The Crew was an enjoyable game that filled the void left by not having an annual Need for Speed game for the first time in over a decade. But whilst the open world was huge and engaging, the actual driving sometimes felt a little bit off, and the game never felt like it had quite the arcade thrills of some of the competition.
Ubisoft obviously gauged it enough of a success for a huge expansion, which is due out next month. We went hands-on over the weekend with the PC Beta of ‘The Wild Run,’ which can basically be summed up as The Crew, except on steroids, with a healthy dose of Forza Horizon thrown in.
There’s two types of major extensions that have been bolted onto the game. Primarily, there’s new hub locations, which are opportunities to earn credits by your ranking at the end of the calendar period. Your overall ranking versus other human players, and the number of races you enter, determines your additional reward. It’s a neat incentive to play more, and to be a bit of a completionist.
There’s also a slight festival atmosphere to these locations, and whilst a central hub like Forza Horizon would have added a community feel, it still feels like a neat addition.
The second major upgrade comes in the form of new car and race types. Weakest of the new types is the drift mode. The handling feels pretty unconnected to the road surface, and the nuance in handling required to score big points just feels a bit ‘off.’ Strongest, by far, is the addition of Monster Trucks. These events have you pulling off tricks and timing jumps to pick up point tokens to rack up a big score.
The handling model here feels much better, and a) monster trucks are pretty cool, and b) doing flips with monster trucks is really cool. On top of this, more of the map has been populated, and there’s more traditional events available as well. Whilst the beta isn’t clear about the exact amount of content, it does seem like a very generous helping.
Overall, “The Crew: Wild Run” seems like the definitive way to play The Crew. More colourful, more outlandish, more personality, whilst retaining the multiplayer focus and allowing more of the world to be explored. The new cars are great, and I have high hopes for this expansion.
In fact, it’s good enough that I imagine many people will hope it gets a standalone release.
“The Crew: Wild Run” is sheduled for release