The Crew - Open World MMO Racing Game


After Tom’s review of The Crew 2 and his praises of The Crew 1, I discovered I have a copy of this sitting in my uPlay account and decided to give it a go. After a couple of missions in Detroit, I headed out to visit all the car dealerships. I’m now level 15 from the challenges I found along the way. It’s a lot of fun so far! The drive across the country was very cool – evocative of the places without being constrained by real geography.

If the idea behind letting me try all the cash shop cars was to entice me to buy them, it failed. Maybe it’s because my skill at vehicle handling hasn’t advanced beyond treating the gas and brakes as binary controls (gas goes on, gas goes off!) but I find the hypercars much harder to drive than the basic ones. I can plow into a wall at 160 mph in my free car just as well as one I paid for.


The default control with gamepad is broken, because gas and brake are digital. On PC I mapped accelerate to up on the left analog stick, and brake to down on left analog stick. Now I can gently accelerate on bends (just like in real life) to maintain control, instead of decelerating. And there is absolutely no way to have this kind of finesse in acceleration/brake with KB+M as far as I can tell.

You won’t get this problem if you are playing with a wheel though.


I’m paying with a 360 controller on my PC. After your post, I checked and I do have analog control on the triggers… I am just really bad at using them like analog controls. How did your steering work if you set gas and brakes to up and down on the left thumb stick? Were you just letting off them in hard corners?

This game is in a weird uncanny valley for me during crashes. Plowing into a building at 150 mph (in the cockpit view at least) mostly just slams the car to a stop. I keep expecting something more dramatic/permanent. (I can’t remember what game I’m thinking of, but the camera pans around the wreckage of the car with ominous music before the screen goes black and you restart that sequence…)


Yeah for me triggers also worked analog on PC with x360pad.


I use right stick for steering. You have to give up looking with the right stick, but for me it is completely fine, normally you don’t have time looking left or right anyway. Alternatively, you can use left analog stick left and right for steering, and right analog stick up and down for gas/brake.

It takes some getting used to, especially because in shooters all 4 axes of movement is mapped to one analog stick. But the finesse in acceleration is something you can only get with analog control, AND by separating the steering axes from the gas/brake axes.

I’ll give you my gamepad mapping for driving, perfected over the course of playing the game to finish:

LB - gear down (forget manual clutch, modern super cars are clutch-less manual anyway)
RB - gear up
LT - Handbrake
RT - Nitro
D-pad: up for horn, left and right for left and right view, down for back view (the rear mirror in the cockpit view is famously broken.)

Also map d-pad to navigate smartphone menu

Left analog stick up/down - accelerate/brake (alternatively, motorcycle forward/backward)
Left analog stick left/right - blank (alternatively, if you use right analog stick for gas/brake, this will be steering left/right)
Right analog stick up/down - Motorcycle forward/backward (alternatively, accelerate/brake)
Right analog stick left/right - steering left/right (alternatively, blank)

Also map left analog stick to navigate console menu

X - change camera view
Y - Notification (This is a system wide notification pull down button, quite useful IMO)
A - back on road (also map this for menu confirm)
B - change mini-map view (also map this for menu cancel)

Select - Map
Start - Smartphone

There are some more quirks but this will do basically.


This is on sale on the playstation store for $15 right now. I’m thinking about picking it up but there were some complaints about controller issues on the ps4 (I don’t have a wheel). Anyone have any insight? What’s the player base like now? I sure would like a good driving / racing game right now.


This video compares Crew 1 and 2 maps, it is insane the amount of locations that got removed and downgraded from game to game

Like, I would expect sequel to improve stuff but apparently Ivory Tower have a different opinion


I can’t wait to see a post mortem for The Crew 2 some day. I’d love to hear the skinny on what went down and how and why.


Oh geez, you’re not kidding. What the heckfire.


I have been playing on the PC version and there are usually a few people online. Maybe 50? Looks like the PS4 version uses a separate server, so that’s not very helpful for you.

I actually like how empty it is. I see a couple of players a night close to me. It would probably be more annoying if I wanted to play PVP, but I don’t. The one time I tried, I got destroyed by people with max level cars vs my level 20 crate… Unless the multiplayer features are make or break for you, I say give it a try.


AFAIK PvP everybody use the same car at the same level. The skill you bring (e.g. higher top speed) can be different though. Some skills are PvP oriented, so you may want to respec or buy extra skill points (through grinding money, don’t bother using real money unless you feel like a whale).


I may be confused about what I was doing. Maybe not PVP, but the multiplayer races that unlock at level 20? I was able to enter them with my current car and I got matched against people with way better cars. Maybe there were only four people trying to race so we got thrown together?

Either way, by the time the first place car crossed the line I was almost 2 minutes behind. In a sub 10 minute race, that’s pretty disheartening.


play the Crew 1.


Not unusual for a newbie. PvP people have been playing since maybe 2014, so they know the tracks very well. The other day I got my first 1st place, only after maybe 100+ PvP races.


I’m pretty sure I was competing against 1000+ level cars with my 400ish one. No doubt inexperience played a huge role too. I’ll try again once I’ve reached max level.

For now I’m enjoying just driving around doing missions and challenges as they come. I agree with Tom that this is a better driving game than Forza Horizon 3. The driving physics may be slightly better in that one, but The Crew feels a little more laid back and less like a dudebro power fantasy.


When you are competing in a race, you are given the same car with the same level. So e.g. when you are competing an off-road race, even if you don’t own any off-road car you can still compete.


So I picked this up for $15 for the PS4. So far I’m not impressed. I’m early in, just got to the first HQ and did 1 or 2 missions afterwards. The sound is pretty underwhelming. The thing I’m finding most distracting is that there doesn’t seem to be any vibration (using the standard PS4 controller. I’m wondering if I should just wait until Wreckfest comes out in a couple of months.


I recommend turning the driving difficulty to Simulation or whatever the hardest setting is. It’s still super arcadey, but it feels a lot better than out of the box.

Is there really no vibration? That seems like it might be a setting somewhere.


There’s a setting. It doesn’t seem to do anything though.

It’s also kind of a bummer that you can’t start over I wasn’t really paying attention in the introductory parts.

It does seem awfully fond of telling me I have new content every couple of minutes. Exact same notification. Is there any way to clear that?


Yeah, I wasn’t impressed by the game either. Sound and driving physics are disappointing. The geography is distracting for someone like me in the U.S. who has been on road trips across the country, since the geography in the game is pretty abstracted compared to real life.