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Review: The Crew – Wild Run

The Crew is Ubisoft’s open-world driver that wanted to translate the road trip experience to the digital world. The game wasn’t a big success right from the start but thanks to some impressive DLC and patches, the game became better and better. Nowadays, more than four million people are playing it and we think a lot new player might join thanks to the Wild Run expansion. The Wild Run adds a lot of fun things and removes some of the bugs of the original game.

Yes, this is still the same game

It’s been a long time since I played The Crew so I was surprised when I started playing the Wild Run expansion. Is this still the same game I’m playing? Everything looked incredibly well compared to my last memories of the game and it’s good to see that weather effects do have an impact on the way you drive. I started in the pouring rain and it was clear from the start, water on the road means the handling of your car changes. The rain in Wild Run resulted in harder handling of the car and the danger to start slipping. It’s interesting to see and it’s great the developers are including this level of realism to the game. Along with the weather effects also comes a graphical reboot, which allowed the game to really shine. Cars and roads never looked better!

The graphics never reached the same level as Forza however, sure, it looked better than the original but it’s not perfect just yet. The weather effects are a nice addition to the game but the models of the cars could have been more realistic. The biggest problem I still have while playing Wild Run is the way the environment and damage models look like. The trees look like trees rendered on a system years in the past and the damage model isn’t realistic at all. We would like to see these imperfections removed with more patches in the future.

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Aside of the graphics and weather effects, Wild Run offers a lot of new fun, including new fan-demanded modes and vehicles.

Drifting

The first new mode is the drifting mode, activated by certain events on your map. Since the launch of the original game, fans searched for the perfect roads to improve their drifting skills but in Wild Run, those roads will be selected for you. An example is a track up in the hills with a lot of water still on the road, the perfect conditions for some brutal drifting. We played this against another driver but it wasn’t a race. You were granted points by the length of your drift in the curves. The second player to arrive could still win if he/she had better drifts during the course. The drifting wasn’t easy however, just like in the real world, you easily lose control over your car when you drift in sharp turns. Finding the right balance between speed and steering directions is crucial to deliver the perfect drift. Drifting is challenging and fun and we’re sure the fans will be happy with it. It’s not for everybody but for those who asked, it doesn’t get any better than this. The new drifting tracks add some more action to the world of ‘The Crew’ and we noticed a lot of players enjoyed playing those sections.

 

It feels like a new game

 

Monster truck madness

After the drifting it’s time for something entirely different, the monster trucks! This new vehicle is big, bouncy, dangerous and the most fun to control. We’ve played on a self-created track in the wastelands, filled with high jumps, ramps and looping. Points were scattered around the map and the harder it was to reach them, the higher the points were. This mode isn’t about racing but about collecting as many points before the time runs out. We had a blast in bouncing and driving around on the crazy map. This mode felt a lot more like Trackmania and the typical Crew feeling disappeared but that wasn’t bad. It’s a welcome change and we’re sure this will become one of the favorite new mode. Also note that you can create and share your own tracks so that others can try to reach your points on a self-created map. We already saw a lot of community-created tracks popping up on our map.

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Dragsters  

After the Monster trucks came the dragsters. Another fan-demanded mode and vehicle. Ubisoft noticed that a lot of players looked for huge empty environments to organize drag races with regular vehicles. To answer this demand, Ubisoft finally included true dragsters and showed us the technical power of these machines on the salt lakes.

Driving with dragsters is extremely technical and will need a lot of practice in order to become really good at it. The idea is rather simple however. You need to push in your gas until it reaches the green bar. Once it reaches this bar, you need to shift your gear and push the gas until the next green bar. It isn’t a complex system but thanks to incredible speed, you need to focus on both the road and the shifting. The car also has one boost that can be activated when the time is right according to you. This was by far the most difficult and technical mode of the game but we’re sure you can become really good at it if you practice a lot.

Motorcycles, fast and agile

This brings us to the last part of the new vehicles, the motorcycles. You don’t need to play a specific game mode here but you can challenge other drivers to perform wheelies against your driver any time. The player that manages to successfully wheelie for a certain distance wins. A rather short but fun challenge if you ask us! Aside those challenges, the world of the Crew is huge, so experimenting with the motorcycles is a lot of fun One thing’s for sure; these are the fastest vehicles in the game. Driving a motorcycle goes fast and is also dangerous. Just like in GTA, a motorcycle is very vulnerable for traffic and other obstacle so you really need to be more careful while driving. The biggest plus about motorcycles is that they are very agile. This means you can take turns that cars can’t and that you can drive trough narrow places. All in all, driving the motorcycle feels good.

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Ride free

The last improvement is the free-ride overhaul. The developers noticed that most gamers spend most of their time in the free-ride mode instead of the story mode. Due to this fact, Ubisoft integrated a more interactive free-ride mode. Thanks to the Wild Run update, players are able to create their own challenges anywhere on the map. By creating Free-Ride Challengers, players all over the world can create their own races with custom starting points and finish lines. These custom races can be held both on or off-road. Challenging your friends in your self-created challenge is a lot of fun!

Besides this, you can also create Free-Ride Stunts allows you to challenges other players or Crew in defeating you with style. These user-created games feature a lot of wild jumps, drifts or other, more stylish activities. Performing well in these free-rider challenges is important since it could give you a spot in ‘The Summit’. The Summit is a special event that changes during the game, featuring different themes. Summit members are challenged with a lot of different races in a lot of different modes. The goal of Summit is to become the best on the leaderboards. Thanks to these additions, free-riding in the huge world of The Crew is a lot more fun than it was before. The developers really listened to the fans and created a more interactive social world for racing fans worldwide.

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Conclusion:

The Crew: Wild Run offers a lot of new and great content. The new vehicles, improved Free-Ride mode and graphic improvements transform the original game to a better experience. It’s not perfect just yet, the game is still very ambitious and still lacks more depth and realism, but it’s getting closer to perfection. If you enjoyed playing ‘The Crew’, you’ll love all the new features of ‘Wild Run’. Never played the original game? This might be the perfect excuse to start your own racing adventures!

8/10

 

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.