When The Crew was first announced, it looked to change the racing genre. It offered an impressive open world United States to roam, while combining the tried and true “unlock the map bit-by-bit” Ubisoft staple. Though it received relatively positive reviews, it seemed to eventually fade away into the gaming No Man’s Land. Despite this, Ubisoft continue to develop and add more features to it, keeping The Crew fans happy and with plenty of content while trying to entice more people back in and their latest attempt to do so comes in the form of Calling All Units.
Like the Wild Run before it, the Calling All Units expansion offers a different take on the usual street racing and point-to-point endeavours in the base game. Giving players the chance to fully explore every nook and hidden corner the vast game world has to offer, Calling All Units turns The Crew into a battle of cops & robbers, as the police try to stop gangs transporting narcotics and the like from point A to point B.
At this year’s gamescom, we got a chance to sit down with the Calling All Units expansion and played with both sides of the law.
For its simplicity, the gameplay loop is incredibly addictive, particularly when playing 2v2. The two teams start at different parts of the map, and a package is spawned in a random location; it is then up to the racers to collect the package and drop it off at another point, all while being perused by reckless police officers. If the package gets delivered the street racers win, if they get busted, the police win. Simple.
Calling All Units is like a hark back to the very first Need For Speed, or the more recent Most Wanted, where it’s not just the quickest car and slickest driver who wins, there are also an array of gadgets available on both sides. As the street racers look to getaway, they can use things such as smoke bombs, to hide their trails and the police’s view, or a nitrous boost to get a speed advantage. The police also have their own armoury, things like helicopters, that can pinpoint the wanted on the map, or EMPs, which shut down the opposing car’s power, enabling the police to swoop in. This part gadget becomes particularly crucial, as in order to capture those pesky petrolheads, the police must keep the their car pinned for a certain amount of time. Think an over enthusiastic tig, and you’ve got it.
The Crew’s expansions remind me a lot of what Rockstar have been doing with GTA: Online. The updates bring with them, fun and quirky takes on the game’s core mechanics but distance themselves from the game itself. So, when you’re sick of street racing, why not do some Gymkhana in a monster truck in Wild Run or tackle some cops vs robbers in Calling All Units?
The expansion is set to release on 29th November alongside an Ultimate Collection which will combine the base game with both expansions released since it’s launch, and if you fancy jumping into the expansions now, the Calling All Units expansion will also come with Wild Run. The expansion also brings with it a series of new police missions, seeing you bring down a new street racing gang, as well as a flurry of new cars, skins and an increase of the level cap to 60.