With only a few weeks left until its release – as well as a great deal of hype surrounding the similarly multiplayer-centric Destiny – a new trailer for another new IP by Ubisoft, The Crew has been released, which puts the games much-touted social features front and center.
Players are shown forming a crew which can then go on to explore, race or complete objectives like performing a ‘takedown’ on a targeted vehicle. Open-world driving games are nothing new at this point, but The Crew might genuinely have something new to bring to the table, having been described as an RPG and an MMO by its developers.
The marriage of these genres with a driving game is clearly very potent; having your vehicle as your avatar lends itself perfectly to the sort of cosmetic and gameplay-influencing upgrades that are a staple of this sort of online multiplayer experience. However, that’s not the only trick that the game has up its sleeve.
Another huge selling point for The Crew is the massive game world it aims to deliver, featuring the entirety of the United States being represented in 1,900 square miles of playground. In our preview of the game from E3 creative director Julian Gerighty likened the game to a ‘road trip’ that spans the entirety of the country.
Between its game world and social functions, there’s certainly enough to set The Crew apart from its many rivals in the open-world driving genre but without rock solid gameplay at its core, it might all be for naught. Thankfully, the talent assembled to put the game together has a rather distinctive pedigree, with veterans of series like Driver, Need For Speed and V-Rally spread across co-developers Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections.
Ahead of its launch, everything looks to be in place for The Crew to be a new IP that really takes off — but the game will certainly have its work cut out for it launching at such a competitive time for its genre, with heavily-promoted console exclusives Forza Horizon 2 and Driveclub set to release in the weeks preceding. However, if the game can live up its hype, it should have little trouble carving out its own niche.
The Crew will release on PC, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on November 11, 2014.