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Hands On with The Crew at EG Expo

Entering Eurogamer on Friday I was overwhelmed with choice as you might expect. After a brief walk around at what can only really be described as the calm before the storm I managed to grab one of the seats in front of The Crew, one of my most anticipated games for the Xbox 360 and oh boy, it was an experience.

Please note that this preview/opinion is based purely on a 10/15 minute game demo so my thoughts on the came will most probably change when I eventually get the full game in my hands.

It started off a little slow as one of the four stations where the game was set up wasn’t connecting to the game sessions correctly, but once someone else had buggered off I jumped right in his place.

After placing the already warm headset on my head I was thrown into the game. I took control of what I think was a Shelby Mustang GT500 (2013) driving around the mean streets of L.A. but it wasn’t long until I found myself driving through the red Navada deserts. It happened that quickly. Before I could really get my eye in I had gone from the beautiful city-scapes of down town L.A. to the dry harsh desert all because I drove through a mission marker.

For those of you who just like to start up a game and jump right in you’ll be happy to know that all you literally have to do is drive through a mission marker and it begins, you’ll either be thrown directly into the race on the very same road, or you’ll be taken to a quick cutscene which introduces the race and where you are. For those who just want to cruise around a bit, you might find the mission markers a little hard to avoid.

After completing and completely owning the desert mission I was back on the streets but it wasn’t long until I was thrown into another race which I may have lost because I didn’t quite understand the waypoint system – trust me, there was a lot to take in, in such a short amount of time.

After another few minutes of cruising around I was summoned to down-town Miami. I didn’t really have a choice in the matter which I found a little odd, but this is where the “helping out a friend” part of the game comes in.

The four stations set up at Eurogamer were all actually linked together and the four players were actually in the same game world. This particular mission required the four of you to work together in order take out a fairly beefy armoured hummer.

Similar to the way Grand Theft Auto V switches from one character to the other, The Crew works just the same. It’ll throw you [the camera] up high above the United States, move across country to where you’re being summoned and zoom right back into the midst of the action. We were then shown a quick cinematic which described the games car customisation, though I’m unsure whether it’ll be the same in the full game or whether you’ll be given the option to do it yourself based on the mission criteria.

Here you’re told that the mission requires you to have a beefy vehicle that can take a beating, it strips the car down right to the chasis and engine and tweaks a few bits, it then whacks the cars frame on top and sticks an armoured bumper and ram rails on the front.

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This is when you’re thrown into the actual action which was pretty incredible. It would have probably been better if I didn’t wrap my car around a tree a few times.

Overall The Crew has far too many features to pass judgement on a quick 10-15 minute play through. From what I did see however the game is beautifully designed, the environments are incredible and I’m sure when I have enough time to thoroughly play the game I’ll be able to explore every corner of the United States of America.

The cars in The Crew handle really well and after the brief tinker that the car received I could actually feel the difference, it became heavier and I had to think more about how I took corners.

I’m really looking forward to the game and this short taste has made me want it some more.

The Crew is scheduled for release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC and is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2014.