When Ubisoft announced The Crew, a lot of people wondered if a game that was always online could work, after a less than stellar launch, things went into a groove, but then at E3, Ubisoft surprised everyone with the announcement of Wild Run. 12 months on, does Wild Run offer up enough of a reason to get back into the game?
Right from the get go, Wild Run tells you of these events called Summits, it is here where players can show off their skills in a range of events and these events and race types are what Wild Run is all about. In the main game, there were skill challenges as you drove about the world, but now the game throws you random challenges that can be activated at any time and completing these challenges are the first step in getting access to the aforementioned summits. Activating these challenges is pretty easy, you just hold right on the dpad and the game will load a challenge for you, the issue with these challenges is that some of them are easy to do in your vehicle, others not so much.
Some of the challenges will have you driving on the road for a set distance, within a given amount of time, while others may task you with staying above a set speed. The challenges are varied enough to provide a lot more things to do when crossing the country, but sometimes they do pose challenges, like getting a set amount of air time or drifting when you are on straight roads. There is a few challenges that are exclusive to the bikes, which are new in Wild Run, and even some that are made easier with the bike, more often than not though, you are going to be tasked with achieving a wheelie for some set distance. Once you have completed enough of these challenges, you will be awarded tokens, which upon collecting enough, will grant you a pass to access a Summit event.
These events will allow you to pick from a range of events within, that will give you the chance to test your speed in a drag car, your cornering skills with drifting and then there are the monster trucks, which are just pure fun. The Drag events are not you in a stock car doing a drag race Fast and Furious style, these are full on, kitted out drag cars, with the massive tires, parachute and everything. The team also put in a little skill for the events as well, when you do a Drag race, you don’t just hit the gas and stay straight, you will need to warm up the tires first, only to a set point, hit the gas as the lights go green and make perfect gear changes, doing all these correctly will net you the best run you can get. The earlier runs on the salt flats are actually pretty fun, the ones located on paved roads in the middle of towns are less so, there you need to contend with the changes in the road, which resulted in my car bouncing around like it was driving on marshmallows and then plowing into a wall.
Drifting is just as you would expect, you need to drift around in order to rack up the points, the higher the point count is at the end of the event the better off you are, drifting can be fun at times, but the angles for what qualifies as a drift seem a little uneven. The most fun will come from your time behind the wheels of a monster truck, the tracks for these are nothing like the rest of the game, in fact they feel more like oversized hot wheel courses and inflated levels from a Tony Hawk game, they are large and fun. While you won’t be able to make tight turns in the monster trucks, you can gleefully bounce around, climb stairs and more, the challenge is to attempt to collect floating coins, each with different values, in order to bolster your score. It is far and away the best of the three new game modes and will make you feel like a kid again. The actual event courses are a mix of locations from the world you can normally access, like for Drag and Drifting, to custom designed tracks for the Monster Trucks, which are the best.
The bikes are a mixed bag, sure they are fun to weave in and out of traffic with, but they don’t feel like bikes, even the handling is odd. The bikes range from slow to incredibly fast, but even when you have a dirt bike, the moment you leave the road they slow down and become pointless but also, due to their smaller size, they tend to bounce everywhere.
Alongside the release of Wild Run was a patch that corrected a lot of the games initial issues, pop up is significantly reduced, dynamic weather has been added to the game, which now means things are always going to look different, though any impact to handling of the vehicles is miniscule at best. The cars look better when they take damage now and the world looks nicer overall, even better you get this update no matter what version of the game you have.
The Crew Wild Run is a strange thing, it came along when the game really needed it, but it itself does nothing to convince you to get the game. The content it provides is fun, minus some pretty silly courses for the Drag cars, but it does not need to be obtained, the patch that fixes The Crew itself is the star, but as all versions of The Crew Wild Run come with it all, the value is there for sure.