Paradise Cities: The Crew Has Lots Of Game Modes

By Graham Smith on August 22nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

There’s a narrative arc to my interest in most racing games: at first they seem to support my interest in driving and exploration, and then slowly, bit by bit, these racing games reveal themselves to be dependent upon racing. So it is with this trailer for The Crew, Ubi’s looming open world racing game set in a shrunken, greatest-hits compilation of the entire United States. Open world! Exploration! Drive about and stuff! And then comes the missions, the modes, the multiplayer; joyful things for someone, but not for Sunday drivers like me.

Still, the game remains the one I’m most excited about, which is just straight up weird. Come watch the informative trailer.

I do quite like the look of Climb, in which you drive to the top of the game’s various mountain peaks. I’d be doing that anyway.

I wonder how this world has been built. FUEL enabled the size of its world by setting rules for different kinds of environments, and then generating that terrain at runtime for a seed. That meant that its huge, open terrain didn’t require enormous amounts of space on DVDs or hard drives, nor enormous numbers of artists to craft its vistas full of mesas. The Crew is considerably higher detail and built by Ubisoft, who are no strangers to smashing bodies against problems till they’re resolved, but does that mean it’s going to be a ridiculously vast install? Or is there something procedural under the hood?

Let’s email them and ask, eh. The Crew is being developed by former Test Drive Unlimited devs at new studio Ivory Tower, with assistance from the makers of the excellent, bizarre Driver: San Francisco, Ubisoft Reflections. It’s due out November 11th.

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24 Comments »

  1. Eight Rooks says:

    You say

    does that mean it’s going to be a ridiculously vast install?

    but the entire map was already in the beta, IIRC (there just wasn’t anything structured to do in most of it). I can’t remember the install size off the top of my head, but it wasn’t anything particularly excessive.

    • Xorkrik says:

      15 GB or so.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      The problem is the definition of “procedural”. People don’t really seem to get it.

      ARMA is in part procedural too, just like the two Test Drive: Unlimited and so on. It doesn’t have to be Minecraft style. I mean, even Elite is procedurally generated, yet the world is the same for everyone and some stuff is still handcrafted.

      Procedural generation is an artist’s tool, and it’s a bloody brilliant one when used properly and engineered right. The fact that it’s often used as an actual gameplay mechanic doesn’t mean anything, in fact it puts the whole thing in a bad light since in order to do it real time you can’t really expect much.

      Things are much different when you use it in house only to lay the foundations of the rest of handcrafted content. Yes, The Crew has some procedural generation in place, the good kind.

  2. PopeRatzo says:

    See, now you’re just toying with me, by mentioning Paradise City, and the greatest computer game of all time, Burnout Paradise.

    I just hope there are a few billboards to jump through and a stunt mode in The Crew. Geez, I’m all swollen just thinking about a good open world car game this Fall.

    • zentropy says:

      Indeed! Probably my favorite racer of all time. That is if you don’t count games like Wipthreeout and Twisted Metal :3

    • nu1mlock says:

      Paradise City because it’s the same woman talking as in Burnout Paradise. Among several other racing games from EA.

  3. Toadsmash says:

    After sinking something like 500-600 hours into Forza 4 on my 360, every single PC racing game I’ve bothered with since (and there have been many) has felt hopelessly inadequate. It’d sure be nice for the PC to get a really top notch entry in that franchise. I’m not sure there has been one since Burnout Paradise, and if you’re a sim nut like me, maybe even longer!

    • PopeRatzo says:

      You don’t think they’re going to make this really sim-like, do you? Gosh, I hope not. I love the Criterion/NFS driving mechanics. I really don’t want to be worrying about tire wear when I’m drifting around mountain turns and doing jumps off half-built bridges.

      I’m holding my breath on this one. I know there are lots of Forza lovers around here, but going around and around on a track and worrying about fuel and whether there’s enough windshield fluid left, is not my idea of a great open world racing game. Anyway, aren’t they still making Forza games for you guys?

      (edit: please excuse me, I confused Forza with F1 or some other racing sim. Forza Horizon looks like my kind of game, except my wife won’t let me have an XBox. She says spending a couple grand building a gaming PC is plenty for me and if I don’t get out there and fix the trellis in the back yard she’s gonna take that away from me. I told her, “You’re not the boss of me”, but only in my head. I better head outside right now).

      • Toadsmash says:

        They are, but I don’t think I could be bothered getting an Xbox One for Forza 5 if somebody paid me. I adore a good arcade racing game, too, but NFS has been overwhelmingly “do 50 things right, get 25 more horribly wrong” for years and GRID’s scope is severely limited. I’d kill to get another Burnout Paradise that really blew the car selection and customization options wide open.

        …And while I’m dreaming, I’d really really like a pony.

      • Toadsmash says:

        Watch a video of Forza 4′s vinyl and paint job customization options sometime. Can you imagine how insanely far the PC modding community would take something like that and run the ever living hell out of it, whether it was based on an arcade or a sim model?

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        The only thing that disappoints me about The Crew so far is that, from what I can tell, they’re using licensed cars. This means we won’t get to see much destruction from collisions. Compared to Paradise, anyway.

      • Marcus says:

        I don’t play racing sims, but isn’t Assetto Corsa a good game?

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          AC is an excellent game, but it’s in no way comparable to Forza 4 as it’s very different.

          The point about Forza is that it’s quasi-sim approach is a nice blend, it’s forgiving enough yet it has a lot of complex maths under the hood, something that gives a lot of depth to tuning and upgrading your cars and still provides a believable handling model that, while easier than real life, is still depicted in a complex and accurate way when evaluated in it’s own context.

          But the real deal is another: Forza is a complete experience, down to the career, the progression, the hoarding of cars and the upgrading/painting. It’s complex enough for enthusiasts to evaluate if it’s better for a certain car to add a turbocharger or to tweak the camshaft and other engine tweaks to stay naturally aspirated while getting a higher max rev range.

          If you want to tweak your car to stay at the top of it’s cathegory you’ll have to pick just a few upgrades, and there’s a lot of depth in understanding which are best for a particular car, or the kind of opponents you want. An Exige in the same class as other big BMWs won’t have the same max speed, because it’s handling and little weight are padding the class rating a lot already, so you can’t beat them in straight lines unless you ONLY upgrade the engine, and you might be as desperate as to skip the tyres.

          It still works for non-enthusiasts though, as it’s not too impossible to win and it’s fun to fuck around, and the visual customization is incredibly deep aswell, just like all the stuff you can share with the community, including car set ups and so on.

          • Toadsmash says:

            ^ This, a thousand times over.

            It’s also entirely possible to completely ignore the gearhead side and succeed, which is what I did.

            Also has by far the most gorgeous, detailed cockpit views in the business, but that’s neither here nor there.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Aye, although AC is really just right behind for cockpit graphics, but that’s a matter of taste and it’s deeply tied to the artstyle, AC goes for a somewhat “dry” photorealism while F5 is more bombastic.

            Eitherway, to further iterate, i think what makes most of us Forza fans mad is how much that game is CLEARLY a PC game, yet it’s not there. Oh, and the fact that it would fill a void with it’s sub genre.

    • DaviDeMo says:

      This is an arcade game. ubisoft is not hiding it.
      There are other sim games for pc.
      Search for “Assetto Corsa”

  4. iainl says:

    It does look an awful lot like someone has tried to make Burnout Paradise play on the Test Drive: Unlimited engine. I’m deeply sceptical about the handling of the cars, but this has huge potential.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      It does look an awful lot like someone has tried to make Burnout Paradise play on the Test Drive: Unlimited engine.

      How can you tell? I only saw about 2 seconds of what it will actually look like from the player’s perspective.

      When you say Test Drive Unlimited’s engine, how do you mean?

      • iainl says:

        A couple of things, really – most obviously the way the camera zooms down from the map to the road, but also the lighting and camera remind me a lot of TDU2. All of which is more an art thing than an engine one, I guess – but I mean the game looks like a TDU one, but the cars move in that exaggerated drifting that is more Burnout.

  5. Opellulo says:

    Maybe this will be a racing game fun to play instead that pretty to watch…

  6. Premium User Badge

    draglikepull says:

    This looks pretty cool but some of the “features” the voice-over describes are hilarious.

    “1900 square kilometres to drive in.” OK, that’s pretty cool.

    “If you drive faster than anyone else you’ll win.” Well, yeah.

    “Our races have checkpoints.” OK now you’re not even trying.

  7. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Ooooooooooooooohoohoohoooooooooooooooooooooo…I also really hope the Sunday Driver is catered to reasonably well. None of this Em-Em-Oh Action Driving™ for me, thanks.

    Also: 天外魔境 第四の黙示録
    (souce article)

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