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Hands on with 'The Crew' - The 'Destiny' of racing games

'The Crew' E3 Preview Screenshots-slide0
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft, used with permission.

It's almost fitting to say The Crew is the equivalent of Destiny for racing games. Both contain aspects of an MMO, a focus on customizing and expressing yourself through your avatar, whether that be your hero or vehicle, a social hub, and an intense spotlight on playing with friends.

All kinds of vehicles are at your disposal.
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft, used with permission.

We went hands on with the title recently and got a chance to experience the huge amount of customization that Ubisoft is offering players. The appearance of your car is pretty much completely up in the air, want to toughen up that sports car you bought? Give it some reinforced body mods that will keep it chugging along despite the hits it will take. Maybe you just want it to look sweet and decide to remove everything that isn't necessary, but throw on a tribal vinyl paint scheme.

After that you can tear everything off the car, leaving only the chassis and engine for you to alter. The entire thing functions in place, watch as you exchange parts, the motor growing or shrinking in size depending on the parts selected.

With the variety of events offered, from co-operative take down events to team races, to the plain old straight up showdowns, you're going to be visiting the garage frequently. Combine that with the many different environments that the mainland United States offers and you're going to need a car for each type of surface.

After a brief stint cruising around the streets of Florida, we're tasked with taking down a fleeing SUV. After outfitting our cars for the off road trail down the coasts of Miami Beach, get our feet under these high speed beasts before completing our objective rather quickly.

Our next task wouldn't be so easy however, rather than three of us working together against an AI controlled objective, we'd be facing three other opponents ready to do what it takes to win. Team based racing has been attempted before but rarely pulled off well. Once again suited up in our off road trucks, we were faced with racing down a snow-capped mountain, all-the-while trying to help teammates and keep enemy cars from gaining position. This added sense of objective means that sometimes it's beneficial to slow down to help those lagging behind, otherwise your high finishing position will be for naught.

Seems like a simple enough concept, no? But add to that the fact that you have to hit checkpoints and avoid trees whizzing by you at over 60 miles per hour and it's a tremendously challenging and fun experience.

The entirety of the United States will be available from Chicago to Las Vegas and Los Angeles to New York. The roughly hour long drive from coast to coast will be populated by players as they join and leave your sphere of influence. Cruise with friends or cruise alone, regardless The Crew feels just as alive as Destiny did during its beta.

We only got a taste of what The Crew will offer this November, but we can't wait to dive in with friends and bring our crew to the top.