect. I doubt my car’s handbrake is that good.

TCWR_02

Overhauling your game’s visual presentation is a pretty big undertaking, and making this update available to all players is a nice gesture. However, the other big additions that Wild Run brings are for DLC-owners only. There are several new types of vehicles and kits to alter your existing vehicles. Motorbikes are one of the more publicised and obvious additions, although there’s only a relatively small selection of them at this stage. More interesting are the new ‘drift’, ‘drag’ and ‘monster truck’ specs and the challenges that accompany them. Drift races, as you’d expect, involve a lot more turns than your average showdown, as you accumulate points for the longer you can sustain your drift. Drag races, let’s be honest, are racing in straight lines, so the developers have attempted to make them more interesting with timed starts and gear changes. A meter on-screen shows a ‘sweet spot’ for your tires to be in when you launch, and when you need to shift gears, and adds a little more engagement than you might otherwise have.

My personal favourite of the new line-up are the monster truck specs, and especially the arena designed to challenge them. Full of half-pipes, ramps, corkscrews and loop-de-loops, there’s room to do all kinds of tricks and flips in a Tony Hawk-lite environment. Your mission is to grab as many points as possible, either by collecting coins strewn throughout the level, some in hard to reach places, or by trying to build enough speed by yourself to pull off some air-time. It’s simple, but a lot of fun, even if the physics can feel kind of floaty.

TCWR_07

The biggest new feature, The Summit, is where most of the action of the Wild Run takes place. It’s a little confusing how to find and participate in The Summit at first glance. Basically, there are Summit events held on dates around the year, which contain a bunch of challenges for Wild Run‘s new specs. To participate, you first have to qualify in a range of ways, by furthering your ranking in monster truck arenas, or drag races, or climbing the PvP ladder. A menu of these different options can be found by finding The Summit’s main base (which sometimes refused to show up on my map), and you can spec your existing cars into drift, drag or trucks in shops around the existing Crew map. If you’re able to find a stable and co-operative Crew, this long after the original’s launch, you can try the FreeDrive Challenges and Stunt missions, which may ask you to drive at 140 km/h for 15 seconds, or fly down a highway without hitting anyone. There’s a bunch of rewards on the table for players who can perform well enough, and for new players it would certainly make for a fun side-activity to go alongside the main storyline.

However, AU $44.95 is quite a lot for a DLC expansion, especially one where many of the positives it provides are already available to all players. It certainly seems too high just to participate in weekly online challenges, which is largely what The Summit is. The new monster trucks, bikes, drift and drag races are fun, but serve to flesh out The Crew experience as fun side activities, rather than being a compelling game mode in and of themselves. A far more attractive proposition awaits new buyers who’ve never played the game, who can get The Crew: Wild Run edition in shops, which includes the original game, updated with the upgraded visuals and Wild Run content (as of this article, selling for about AU $49). As part of a larger whole, the Wild Run content helps to make The Crew into the more complete experience it should have been, but by itself as DLC the price will likely be too high for all but the most devoted Crew fans.


Adam Ghiggino

 
Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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