Early Impressions: The Crew

Ubisoft’s The Crew is now out, via Steam in the US and UPlay and something called “shops” in other parts of the world. Ubisoft, after the PR disaster of trying to impose post-release embargoes on Assassin’s Creed: Unity reviews, have taken the rather bold step of informing customers not to trust early reviews. This is because they’ve withheld review code from journalists until just before launch, and then insisted that no fair opinion of it can be gained until it’s been played for dozens of hours, the end-game reached, on populated servers. Indeed, no fair review could be written in a day – especially one where, surprise, there are server issues – but impressions can certainly be had of those opening few hours. I’ve written mine below.

There’s no question that the opening few hours of The Crew have been underwhelming. Not least because I’m experiencing issues that mean I can see no other players – but we’ll get to that at the end.

From the start, a good hour is spent being funnelled through an obligatory prologue, which consists of extensive cutscenes and multiple mini-challenges that introduce you to the basics of a genre you’ve been playing for decades. Which is disappointing, since the opening minutes of the game offer a far more optimistic presence. You’re dropped behind the wheel of a car attempting to evade pursuers, driving off-road through fields and back lots in a fun chase that boasts how the game isn’t going to keep you confined to the roads. Before immediately confining you to the roads for a bit.

Once you’re free of this, you’re still far from free. Peculiarly for a game that is trying to push itself as open world MMO, you’re playing a pre-defined character in a very specific storyline. You’re Beardy-Man-Face, part of the 5-10 – a road racing gang of miscreant drivers. But after getting mixed up in someone else’s coup for club leadership, you’re framed for murder by the new incumbent and an FBI agent on his payroll. Go to prison.

Five years later, you’re released early from jail on the promise to help an FBI lady (Zoe) catch the dirty cop. In the meantime, the 5-10 has escalated from illegal racing to extra-illegal smuggling, and has become quite the crime syndicate. You’re to infiltrate their numbers, get promoted nice and high in the organisation, and then BRING IT DOWN FROM THE INSIDE. You, and every single other person playing the game with the same face and the same life.

To do this, you must play through Test Burnout Need For Paradise Shift Unlimited once again. I’m being flippant. Or am I? I don’t yet know. So far I’ve been tasked with oh-so incredibly familiar goals. Win a race against three other drivers (or else the entire enterprise will fail!). Pick up this guy and get him to this place in time. Drive this car from here to over there without getting too much damage (oh joy – because this is the reason people buy driving games, eh? Safety missions). Run this car off the road. Escape from these pursuing cars. It is so transparently an attempt to make a Criterion/Eden game that it begins to hurt a bit. Everything is exactly as you’d expect, from the boost button to the infuriating cutaways each time you crash.

A nice addition are the on-the-fly extra tasks you find on the roads as you drive. Go through one and it’ll ask you to perform a big jump, slalom through targets, hit goals, etc. They usually lie on the route you were taking anyway, so offer a welcome distraction as you slog from mission to mission. And they’d be seamless, if the game weren’t being silly.

They start as you drive through a floaty gate, which is great. Finish one and as you’re still driving it’ll show you the results, and let you upgrade your car with any won engine bits. It’s all ideal! That done, as you’re still driving, you click to “continue” and, er, it fades to black. Then fades up again with your car exactly where you just were, but now stationary. WHY?! Just let me keep going! You were doing so well!

At the start you get to pick a car from a limited selection, which you can immediately begin upgrading with bits and bobs won through successfully completed missions and mini-tasks. The more extras you get, the more variety you can start implementing in how you want to tweak your ride. Or indeed just shove in the stuff the green numbers say is best and hope it’s right. With earned money you can buy more cars. And indeed there’s the ominous threat of some blue-coloured in-game currency, which inevitably means micro-transactions to come. With 40 cars available in the game at launch, there’s a lot of room for Ubi to sell you more.

The boast of offering multiple cities of a drive-across-able America was always going to be a little exaggerated. The technique they use is pretty clever, making it look awfully big. Imagine if every major grid of roads of a city was just a single block, as if the Google Map of reality had been scrolled up a level but the roads stayed the same size. Driving the length of a major city takes about five minutes. It’s actually pretty small. This isn’t like a flight simulator where you can find the road you live on, but visiting your district is entirely achievable. Although don’t necessarily expect to recognise it.

As if cities themselves are under copyright (and God knows, they probably are), what you get in The Crew is the Chad Valley version of Hasbro’s United States. Head to Chicago’s Millennium Park and hopes of spotting the Bean or those monoliths with the human faces are quickly dashed. Instead there’s a giant metallic pretzel (an imaginative solution), and some tall red blocks (a lot less so). Try as I might, I couldn’t find the Married With Children Fountain. Also, I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the ‘L’ doesn’t fit onto Chicago’s streets quite like this:

My main thought at this point, beyond the constant déjà vu of so many previous racing games this is unabashedly mimicking, is how floaty it feels. While different cars certainly handle differently, none has yet to feel affixed to the road. Every surface seems icy, handbraking around corners feels more like slipping than skidding, and minor bumps causing ludicrous crashes. Brakes also feel squidgy, gooey even, with no feel of tarmac beneath you. It’s super-arcadey and that’s great, but I desperately wish for more traction.

The races themselves are as contrived as you’d expect, and it’s probably for the best. The rubber-banding (where the game lets you catch up with leading cars) is the most blatant I can remember seeing, as cars drive hilariously slowly to let you reclaim leads. That’s for good, as it means there’s always a sense of a scrap. Less good is how AI cars seem to be able to breeze past collisions that take you out of races and are too unlikely to get into crashes of their own, no matter how cluttered the road ahead. Oncoming AI traffic is even more stupid – it won’t even try to veer out of your way if you’re coming headlong toward it. Of course, they may well decide to turn a corner, oblivious to your existence, and knock you out of a race by creating a collision.

But all that should be improved by featuring other players, right?

I started playing yesterday before the game launched and the maps were sparsely populated as you’d expect. But I was still able to form temporary crews with three other unknown players from the beginning in order to take on missions as a team. That way, even if I didn’t win a race, someone in my crew might and we’d all progress. Post launch, things have gotten, well, a lot worse. Since the game came out at midnight US time, I’ve not been able to find a single other player – despite knowing they’re there.

When the game loads, the map populates with other players, showing me where they are. Then within a few seconds, they’re gone. Looking on forums, I’m not the only person experiencing this but it’s yet to be acknowledged as an issue. Jim’s played too and experienced the very same thing. We’ve asked Ubi for help with the issue but haven’t heard back yet.

This doesn’t feel like the “smooth launch” Ubisoft promised us last week. It means that whenever I try to start a race with a crew I’m informed that “there are no players in your session”. Occasionally one other player shows up, the game enthusiastically informing me of their existence the entire time, but if they decline to join a race then I’m on my own again.

Without other players filling the game, the experience is rather bare. Rarely is more than one mission available to me, and side-quests really are just those by-the-by micro-challenges. Once the main story is completed, factions can be chosen and you join The Crew’s end game. We’ll talk about that when we properly review the game, of course. But on the way, the journey isn’t exactly the open-world bonanza I’d expected. Sadly, despite the abundant inspiration taken from the Burnout/NFS Criterion games, smashing barriers and signs isn’t rewarded with delighted cheers and counters, but police chatter from hilariously insincere voice actors. They limply say things like, “There is a car driving dangerously in the area, be on the look-out,” without saying which car, which area, and so on. Unless you actually drive into a police car, it’s hard to really get their attention.

Fleeing them is, of course – just as with the Need For Speed games (and indeed GTA) – a case of drive out of their circle of awareness so they’ll forget you ever existed.

Massive maps with no players and very few missions makes for empty-feeling places. Even with real-world people driving about, this would still feel oddly lacking. Off the back of Far Cry 4, Shadow Of Mordor, and other recent games, this is an open world with very little going on.

However, what is there is fine. It’s just fine. It’s maybe about as fine as Test Drive Unlimited 2 was fine (but without haircuts and flashing headlights). It’s nearly as fine as NFS: Most Wanted and probably as fine as NFS: Rivals. So far I’ve not experienced a single original idea and clearly suffered for launch day issues. Hopefully we’ll see this fill up with both players and extra things to do. In the meantime, maybe wait a couple of days to be sure it’s all working properly before you leap in.

62 Comments

  1. brat-sampson says:

    Just let someone produce an HD remake of Burnout 3 Takedown and then we can close the genre forever.

    • Diziet Sma says:

      If that was the one with the crash puzzles spread throughout the campaign I agree completely.

      • Geebs says:

        Yup. Neither Revenge nor Paradise was anywhere near as fun as Takedown, even if I can no longer remember what was missing from Revenge.

        (Edit: I remember now, it was the addition of Traffic Checking that ruined Revenge. That took all of the fun out of driving on the wrong side of the road)

        • The First Door says:

          I was in two minds about Revenge, I actually think it had much better tracks, with more fun shortcuts. Traffic Checking was a little weird though.

          Still, the (shhh) 360 re-release is still pretty fun!

      • drinniol says:

        I didn’t like how they had the multipliers in the crash puzzles, it took out everything except ‘How do I hit the 4x?’.

        However it did give me my favourite driving game moment. When you first drive the F1-style car, I managed to complete the race going full tilt and not crashing once. Not once! Never was able to do anything like it again.

  2. Fitzmogwai says:

    Oh dear. I’ll stick with my old copy of TDU1 then, with the no-traffic trick to avoid the magic invisible car bugs.

  3. iainl says:

    Hmm. That does not sound promising. I picked up NFS Rivals in the Amazon sale last week, and while it’s mildly diverting it’s certainly no Burnout Paradise. It’s not even Test Drive Unlimited 2, and I had to turn all the multiplayer features off to get the game to remain playable for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

  4. reggiep says:

    This is not Ubisoft’s year. I might feel bad for them if I didn’t actually purchase Unity.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      For what it’s worth, I found Watch_Dogs an okay game that just might be a stepping stone leading to an exceptional one in the future, and I’m quite enjoying Unity, even though it’s a relatively weak entry in the AC series and the state of the game on release was absolutely inexcusable.

      But yes, I too question the wisdom of releasing four huge open-world(-ish) games within one year, three of them almost back-to-back. I know they’ve got like a million people working on these, but they absolutely are stretching themselves too thin. I’d much prefer them doing one thing properly than doing a dozen of them haphazardly. Ubi’s still my favourite developer/publisher in the whole triple-A arena, but they are getting progressively worse at this.

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        ” I found Watch_Dogs an okay game that just might be a stepping stone leading to an exceptional one in the future”

        Hmmm. If they do a game that is to Watch_________Dogs as Asscreed Too is to Asscreed Original, it just might finally meet the hype of E3s past.

  5. Zanchito says:

    I was in the beta and didn’t enjoy myself very much. I wanted a free roaming driving game with activities, the story is icing on top; essentially a muscle car version of Euro Truck Simulator. What I got was a heacily scripted game, forcing you to go from mission to mission replaying every single damn cutscene before each mission every time you failed, with questionalbe driving mechanics on top. Beta had other issues I hope they fixed for the release, but I’m not going to jump into this, even at a discounted price, unless they fix the annoyances and just let me explore the USA.

  6. PaladinGunn says:

    For what it’s worth, the game is supposed to really “start” once the story mode has been completed.
    Dunno how much time that requires though, and I sincerely hope that it won’t get too many players bored before the game has the chance to shine, because I’ve been waiting for a good open world arcadey driving game forever.

    • Blackcompany says:

      If I see this argument one more time in a discussion about an MMO, I swear to Horace I am going to scream until my throat is on fire.

      Seriously, this is a major pet peeve. The game does not begin at level 20. Or level 50. Or when the story is finished. The game starts when I turn it on and start playing and if it is not fun at that point, I am out. I play games to have fun, not run on a treadmill in a skinner box. As such, I am not going to play ‘until it gets fun’ or until I ‘get to the good stuff.’ The “Good Stuff” better start with the beginning – the real beginning – of the game, and if it does not, I am out.

      I simply cannot understand how people continue to defend this practice of “The fun part starts at X.”

      • The First Door says:

        I couldn’t agree more! It seems to be linked with the massive amount of hand holding which games seem to think is required too. Seriously, if I’m still playing a tutorial 4 hours in then there is something wrong! Get to the game already! Either you think I’m stupid, or your mechanics really could do with some streamlining. I could probably work out that WASD is walk and I use the mouse to look, thanks.

        • melnificent says:

          The never ending tutorial is what drove me away from Assassins creed. Specifically AC:3, Hours playing and doing quests and then a ship combat tutorial, okay boats are cool… then a couple of hours later ANOTHER tutorial along the main game. That’s the point I gave up. I don’t want hand holding for half the game. Give me tools, let me go and explore/follow the story, give me a 10 minute tutorial if you must (skippable). But let me go and play the game I bought

          • The First Door says:

            Yeah. Perhaps I’m just odd, but I much preferred the old style of doing tutorials, like the one the original Max Payne had where you had a small little level which you could dick around in and learn how to play.

      • montorsi says:

        No one’s defending it. It’s a simple statement of fact. The game sucks until X Y or Z. Not that hard to decide, based on that information, whether or not the game will interest you. Sounds to me like it’s a bit of a roadblock (cough) and your money would be better spent elsewhere.

      • Stickman says:

        On the plus side, many MMOs are starting to let players pay a smallish (maybe) fee to skip to the fun part! That a plus, right?

      • PaladinGunn says:

        Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not using that argument to defend the game.
        I’m just repeating what’s been told by the devs.
        And believe me, I do believe that’s stupid, especially considering that such a game DOESN’T NEED a storyline.
        The main beef I had with the game, since the first beta test, was that it had a story (which is a useless concept in such a game, and the story is useless and totally cliché anyway), and that you can’t customize your pilot avatar (yeah, I know, you’re not supposed to see him/her often, but you still do).
        Just drop the players on the map, give him a quick tutorial (I mean it’s a driving game, not rocket science), and let him explore.
        The game gives “gear level requirements” for every mission, that should be sufficient for players to know what they can or cannot do with the cars they got.
        That being said, the game has been quite fun for the 3 hours I played it, despite the story mode.
        But I really got a hitch to see wha’t on the other side of those mountains without being called every two minutes because the story awaits me.

  7. Alfius says:

    I take it that it isn’t possible to just fire up a LAN server with your bros and go for a free burn?

    No, no, of course it isn’t.

  8. Blackcompany says:

    Getting a nice wheel this week primarily for Eurotruck Simulator 2, so I was tempted to give the Crew a go. Thanks for saving me the money. It sounds like I can get this same, or a very similar, experience from single player, offline games for less money. Which is what I will likely do.

    Dont get me wrong. An open world driving game would be nice. But one where every player plays the same role in the same story and it only takes 30 minutes to drive across an entire country…no thanks. Not even slightly interested.

    Frankly, I hope this crashes and burns. Badly. Otherwise I am afraid developers will come to believe that these sorts of scripted, story based affairs, are why we buy driving games. And I really dont want that to happen. Ubisoft has a hard on for cramming linear narratives into games where they dont belong and the sooner something happens to dispel them of the notion that this is a good thing, the better.

  9. Biggus_Dikkus says:

    This guy looks like Heisenberg from ending of Breaking Bad

  10. Baines says:

    Ubisoft, after the PR disaster of trying to impose post-release embargoes on Assassin’s Creed: Unity reviews, have taken the rather bold step of informing customers not to trust early reviews.

    As was covered on Jim Sterling’s new podcast, this could be considered an improvement in service. It used to be that you had to wait months for Uibsoft to show that it was lying, but now Ubisoft reveals its lies after only a few weeks wait.

  11. The First Door says:

    The question is which Most Wanted is it as fine as? If it is as fine as the 2005 one I’ll be interested, as I thought that one was ace! If it’s as fine as the 2012 one, I’ll be significantly less interested.

    Having said that, that post from Ubi is distinctly worrying in and of itself.

  12. Kobest says:

    Man, what the hell happened after Driver: San Fransisco?

    Also, do remember what happens when a developer/publisher tries to justify not giving out any early review copies or warning about early reviews. “It’s supposed to be played with other players/It’s supposed to be played this or that way” they would say, and guess what, it turns out to be a pretty overhyped, mediocre game. (Destiny, Lair, etc. all did this)

  13. iainl says:

    If I’m not to trust “early” reviews, how late should they be to be reliable? Will someone be reviewing this in six months’ time to let me know if it’s worth buying at last? Or are Ubisoft saying I should never trust a review, and just buy the game on trust from the publisher of Unity?

    • Krazen says:

      Obviously it’s PR speak for “Do not trust reviews for bad games as they will tell you the game is bad.”

    • Kobest says:

      “Dear ianl,

      PLEASE BUY OUR GAME. Hundreds of people have worked on it, it’s pretty mediocre, doesn’t do anything better than previous games in the genre did years ago, has microtransactions, shitty netcode and even worse programming!

      We didn’t even send out early review copies just to protect YOUR INTEREST. Totally! We’re not kidding you! We avoided this well-known and well-used practice in the industry so that you would get a 100% clear picture of the product we are selling you.

      Best Regards,

      Ubisoft”

    • Chuckleluck says:

      I think they’re saying “Don’t trust early reviews so we have time to fix all the blatant bugs that should have been fixed on release”.

      • Rikard Peterson says:

        They’re saying “Don’t trust early reviews. That should give us the opportunity to get a smooth launch, with not that many people hitting the servers at once. Because surely you’re not stupid enough to buy it without having read a review you trust, or having it recommended by a friend. Right?”

        • iainl says:

          Of course, the other problem is they said you can only drive the cars I’m most interested in if I preordered. Since I won’t buy games without reviews first, what they’ve really told me to do is wait for the Goaty version.

  14. Tei says:

    Some games have a slow burn, so its true that a first impresion can be less than impresive. Most RPG’s have a lame first hour, and games with a long tutorial-campaing can be pretty lame (most RTS are this way, with long campaing based on introducing a new weapon each mission).

    But I don’t think is Ubisoft call to stop journalist from doing their work. Even if they do a poor job, is their job to inform the public. I personally think Ubisoft is on the wrong triing to impose a ban or censure on early reviews. Anyway I kind of understand the expectation, is easy to review a game based on level 1 characters / the tutorial area negativelly, So easy that maybe we have to expect more from journalist, even if sometimes they fail to that.

  15. rcguitarist says:

    Wow, what a piece of junk that game seems to be. Just another example of why I don’t pre-order anything.

  16. Chuckleluck says:

    I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but botched launches have become so commonplace I’ve tuned it out a bit. I looked at AC Unity and I look at The Crew and I say, “Oh look, another botched launch. Oh well.”

    • Kempston Wiggler says:

      Hail, fellow Learned One. *waves across from his own floating sky-castle of impregnable wisdom*

  17. Ryuuga says:

    Yay, another chance to play as Beardy McDullface of the Whitestraightmale clan! Awesome! Especially with all players stuck with the same face, same story, same everything. So personal! It would be great if everyone could get out of their car and stand around for a lil jamboree of sorts, maybe do a little dance?

  18. SooSiaal says:

    I’m enjoying the game, but yeah.. There is no need for this game to be a mmo from the looks of it,apparently there are pvp events but i havent unlocked it yet or something I guess.
    Also after doing one of those on the road tests, the car only resets itself if you installed the new part.

  19. montorsi says:

    So, uh, I have to play a dude? Granted, probably makes no difference whatsoever, but that’s a bit of a disappointment if there’s a lot of story and I’m stuck watching it.

  20. melnificent says:

    There’s also in-game purchases link to imgur.com

    Maximum of $50 in a $60 game. No wonder they didn’t send out any advance review copies.

    • kregg says:

      Oh wow. They did the same thing in Unity too (I’m not sure how much the microtransactions in that game went up to).

      Honestly, what is wrong with Ubisoft?

      • Premium User Badge

        basilisk says:

        €100, I think. And while that is clearly despicable, it also needs to be said that they are entirely useless in Unity and don’t compromise the experience at all. They are just a shortcut if you want to get the best gear (but not skills) immediately, and it’s not like it takes very long to obtain decent stuff through regular playing. So basically, paid for cheats.

        (The only actually useful application of those credits is spending 150 on a map of collectibles, and you get 200 of them for free, so that’s available to everyone without spending a cent.)

        • The First Door says:

          Even so, it’s still utterly stupid! I’ve never quite got this whole ‘pay money to complete the game’ for me thing. I remember some of the Dirt games had it too. Surely your game should be fun enough that I enjoy playing it? Failing that, give me a bloody cheat code!

  21. jgthespy says:

    I’m sure it has improved a bit since the beta but this game was flat out terrible a couple months ago. Driving just isn’t fun and the offroad stuff is laughable. The story is moronic and the main character is bland. There wasn’t anything good about it at all aside from the giant map.

  22. Rikard Peterson says:

    “multiple mini-challenges that introduce you to the basics of a genre you’ve been playing for decades”

    You probably have a point (all I know about this game is what I’ve read here, and I’m not interested in finding out more), but… Not everyone has been playing every genre for decades. (I played a bit of a sports game for the first time a few days ago when I got FIFA. I was completely confused until I eventually found the tutorial, which was pretty hidden away. If that game hadn’t had multiple mini-challenges that introduce you to the basics of a genre most players of the game have been playing for decades, I would have taken advantage of Origin’s money back guarantee.) It’s a good thing that games contain tutorials, particularly AAA games, as they’re the ones who can afford making them. If I want to try a new genre, I’ll go for a big production, as I’d assume it to have the polish and handholding needed to get into it.

    A game introducing the basics of a genre is a very good thing.

    That said, there are different ways to make tutorials. Some are better than others.

    • iainl says:

      Tutorials are fine. Ubisoft’s method of forcing you through unskippable tutorial missions for hours on end is not fine at all, and why the only Assassin’s Creed game I’ve got since Brotherhood was when Black Flag came free with my graphics card.

  23. Kempston Wiggler says:

    The first racing game to give me a burnout style slow-mo crashes with a set of camera views welded firmly to the inside of the car so you can watch the world spin madly and crumple-zones slowly break your avatar’s legs in four places is the one that opens my digital wallet forever.

  24. Enough. says:

    I bought this game and a couple of hours in, I’m enjoying myself. The story is idiotic, but who wants a story out of these arcadey racing games? It’s no worse than any of the NFS games as of late. Server issues are a bummer, but it’s nothing unexpected there either…

    …the only problems arise when you start out by thinking “this is Ubisoft” and when you want a burnout game instead of what this game is trying to be. Steam reviews are quite positive, even the forums seem quite OK…

    I just think that if you were going to write an article about how the screen turns black after you upgrade your car and the shitty story you might as well have not written it.

  25. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    Of course Chicago’s L train looks like that. Have you never played Cities in Motion?

    • PopeRatzo says:

      The picture in the article looks a little bit like Lake street between Ashland and maybe Franklin. I see that neighborhood practically every day, and that’s not too bad a rendering, except for the trees. There are no trees around the L tracks.

  26. funkstar says:

    “It is so transparently an attempt to make a Criterion/Eden game that it begins to hurt a bit.” … Isn’t Ivory Tower the remnants of Eden games?

  27. Ejia says:

    RIght, so what I’m getting from this is: play Burnout 3 again.

    Or even Midtown Madness.

  28. Geebs says:

    Lost me at rubber-banding. Is there actually anybody who doesn’t hate it?

    • -Spooky- says:

      What .. ? You started Need for Speed? Their is no rubberband. *jeez* Trolls this days. Try harder .. *lol

  29. KenTWOu says:

    It’s better than Test Drive Unlimited 2.

    • drinniol says:

      But TDU2 was an order of magnitude worse than TDU1, is it better than TDU1?

      • KenTWOu says:

        Well, it depends… It’s better than TDU1, it supports several input devices simultaneously; it’s worse than TDU1, it has a subjectively worse physics model; it’s better, its roads are silky smooth and it has offroad racing; it’s worse, there are not enough autobahns; it’s better, your car is your avatar; it’s worse, cause it has a story mode and a main character; it’s better, it has really cool tuning/one car for everything system; it’s worse, it doesn’t have bikes; it’s better, it’s more varied and beautiful; it’s worse, its style less clean and realistic in terms of 1:1 scale; it’s better, you don’t need to unlock every road; it’s worse, it has Ubi-towers and icons instead of exploration; it’s better, it’s still has online interactions; it’s worse, it doesn’t have an offline mode; it’s better, cause it’s not Atari; it’s worse, cause it’s Ubisoft.

  30. TheLupineOne says:

    Not the first time Ubisoft has replaced Chicago’s controversially copyrighted “Bean” with something similar but not exact… only Watch_Dogs had a completely different Bean-a-like that was less pretzel and more bean.

  31. Daniel Klein says:

    I expected to hate this and bought it anyway because I DON’T KNOW HOW MONEY WORKS, and man, I’m enjoying myself so much more than I expected. I cannot fault the first impressions above–all the problems reported are true and did bother me when I ran into them. And yet… and YET! I was up to 5am last night by accident playing this. I think one of the big wins for me was that you have a choice of four starting cars and you get to test drive all of them on a timed circuit. I spent a good half hour on that before deciding to go with the car that suited me best, and that’s been great so far (of course there’s a good chunk of missions where you’re just flat out given a different car and that is so much dumb in a game that wants you to invest in car progression that I just can’t even).

    So, err, I don’t know why I’m enjoying myself and this is probably no use to anyone, but blimey, I’m having a good bit of fun with this game.

  32. Morcane says:

    Yea, had some money burning, a few friends of mine are playing this as well and am pleasantly surprised. It’s just plain fun zipping around a virtual smaller US of A, doing manly racy and car things and comparisons (‘look at that exhaust’ and all).

    That’s what you get for owning a Mr Smith family car IRL.

  33. Coops07 says:

    Wait WAIT…. Ubisoft didn’t completely live up to their promises…?!? No… NO!!!! What is the world coming to!?

    j.k. gotcha ;)