The Crew Is Basically A Walking Simulator With Wheels

Oh it's set in a forest too GEEZ.

Get a load of this. In The Crew, you travel around a vast expanse of terrain for the shear joy of it, which means it’s not really a “game” at all. It’s one of those dumb ‘walking simulators’, only one in which you move quicker than in, say, Proteus. Still, Ubisoft continue to scrabble desperately to convince us that their artsy-exploration project is worth covering, most recently with this trailer touting its “social” features. Speedwalking with friends? Ugh.

This time the terrain you’ll be exploring isn’t some flower-covered dirtmound or gloomy Hebridean island, but instead an abstract metaphor for capitalism and gaudy excess in the form of a shrunken, greatest-hits version of the United States. As if that wasn’t all indie-trendy enough, I even bet parts of the countryside you travel through on your journeys from Las Vegas to New York are procedurally generated in order to keep down file size down in its install. Typical.

In fairness, it at least looks better than Ubisoft’s last attempt at wheelbound ambulation, which combined its (st)rolling with the biggest of all ‘art-game’ clichés by having the player character be inside a coma. Ugh ugh ugh! We’ll have some hands-on time with The Crew next week to confirm which Steam tag you should append to it come its November 11th/14th release.

73 Comments

Top comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Graham Smith says:

    I didn't do enough to make it clear that I'm joking in much of the post above, or to let on that The Crew is one of the games I'm most looking forward to, so here's me enthusing about The Crew in two other posts:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/06/10/the-crew-e3-trailer/
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/08/22/the-crew-game-modes/

    And here's me enthusing about driving games:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/04/11/city-car-driving-is-as-much-about-roleplay-as-dayz/
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/10/24/impressions-oculus-rift-support-for-euro-truck-simulator-2/
  1. feffrey says:

    Will it accurately portray the Midwest with roads between corn and soy bean fields as far as the eye can see?

    • SamC says:

      If the map in the video is any indication, it looks like they have conveniently condensed out the endless flat one mile grids of Kansas. A shame.

    • evil_m3nace says:

      Yes infact they do. Fields and fields of corn wheat and other stuff growing. Also what every other open world game doesn’t, pedestrians, you can hit them, bonk them, and they curse at you.

  2. GameCat says:

    Walking simulator with wheels?
    I want a game about a gentleman with top hat and monocle riding through British countryside on that old bicycle with giant wheel.

    • SIDD says:

      “[…] a gentleman with top hat and monocle riding through British countryside[…]”
      For some odd reason the first idea that popped into my mind upon reading that was “sounds like a mod for ‘You Sir, are being hunted”

      • LionsPhil says:

        Trading stealth for speed, and dodging shot by wobbling erratically upon your penny farthing as you try not to topple to your broken-arm doom.

        Jim, find a way to make this happen.

      • LaKriz says:

        My thought excactly. ;)

  3. Kollega says:

    Isn’t there a term already for “taking a walk and observing the scenery with wheels”? I think it was something like… “highway”… or “route”… and the second part was “journey”… or “voyage”… no, I’m pretty sure it was something starting with “tr”, like “travel”, but shorter… damn, it’s on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t for the life of me remember it.

    Seriously though, I’ve been pining for a game with a decent-sized map and decent-speed vehicles for a while now, and since I don’t have as fatal of an allergy to Uplay as many commenters here seem to have, I’ll most likely be picking this up.

  4. trjp says:

    I’ve read some pretentious twaddle in my time but this may be the all-time winner ;0

    We get that RPS doesn’t “do” driving games – we really do – they’re up there with football and most anything else vaguely competitive or requiring of inate talent, it’s not your bag – got that, loud and clear – rodger rodger over and out.

    Having played The Crew already via it’s various Closed Betas I need to make it clear that I don’t have any vested interest in it per-se so I feel no need to defend it – but…

    Surely we watch a video without it being shrouded in ennui and ‘wit’ – or just not bother mentioning it – or…

    • Shar_ds says:

      Given the Hivemind’s fondness for both walking simulators and “dull-drive-em-ups” like Truck Simulator, I think it’s safe to say that you may have taken their pithy prose as something it isn’t…

    • Morph says:

      Yeah I don’t think you quite get it. They’re sending up people who complain about walking simulators, not those who like driving games. Well I laughed anyway.

      • Fanbuoy says:

        Yeah, the article made me laugh, as well. Good stuff! What made me laugh harder, however, was the fact that some people read it as an honest denunciation of the game. That’s just hilarious.

    • RARARA says:

      RPS doesn’t ‘do’ driving games? You must be new here and have never heard their enthusiasm for Fuel, regardless of how broken it was.

      Or you’re just a humorless foo’.

  5. xfstef says:

    NOW NEW ! get The Crew on your mobile device so that you can also take a shit, with your crew.

  6. nrvsNRG says:

    Gave the beta the old college try, but it didn’t stick. Driving model, cliche story, UI and social features ruined it for me.

  7. kuangmk11 says:

    Needs zombies

  8. Disrespecting says:

    Huh.. Didn’t see this coming.
    I played during beta and pretty much hate racing games besides mario kart, but the crew felt very fun to play.
    Random challenges on the roads, police chases and racing against other players to purchase better cars..

    Theres not much more to racing games is there? Felt like a solid experience to me.

  9. Yoshizmo says:

    I pre-purchased The Crew and tried the Beta August 25th.
    I really enjoyed what content was there.
    It mixes the best parts of my 2 favorite racing games of all time: “Need for Speed Most Wanted (2005)” and “Burnout Paradise.”
    – Huge open world
    – Steady stream of car upgrades
    – Huge amount of visual tweaks for the cars
    – It’s not only street driving, you can outfit your car with a Rally kit and a more professional driving kit
    I felt like it was a good mix of arcade style and simulation. You couldn’t go full throttle into every turn, but it didn’t feel as strict as titles like Gran Tourismo.
    The prejudice in this article is quite apparent. It seems there is an attempt to make the game look bad, but it just makes the author look un-informed and a genre-ist.

    • zentropy says:

      I loved Paradise and Most Wanted as well. But will not be touching this with any length of pole. Too many bad design decisions (IMHO).

      Also, fast travel GTFO… :/

      • ulix says:

        Noone forces you to use fast travel.
        While it’s there in Skyrim for example, I rarely use it at all.

    • TheSplund says:

      I was going to say something very similar but reference NFS1 &2 with Burnout Paradise – driving fast in great scenery is driving at it’s best (I’ll ditch the crew and go solo) – a Glitchiker-esque night time mode would be cool

  10. SophiaButler says:

    I do hope this game haz no mention of humanz at all. Carz only would bee nice. A nice appreciation for engineering without all the (probably) crappy gender politicz anything car related seemz to have would bee nice.

    Like transformerz post-humanz but no actual transforming maybee.

  11. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Yes please. Digital road trip simulator. Online? FORGET THAT MAN (90’s BBC swear dubbing mode: OFF). Don’t need griefers ruinung my peace.

    Oculus compatibility by any chance? Day 1 purchase if yes.

    • ZombieJ says:

      I thought I saw that it did… but I was thinking of track-racer Project Cars – link to en.wikipedia.org

    • darkshadow42 says:

      Griefers were quite hilarious in the euro truck multiplayer mod. Me and a friend were somewhere deep in the heart of Germany in some rather hill region we’d named “bandit country”. Anyway when we got split up, going up one of the windy hills he got badly rammed by a black lorry and had to reload his last save, we spent the rest of the journey sticking close together in convoy and nervously peaking around blind bends looking for ambushes, panicking every time we saw a black lorry (which seemed to be just about every lorry in the region) in our mirrors or on the other side of the road. I swore all the lorries swerved across the lines to try and clip me, which may have been down to my poor choice of paint scheme that looked a little too much like a French flag…

      Anyway the story in brief is multiplayer made what would have been an otherwise forgettable journey into something memorable and very silly.

  12. Penguin_Factory says:

    I would totally play a game that was basically this or Forza Horizon with no actual racing. Just drive around exploring the environment, maybe getting story nuggets over your radio.

    Someone make that happen.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Graham Smith says:

    I didn’t do enough to make it clear that I’m joking in much of the post above, or to let on that The Crew is one of the games I’m most looking forward to, so here’s me enthusing about The Crew in two other posts:

    link to rockpapershotgun.com
    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    And here’s me enthusing about driving games:

    link to rockpapershotgun.com
    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    • SharedProphet says:

      You also talked about the “shear joy” of it, but that’s misleading because I doubt you can shear sheep at all in this game.

      • TonyB says:

        Maybe it’s a subtle hint that he’s considering getting rid of his trademark moptop and beard.

      • Ejia says:

        I assume it’s a planned feature that didn’t quite make the cut.

    • Ex Lion Tamer says:

      CORUPCION

    • Amun says:

      I’ll just leave this here.

      link to slate.com

      • Ex Lion Tamer says:

        Amun, while you were no doubt carefully reading that Auerbach piece, did you notice that he links to an RPS article that doesn’t actually exist?

        If you’re going to post something as, effectively, QED, it may be worth examining its contents first.

        • airmikee99 says:

          But RPS did link to the Gamasutra article and agreed with that authors contentions.

          I happen to agree with the general sentiment, I don’t refer to myself as a gamer anymore, because I don’t want to be associated with the people that do refer to themselves as gamers. I love video games, ever since I was 3 and my dad brought home an Atari 2600. of which I still have one in working condition, in addition to many other consoles that collect dust because PC is my preferred platform. But I am sick to death of gamers, for example, the recent release of Uriel’s Chasm on Steam.

          Now it’s not my kind of game, I wouldn’t be caught dead with it in my inventory or list, and I would laugh at anyone willing to play or buy it, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be made available to people that would want it. But check out the Steam forums, endless whining and complaints about how Steam has gone downhill. I went to the forums, not to make fun of an obviously bad game, but to mock the people that think their opinion of what deserves space on an unlimited virtual store shelf is somehow greater than anyone else’s opinion.

          That mentality is usually only found amongst gamers, the one group of people that complain about Call of Duty games to no end, and then complain when other games aren’t Call of Duty. The one group of people that thinks 7-11 selling a certain brand of soda is the end of the world, or in this case, that Steam now has video games that are catered specifically to a demographic that isn’t known for playing video games.

          TL;DR version: Video games are awesome, video gamers suck.

          • Ex Lion Tamer says:

            “But RPS did link to the Gamasutra article and agreed with that authors contentions.”

            We’re clearly on the same general page otherwise, but I do want to note: Auerbach specifically lists a series of articles from major publications, referring to them parenthetically by their actual titles or subtitles in all cases but one…RPS. There he references (presumably) an article called ‘Gamers are over’ which…yes, links to our beloved weekly links roundup. Featuring an editorial aside from Graham with that phrase after the link to Golding’s piece. I’d call that pretty flagrant misrepresentation of the content; the reader is led to believe that RPS published an article with that title unless they clicked through (which, given the frequency of people reposting that article around here/to RPS writers, I’m guessing most didn’t). Where I come from, that’s a more serious breach of journalistic responsibility than anything I’ve seen GamerGate reference. If it didn’t come from Slate (the broader political/cultural equivalent of 2002 IGN), the lack of correction would be startling.

            The relevant part of Auerbach’s piece reproduced in full (with RPS link enabled) for the non-clickers out there:

            “Such articles appeared concurrently in Gamasutra (“ ‘Gamers’ are over” and “A guide to ending ‘gamers’ ”), Destructoid (“There are gamers at the gate, but they may already be dead”), Kotaku (“We might be witnessing the ‘death of an identity’ ”) and Rock, Paper, Shotgun (“Gamers are over”), as well as Ars Technica (“The death of the ‘gamers’ ”), Vice (“Killing the gamer identity”) and BuzzFeed (“Gaming is leaving ‘gamers’ behind”). These articles share some traits in common besides their theses: They are unconvincing, lacking in hard evidence, and big on wishful thinking.”

          • airmikee99 says:

            RE: Ex Lion Tamer

            I understand that RPS did not write an article with that name, but again, they did link to it, and they did agree with it.

            “Over Gamasutra, Leigh Alexander hits the nail on the head better than anyone else I’ve seen so far. ‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience.”

            They also covered a second article mentioned by Slate.

            “Covering similar ground, Dan Golding writes equally well on the end of the ‘gamer’, why that is and what that means.”

            So it’s not like Slate went out of their way to accuse RPS of doing something they didn’t do. RPS may not have written an article with that title, but since RPS said that the author of ‘Gamers are Over’ “hit the nail on the head better than anyone” it’s easy to lump RPS in with the author And the Slate author didn’t accuse RPS of writing the article, they said, “It appeared concurrently” referring to the subject of gamers being sucky, which it did.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            “TL;DR version: Video games are awesome, video gamers suck.”

            You are generalising millions of people in a poor attempt to make yourself feel superior, nothing more, that is basically the entire point about this “gamers are over” nonsense. If you play games, you are a gamer, full fucking stop. No other presumptions can or should be made to try and link those people together.

            “I wouldn’t be caught dead with it in my inventory or list, and I would laugh at anyone willing to play or buy it, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be made available to people that would want it.”

            The general consensus when it comes to Steam (the intelligent consensus at least) is not that games should be removed from Steam, but how they are displayed. Companies dumping their back catalogues on and flooding the new releases page IS a problem and is taking away from the people, mostly indie developers, that are working their ass off to try and create something new and original. It gets removed from sight because 5 Freddi Fish games from 1999 appeared on the new releases tab. That is the argument, again you completely missed the point in order to try and make yourself appear superior.

            “That mentality is usually only found amongst gamers, the one group of people that complain about Call of Duty games to no end, and then complain when other games aren’t Call of Duty.”

            Or maybe, this is 2 completely different opinions, held by 2 completely different subsets of gaming enthusiast, and by grouping them both together like this you just made a completely idiotic and meaningless statement.
            What exactly is your point, that people aren’t allowed to express an opinion? That’s all I can get from your entire post. People voice an opinion about Steam that you don’t share, they are “just gamers” and somehow beneath you, an opinion on CoD, ditto. Stop spouting drivel please. You don’t sound nearly as intellectual as you think you are.

    • derbefrier says:

      Well I thought it was funny. Though it didn’t hit me you were being silly untill about halfway through it. But then I had to laugh at myself for thinking it was serious to begin with ;)

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      :( I’m sad now. I was quite looking forward to a road trip simulator

    • Oktober Storm says:

      The thing is that it actually seems like not much more than a walking simulator. I’m fearing a let-down with make-up.

  14. abrokenchinadoll says:

    Was not impressed with this game. I refunded it on steam asap. I played beta and was very very very bored. It’s like that one MMO version “drift City” or something. You gain components to upgrade performances. It’s very “rank” based.

    • airmikee99 says:

      Woah, where do you live where you’re lucky enough to have local laws that force Steam to offer refunds?

      “As with most software products, unless required by local law, we do not offer refunds or exchanges on games, DLC or in-game items purchased on our website or through the Steam Client.”

      Lucky.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        You can only get refunds on PRE-ORDERS. Its been like that for a while now. Just go to your accounts section.

        • airmikee99 says:

          But that situation doesn’t apply here, does it? If it was a pre-order that hasn’t been released yet, then there’s no way he could have tried it in beta to become disappointed with it to refund it.

          • abrokenchinadoll says:

            I got a wallet refund so I had to get refunded in steam credits :/

  15. Rolento says:

    Hey i enjoyed Driver. The random conversations, were at times, hilarious. Such as the “lets pretend we are pirates” comedy drive:))))

    • rcguitarist says:

      Yeah, I liked Driver San Francisco too. It was alot of fun even though the premise was a little silly.

      • abrokenchinadoll says:

        when I played the beta there was literally no random banter but the other players in the area..and even then it was mostly static.

  16. rcguitarist says:

    If I bought this game I would turn off all the “social components” before I even started playing. I don’t play games to interact with people. If I want to be around other people on any given night I go out with friends like a normal person.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      If I bought this game I wouldn’t go out of my way to put down an entire subset of its playerbase for a personal preference. Like a normal person.

  17. Caerphoto says:

    I even bet parts of the countryside you travel through on your journeys from Las Vegas to York are procedurally generated

    that’s how I originally read that sentence, and was somewhat disappointed when I re-read it :(

  18. PopeRatzo says:

    Can not wait. I’m gonna play this game so hard.

    Someone above said something about a combination of NFS Most Wanted and Burnout Paradise, and that sounds like the sweetest of my sweet spots.

    I’m hoping they have a DJ Atomika buried in the audio options. Seriously.

    I hope there’s an RPS Crew for The Crew, so I can finally be on top instead of on the bottom. So to speak.

  19. tumbleworld says:

    I’d love to be excited for this, but hearing “The Crew is Constant Connection” in that earlier video was enough to kill any interest I had, even if I could somehow ignore uPlay.

    • mr.black says:

      Judging by beta, it’s littered with MMO elements up to the point it being a bit more MMO opposed to SP. And I think they market it as such, so I’d personally say it’s justified in this case…

  20. Distec says:

    Oh man, you were snide in a newspost about those who don’t consider “Walking Simulators” to be proper games.

    You’re the king of wit, Graham. Give me more.

  21. Branthog says:

    So the impression I’m getting is that since I don’t have any friends that play video games, I shouldn’t bother with The Crew.

  22. Hydraulic Meerkat says:

    So, sort of a driving game sandbox? I’m intrigued.

  23. Chann3l says:

    Looks like it should be fun as long as all the bugs get worked out. I got into the beta and tried playing it briefly but had constant black artifacts.

  24. mr.black says:

    I played the game in both closed betas (got hooked after happily being chosen for the first one, and frantically scoured the internet for the second one) and have to say I enjoyed it far more than I’d thought I would. I’ll paraphrase my review I gave to Uplay forums here:

    Now I’m usually a steady-as-she-goes, misanthrope player who doesn’t like playing with others, playing most twitchy-action games, nor playing car games. And yet, I enjoyed the game very much, even with annoyances like obligatory beta progress reset and initial 30FPS lock (which was easy to manually change very quickly in the first beta).
    The gameplay actually has a story. Your char is (I’m fairly sure) voiced by Jason Bradley actor and looks like a bit younger BrBa bearded Heisenberg. You get into a car gang/criminal gang and get up the ranks cause of rrrrevenge – that’s how the levelup system is explained. You start with pretty floaty, slippery car, but quickly level up various parts which makes you/it better. Car optimization – motor and visual is very nicely done I got hooked for it as with the best of RPGs around. Overall well done!
    Graphics is “next gen”. My GFx 660 with Intel 3.4Ghz and 8 gb 1300 RAM struggles to keep it 60fps with everything on ultra, but some particle effects look spectacular. I had a breathtaking moment when entering the snowy Rockies for the first time.
    As for the main part, Gameplay – I’m sure one can divide it in three different, but inclusive perspectives:
    1) wot Graham mentioned in article – casual roadtripping which invokes steadier driving experiences like ETS2, TestDriveUnlimited idle driving around, Burnout Paradise exploration, etc – on that account it’s very viable! The map is huge, varied enough (just don’t get into same bland woods), has lots of collectibles like satellite dishes (reminiscent of FC3’s exploration towers), oldie car parts, monuments (reminiscent of Watchdog’s/AC’s short location info burps) and just plain new sights to see. This perspective is most enjoyable to me personally and I can say everyone who likes exploration will have plenty to do for days.
    2) action/driving part: As said, I’m not so hot on it, but once I realized my driving precision jumped through the roof from bad-to-be-almost-unplayable to good-enough-I’m-starting-to-have-fun when I took the camera in front – hood or bumper, I started making some genuine progress and it was – in a word – fun. There are dozens, if not hundreds of challenges all over the map divided in some 6 or so activities – slalom, jumps, speed, precision, etc., the car handling is good enough and you keep having better and better car, and you can unlock 4 or 5 different car classes (street, offroad, circuit, mix…), so it’s robust enough and anyone wanting that from his driving game can have it in spades.
    3) Multiplayer MMO experience. I’m not as hot on that either, but there are lots of standard MMO tropes in that persistant world. You can see other drivers milling and/or furiously driving around, you can do every mission and challenge in co-op, can form crews with your buddies/passers bye. Typical MMO; Everything which makes an MMO experience better than single-player is in there. Everything which makes an MMO experience worse than single-player is in there also. One can want to do the driving with a buddy. And the game has provided robustly enough for that as well.
    So one can do very much in it. The cars seem diverse and handle good enough (beta was throttled, so I could get solely two in it). Sound and music good as well. Nothing spectacular, but not bad. Keyboard support usable enough (some console annoyances, but could have been far more worse)

    Tl;DR: It’s a good-to-great-to-possibly-awesome diverse driving and exploring game. Has a warm recommendation even form a non-driver from beta!
    (Sorry, RPS for jacking so much real estate!)

  25. -Spooky- says:

    Speaking off ..

    TDU 1 & 2 are “walking simulators on wheels” too? Guys, serious. Stay classy.

  26. hanshanshans says:

    What this game really needs, is a collaboration with SCS Software. Think about it: 18 Wheels of Steel American Long Haul in the Crew’s game world: THE PERFECT GAME

  27. LaKriz says:

    I loved TDU 1 a lot, Burnout Paradise and Driver San Francisco as well.
    So maybe this is an option and will become my new favourite racing game?

  28. evil_m3nace says:

    I really enjoyed traveling in this game, the feeling of the open road, racing my nissan as fast as I could go from detroit to Los angeles. but equipping Dirt kit and climbing mountains was joyful.

  29. FernandoDante says:

    Another bait post, how cute.

  30. cylentstorm says:

    Yep. Out of all of the “next-gen” racing games on the horizon, this is one of the few that caught my eye–and I LOVE a good race. Of course, I will likely only play this after I break down and buy a PS4–because it’s obviously a console-centric game, and I have several friends hounding me to do so. Apparently, most of them have no idea how much better I am at racing than the FPS and action fare that they so often drag me into…but they will. Mwahaha.