On December 1st, The Crew’s designer Serkan Hasan claimed that this MMO racing game would not suffer from all the launch issues that plagued both Far Cry 4 and Assassin’s Creed: Unity. And to his credit, Serkan was right; The Crew runs amazingly well on the PC, offers a native 60fps option from the get-go (contrary to its alpha build), packs a variety of graphics options to tweak, and feels like a really polished title. If only its visuals were as good…
The Crew is powered by the Babel engine and as always, we used an Intel i7 4930K with 8GB RAM, NVIDIA’s GTX690, Windows 8.1 64-bit and the latest version of the GeForce drivers. Thankfully, NVIDIA has already included an SLI profile that offers amazing SLI scaling.
The Crew runs with 30fps on current-gen consoles, something that really surprised. And that’s because the PC version of The Crew seems to go easy on both the CPU and the GPU.
In order to find out whether the game scales well on a variety of CPUs, we simulated a dual-core and a quad-core system. Our simulated dual-core system was able to push 46fps at 1080p with max settings with HT disabled. When we enabled HT, we enjoyed a constant 60fps experience, thus proving that Hyper Threading offers a significant performance increase in this particular title. Naturally, our simulated quad-core and our hexa-core systems had not trouble running the game with constant 60fps.
What’s also interesting here is that Babel scales well on multiple CPU cores. The Crew mainly stresses one CPU core, and scales well on four – in total – CPU cores. While the game also scales on more than, we can clearly see that those additional CPU cores are not put into good use. The Crew is mainly optimized for four CPU cores, but then again as we’ve already said, those with weaker dual-core systems will be able to enjoy it.
The Crew does not also demand a high-end GPU. A single GTX680 was able to push 60fps at 1080p with max settings (with FXAA), while a GTX690 does not have any trouble running this MMO racer at 1080p with max settings and 4xTXAA (with 8xMSAA had some drops to mid 40s). Not only that, but 2GB of VRAM are enough for such settings as we did not encounter any stutters at all.
Graphics wise, The Crew is definitely not up to what we’d expect from a current-gen only racing game. While its world is huge and there is no loading at all while driving, there is noticeable pop-in even with max settings. Not only that, but everything – from shaders to textures – gives an impression of an old-gen title. So while The Crew runs flawlessly, it certainly does not impress with its visuals. There is a nice level of environmental destruction – bushes are bendable – as well as a pretty good damage system, but overall there is nothing to really ‘wow’ you.
All in all, while The Crew performs great on the PC, it does not look like a current-gen title. While it’s amazing that this game features such a huge and varied world, its visuals – as a whole – are disappointing (to say the least). Still, it’s good seeing an Ubisoft title that does not suffer from game-breaking launch issues.