The final testing event for The Crew has come to a close but with the December 2nd release date looming, there’s a concerning list of problems that need to be resolved if Ubisoft hope to launch the game to a positive reception.
No Sense Of Balance
Something that really surprised me is the lack of catch-up mechanic or dynamic balancing feature within races. Although many will argue that a catch-up mechanic ruins the experience, the average player is not going to enjoy falling 300-400m behind first place each and every time. The thrill of recovering after a bad crash or bumping fenders with first place on the final lap is something we all enjoy.
Random Rewards Are Unrewarding
Although the majority of The Crew is accessible and easy to understand, the current looting system seems needlessly complicated and at its foundation, lacks any real feeling of reward and progression. Completing a mission sees players rewarded with tiered items, which in turn increases the overall level and performance of the car. However, this doesn’t allow for much choice in early customization. If you want to improve your car in any one specific area, it’s more than likely you’ll need to crawl through other missions and unwanted rewards first.
Competing In Co-Op Feels Wrong
I understand the need for a competitive PvP element but why am I competing with members of my Crew when participating in story missions and other non-competitive elements? In a game that aims to deliver an immersive and social experience, leaving some players doomed to constant bronze rewards will likely see them opt to play alone instead of alongside friends. Even with a group of similarly skilled players there will always players that do not get the gold while their friends and crew members do – often prompting replays of story missions over and over.
Fluidity Of Campaign Missions
Nobody expects a ground-breaking story in a game like The Crew but if you’re going to put the time and effort into a story, make it as fluid as possible. The open beta introduced players to a few of the key characters and a linear start to the story before suddenly expanding into other areas before really having any impact on the first area. Upon completing a story or campaign mission the player is usually given a brief audio description of the next mission before directions on adding a waypoint. Why can’t the game automatically place an objective marker for you?
Multiplayer Connnectivity & Crew Functionality
An issue that’s reared its ugly head in Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity and now The Crew. Whether it’s Ubisoft’s net code or the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One servers struggling under the load, every recent release has suffered from poor connectivity to other players and an unreliable connection to the main game server. During the open beta for The Crew, I sat down during a single session and played for 13 hours straight – 8 hours of which saw the world entirely void of other players. Just days from launch and players are struggling to enjoy the main attraction.