The Crew: Wild Run Edition Review (XONE)

The Crew Wild Run box
The Crew Wild Run box. Ubisoft

Similar to how Destiny got a year 2 update and big new expansion, Ubisoft's disappointing 2014 open-world racer is getting a face lift and new content for year 2 as well.  Unlike Destiny, however, The Crew's big update doesn't go nearly far enough to fix the core problems that made it under whelm in the first place.  It just adds more content on top and makes slight changes underneath, resulting in a game that is better overall, but still not up to par with the best arcade-style racers on Xbox One.

  With that said, you do get a lot of content at what is now a pretty decent price of just $40 for The Crew plus The Wild Run expansion, so if you were curious last year but never jumped in it's worth a look this time around. 

To learn how the game works in general see our original review of The Crew here.

Season 2 Update

To start off, there are two separate parts of new content for season 2 of The Crew.  The first is a free update for everyone that plays The Crew that changes quite a few things.  First and foremost, it gives the game a significant graphical upgrade that changes the way lighting works, makes the cars look better, and greatly increases the draw distance.  The draw distance is particularly important as it means cars no longer pop into view right in front of you anymore, which is a huge improvement.  The update also adds dynamic weather, and wet roads and wind and rain actually affect your car's handling.

  There is a cool visual effect on the roadways as well as they have multiple stages of being wet or dry that look surprisingly realistic as you're driving along.  The game overall still doesn't look as good as Forza Horizon 2 or Need for Speed, but it does look pretty decent now. 

The free update also tweaks the handling of the cars a bit, but I honestly couldn't tell if it was better or not.

  It has been almost a year since I played The Crew last, and I remember it being fairly loose and taking some getting used to.  After the update, it still feels squirrelly and took some getting used to.  I will say the physics seem better now, though.  Your car isn't weirdly stuck to the road anymore even when you go over jumps, and I didn't spin out after slight contact ever this time around (which is something I complained about in my original review).  So, The Crew probably does play better now.

The rest of the core game is pretty much the same as it was last year, however.  The story is still awful.  You don't earn much in-game cash for doing anything (but it does seem like there are more paying events this time, so you don't get paid much for any of them, but they do all add up pretty quickly). 

How To Get The Wild Run Expansion

The other part of Season 2 of The Crew comes in the form of the paid DLC expansion, The Wild Run.  The Wild Run expansion is available either as a $25 download for folks that already own The Crew, or as a Wild Run Edition bundle that includes The Crew base game and The Wild Run for $40 (either at retail or download).  It must be noted that The Wild Run Edition doesn't include the Season Pass content, so you have to buy that separately if you want a bunch of extra cars.

  It is also important to note that the retail version of The Wild Run Edition is just the vanilla disc of The Crew with a download code for The Wild Run, so be wary buying used copies of this version as you almost certainly won't actually get The Wild Run code with it. 

Wild Run Content

So what does The Wild Run expansion offer?  Loads and loads of crazy stuff, that's what.  It introduces motorcycles - which include street bikes as well as dirt bikes - monster trucks, and new drift and drag classes for the rest of the vehicles.  It also features new events called Summit Events that you have to qualify for before hand by running a number of different races and then the actual Summit is only available on specific days.

  The Summit is supposed to be a big unorganized gathering that will bring lots of players together all at the same time all competing in events centered around the same part of the map.  It's a pretty cool idea and a solid way to earn upgrade parts and cash quickly as it gives you a ton of new races to participate in. 

The monster trucks, bikes, drift, and drag cars all feel pretty unique as well.  The bikes handle amazingly well and feel really good to drive, and they, thankfully, don't have uber-realistic physics where your rider goes flying if you touch anything.  Instead your rider has the grip level of The World's Strongest Man, which I actually appreciate since it means you can have fun and not constantly have to stop cause your wimpy rider is face down in a ditch all the time.  Monster trucks handle, well, like monster trucks.  They accelerate quickly and can climb mountains with ease.  They go off huge jumps like nobody's business.  The monster truck events are actually pretty tame, however, since they just have you collecting point markers on obstacle courses, but they're fun.  And the trucks are a blast to drive around the open world.

The drag and drift cars are a little different, however.  Drag races are interesting in that you have to first do a burnout to warm up the tires, then hit the gas at the perfect time, and then shift at the proper time to maintain maximum speed.  It works well.  Drifting is a bit of a letdown, however, as it just makes your car feel like you're driving on ice.  Controlling it takes a lot of practice.  Honestly, I like drifting with the normal cars in the game out in the open world better than the actual drift spec cars in events, so the drifting is a letdown here.

Bottom Line

When you put it all together, season 2 of The Crew with The Wild Run is a better experience overall than the game was at launch, though it still lags behind the other big racing games on Xbox One.  It can still be really enjoyable, however, and that is thanks to the huge open world map of the United States that you're free to explore right from the start.  The Crew is a ton of fun when you just pick a location across the country and start driving.  Just listening to the radio and soaking in the sights as you drive is the absolute best thing about The Crew and that is still definitely the case.  The addition of monster trucks and motorcycles doesn't hurt either.  It still isn't a great game, but at the current price point - dirt cheap for the vanilla version or $40 The Wild Run Edition - it is an easier game to recommend than it was a year ago.  Race fans will dig it.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.