Come November this year, you’ll be able to hop on the road and tour the wide expanse of the United States of America from the comfort of your couch, thanks to the upcoming racing MMORPG The Crew. Surrounded by other players and with your crew at your back, you’ll be able to take one of the many vehicles in the game and create the perfect one for you. Just like a character in an RPG, your ride is fully customizable and will level up as you progress through the game and complete challenges. Creative Director Julian Gerighty joined us to discuss just how deep the customization goes and why exactly he keeps calling The Crew a MMO.
Pimp Your Ride
Customization is so much more than a paint job in The Crew. Creative Director Julian Gerighty describes each car as a 20 piece puzzle. With 11 performance parts split among the chassis and the engine, and 9 cosmetic parts like rims, skirts, hoods, and spoilers, each vehicle is unique to its driver. Build your car from the ground up to make it the best it can be, and put a little of your own personality into it too.
“You’re going to meet hundreds of people in the world,” Gerighty says. “It’s all about expressing yourself. We see people with racing customizations that are very sober and then we see people who go a little bit crazy on the customizations too.”
If you’re like us, you’ll probably spend an extensive amount of time making the perfect gold chrome leopard-print Lambo. With so many other players in the world, it won’t hurt to stand out and peacock a little bit, and the game is fully stocked with all sorts of goodies to let you make the iconic vehicle of your dreams.
But Is It Really A MMO?
“It is fundamentally an MMO,” Gerighty tells us. “All that means is the world is living around you. It doesn’t mean that I’m forced to play with anybody else if I don’t want to. I’m a huge believer in asynchronous multiplayer. For me, asynchronous multiplayer is almost the most fun I can have, because I can stay competitive but it’s on my terms.”
This asynchronous multiplayer he’s referring to is most clearly seen in the hundreds of Skills around the map. These Skills are designed to be super quick challenges of all different kinds that you can replay as many times as you want. You can do them just for fun, or you can compete against the Ghost of another player and download world records and try your best to beat them. But these are just some of the “side quests” you’ll be able to take on in The Crew. There’s also a whole host of story missions to work your way through, either solo or as part of a team.
There are 5 vehicle classes, or Specs, which we have gone over in great detail. Like MMO classes, each Spec is has its own strengths and weaknesses that will appeal to a variety of players. Maybe you like playing a tank character. You may find yourself drawn to the brutal power of the Raid Spec. Or maybe you prefer sleek speed. The Perf Spec is designed to get you where you want to go, quickly and in unmatched style. However, unlike MMO classes, you aren’t stuck with just one for the whole game. You can swap amongst your stable of vehicles and Specs depending on the mission requirements, your playstyle or your mood. Hop into a new car anywhere in the world thanks to a special app on your phone.
We won’t be the first people to call The Crew a CaRPG, and we certainly won’t be the last. As you progress through the story you’ll be leveling up and upgrading your car and with new parts just like you would in a standard RPG with characters and gear. You’ll have a character sheet that you can pull up at any time on your phone and check the status of your vehicle. As you receive new parts you’ll have the option to either store them in your garage or pop them directly into your ride.
The Crew drops you into a massive map of the United States of America alongside hundreds of other players. From there, it’s up to you whether you want to make your way through the world solo (which is absolutely doable) or put together a posse. The narrative team behind The Crew has background in Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto Vice City and San Andreas, and Driver. They aren’t ready to give away too much of the story just yet, but Gerighty does have faith that while it’s not the most serious of stories, it will definitely be a wild ride.
“I’m not taking it seriously. I think it should be fun,” Gerighty explains. “I think videogame stories take themselves super seriously at the moment, which isn’t a bad thing. That has it’s time and it’s place. But when you’re trying to do a racing game, and when you’re trying to get a structure for a racing game, are you really aiming for a tearjerker moment? No, not really. You’re trying to keep people in the flow and motivated on a mission-to-mission basis. That’s what’s important to me. I want to get people to appreciate the roadtrip around the United States with the story as a background.”