The Crew was an alright racer, with issues that stemmed from having a lot of cool rides, but never gaining that feeling of a large player-owned stable that games like Forza, Gran Turismo, and Need for Speed attain. Wild Run brings new race modes, modifications, physics, weather, and overall a whole new mix of octane. The game still suffers from the same issues, but this time the mix in gameplay provided by drifting through rainy streets, doing backflips in monster trucks, and splitting lanes like an outlaw truly do change things up enough to feel like a sizable addition. The Crew Wild Run furthers the value found in the base game, which is to say provides some, and proves a solid expansion.
As you run through my jungle, all you hear is rumbles
Right off the bat, Wild Run starts by putting you in the thing you probably wanted to at least try out, the monster truck. Setting the tone extremely well right away, you’re plopped into a Ford Raptor, decked out to level 100 ‘Murica. The point of the monster truck runs are to smash point medallions which vary from 100 to 1000, while traversing a sort of insane-scale Hot Wheels track, full of loops, flips, and half pipes for your MuricaMobile to wreak havoc. While there aren’t any demo derby or car crushing going on, the fun to be had in the monsters is all too apparent. It becomes a game not so much of should you try that loop, but how many times before you nail the speed and approach, because you’ve got to nail it. The courses almost feel like a better Tony Hawk game than the most recent Tony Hawk, with half pipes and enough jumps to pull full backflips, you’ll have fun figuring out the best run for your money.
Drag Trial what it sounds like, and while it didn’t immediately scream “Most Interesting Mode” it proved itself quickly, as the point of the game is to nail a few different stages over three tries. First you’ve got to warm up your tires to the green zone, providing maximum traction off the line. Next, you’ll have to nail the start right as the green light fires, proving you’ve got timing skills. After getting off the line you’re expected to quickly manage shifting gears, flying through first proving as one of the trickier parts to get used to. Typically from here it’s smooth sailing, as you’ll have a straightaway, but one course on the Vegas strip takes an ever-so-subtle right turn. This would seem easy enough, but at 300+ MPH in a GTR-Skyline, you’re going to have trouble negotiating any changes in course. Drag Trial proves a quick and fun mode to jump back in, thinking you can always do just a little bit better, and earning more points is nothing but a good thing in The Crew.
Drift Trial is the third and final big addition to the modes, offering players a chance to slide around rain-soaked city streets in their drift-tuned car. While I didn’t necessarily think an M5 would make a great drift car, my matte-white Bimmer sure looked pretty sliding around those corners in the wet. Drift Trial, not unlike Drag, is surprisingly deep – not to a fault but more so as an entertaining mode that makes you want to retry the last run because you know you can do better. Drifting around corners, attempted to ride one slide into the next is a constant balance of tactical braking, feathering the throttle, and steering into the slide in such a way that while your nose might be pointed at a tree now, in a moment it’ll be aimed into the next corner. Drift is a playground for failure, as the timed mode scores points on length and speed of drift, so you’ll want to go into corners harder, but figuring out the perfect balance is the real challenge.
Finally the big dog, The Summit; a limited timed tournament that allows players to try out the above skills as well as others like hill climb from the base game. The summit puts all players into a leaderboard, but you don’t have to do any true PvP here, if you’re just looking to see how you stack up but keep to yourself, you’re in the right place. PvP is an option, but wisely left as just that.
Half the wheels, twice the adrenaline
Wild Run integrates motorcycles into The Crew in a way that makes sense, and is still exciting. The sense of speed gained from hopping on a name brand like Kawasaki or Ducati is palpable, and when putting the game in first person on a bike it’s truly incredible. While the bikes aren’t as fragile an experience as say Grand Theft Auto V, you can certainly fall off doing a wheelie, as was my literal first experience on a bike. You’ll be able to bounce of things and keep the race going, which is the smart design choice since players won’t be struggling to stay on their saddles. There’s also good variety in the bikes, with variants of street, dirt, rambler, and cruiser styles, one for every taste.
Building your vehicular empire in The Crew is weird. When I reviewed the base game I felt like I only had a few cars. Hopping back in I saw that was in fact not an exaggeration or gut feeling, but truth. The game didn’t grant a ton of money or experience quickly, and getting more than half of the cars in your garage takes some true grinding.
The Crew is a microtransaction minefield, as has probably been documented plenty, these can be avoided and the game can be played and enjoyed without spending extra money. Wild Run doesn’t change really any of this, just provides more stuff you can buy with your earned in-game money, and your earned real-world money. At current state players can pick up the Complete Edition of The Crew for $59.99 which includes Wild Run. This is a great deal as it’s got a ton of cars, good content, and overall feels like a thorough racing game with some solid variety. Unfortunate it is then that buying the game independently then Wild Run will leave players with options to buy individual cars for anywhere from $1.99 to $3.99 or buy a car pack for $6.99, OR buy the Season Pass for $24.99. Any way it’s sliced the complete edition is the best bargain, while console players will need the Wild Run Edition then still be faced with purchasing extra cars if they so choose (you know you NEED the VW Touareg in your garage).
+ Weather and overall visuals are great
+ New modes put in some serious shakeups to the formula
+ The Summit is a fun, competitive mode even if you don’t want to go head to head
– Still a Microtrasaction mess
– Never get the feeling that your stable or collection of cars is growing
– World still feels a bit empty, matchmaking not a blast to wait for
The Bottom Line
The Crew Wild Run saves a bit of face for the game, introducing some cool modes, mods, and new ways to dart around the map with motorcycles. Weather effects and a few visual enhancements make the game look incredible, and while it can’t save the ho-hum affair that was The Crew, Wild Run as its own product is a good time, with some real play value to it.