The game is quite fun, and I have spent many hours in it, and will probably spend more too. However... there are some pretty big caveats to this. The price for one; I have the Australia tax, and the base game costs $75USD, not including the exchange rate and everything. Then there is the DLC - each one is a pack of 4 extra cars, hardly worth the price considering they don't really offer too much more. And then there are the Mi-crew-transactions. Seriously? Extra in-game micro transactions on an already pretty pricey Triple A release? There are two different forms of currency in-game, one which is solely earnt through missions, skills, and stunts. And then there are CREW CREDITS. You are given 100,000 reasonably early on in the game, but that's not enough for anything good. And so... you are invited to use real life money to purchase these in order to quickly obtain cars or specs that you would otherwise spend countless hours grinding for. The in-game grind for this game is pretty ridiculous - not only do you have to grind hours and hours for cash (unless you pay) for the cars, particularly the Koenigsegg Agera R and the Hummer H1 Alpha, but then, upgrade those cars, you must complete skill challenges to acquire parts to improve your car... for each individual car. The best parts are also RNG based, so you could easily spend hours farming the same challenge to try and get that specific part you wanted.
In contrast to some others, I've had no issues with Uplay, but this could just mean I'm one of the lucky ones. Unlike some of the Trailers, the world isn't as filled - this is both a good and bad thing. If you like PVP, well, you'll be in for a long wait. But otherwise, the comparative lack of players is actually a bit of a blessing in disguise. Particularly if you are farming money or parts, the smaller population sizes actually makes it much easier to do what you want without getting in each other's way, which is extremely inconvenient and can be extremely aggravating. One of the biggest draws, the co-op, doesn't really seem to work completely as well, sometimes crews doing a mission won't finish properly. That said, it is still incredibly awesome to drive around America with a group of friends, or accept a random online invite if you prefer that instead. There can, however, still be connection issues even within a crew, so that is something to keep in mind if you plan on primarily playing the game in multiplayer. You'll also want to do this with a friend, playing with strangers online can be dicey and very hit and miss.
The campaign is pretty standard and boring because it is so long. The campaign really offers nothing new, interesting, or relevant. It's very cliche with some pretty glaring plot holes. I ended up enjoying cruising around the map in free roam doing random things more than the campaign.
This brings me to by far, the best part of the game - the world map. The Drive is the best open world driving experience I've had by far, with you literally able to drive from Canada to Mexico and coast to coast with an incredibly diverse environment to explore, with vast tracks of open road and off road land to discover. Many cities are either scaled down or removed completely, understandable but potentially annoying to some - I never had an issue with it, it would not make sense to make everything completely to scale. The exploration of the map is great, although sometimes the game feels more like a tourist guide... noting landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. Regardless, the environments are fantastic, from the dense urban cities of Los Angeles and New York, to snowy mountains, deserts, and swamps. The time and environmental system in The Crew is also well worth talking about. From snow, rain, cloud, and sun, the weather is quite well, although rain does not affect driving as much as it should. The day/night system is a highlight, although sometimes streetlamps and headlights turn on and off at weird times... The poor standard of NPC traffic is a let-down. Not only in terms of how they look, but also in terms of how they spawn and despawn. I understand that this is to reduce the stress of the game, but it still looks odd to see other vehicles randomly appearing or vanishing, especially at night time, where headlights are the only thing which shows other road users.
Now to the gameplay. The driving offers nothing truly spectacular, although the game's physics and hit boxes can seem inconsistent. On one hand, it's pretty good to see a driving game where you car slowly accumulates visible damage. However, repair prices are exorbitant, and the damage does not really seem to effect the car's performance. Then there are odd times where you hit another car or object... sometimes you get the "crash cam", sometimes you spin to the side, sometimes you flip, sometimes you are bumped backwards or sideways... but there doesn't seem to be much consistency. And sometimes you'll be sent flying over rocks or curbs through invisible walls. It can be entertaining to see your million-dollar car flip and tumble... but also frustrating and physically wrong. I feel the handling is quite poor in the game, with strangely large turning circles, the surprisingly high propensity to skid (not drift), something exacerbated off-road. Landing after jumps is also poorly handled, and you always land nose first, generally but not always, causing you flip and crash.
There isn't too much racing in this game, with a variety of other missions such as "disable" or "deliver", but the game's AI is very frustrating and completely unrealistic. Regardless of how your car is upgraded, the AI will always be right on your tail. Collisions will ALWAYS affect you more negatively than the other car hit, regardless of whether it's a race or police pursuit, and who intitiated the contact. And the police pursuits are not fun either. Pursuits only start if you hit a street lamp, but you will be ignored if you speed through a red light at four times the speed limit past a police car? And then, when the pursuit starts, it's actually quite impractical to see the police cars catch up to you... it just doesn't make sense that a random squad car could catch up to a supercar and then insta-stop and bust you. The speed with which you get caught, and subsequently the amount you get fined, make police pursuits far more trouble than fun. The traffic can also behave oddly, especially at lights and when merging.
And then, finally, the cars themselves. I really love the fact that most of the cars are licensed, and have official paints, rims, etc. There are exceptions though, such as the two RUF cars. The stature of the cars is further refined by the 5 different classes, or specs - Street, Dirt, Performance, Race, Circuit - which are all noticeably different to each other, in both looks and performance. This is in contrast to some other games, where differences such as Rally or Muscle cars actually really don't offer much difference in terms of gameplay. In The Crew, the different classes all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and perform differently. Even with the classes, however, the selection of cars is really quite limited, especially if you do not purchase the DLC. While there is a reasonably large range of physical modifications available (bumpers, hoods, spoilers, etc.), these customisation options lack depth and are limited. And some, like the license plates, are barely noticeable. That said, you are able to do some incredibly fun and potentially silly things. Like drive a Mini Cooper down a ski ramp like THE STIG, or hit 300km/h in a Fiat or Dodge SRT.
It's months post release, but there are still bugs - getting stuck or going through environmental hazards, , and graphical glitches where roads vanish or turn strange colours... Don't get me wrong, I enjoy The Crew, and it isn't bad, per se, but it's hard to justify the price, especially with microtransactions thrown in.