Ubisoft withholding The Crew review copies from media until launch day

Review copies of The Crew won't be made available to media outlets until the day the title is released

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Ubisoft won’t be supplying media with review copies of their upcoming open-world driving title, The Crew, until the game launches on December 2, the publisher shared yesterday evening on their Ubiblog website.

“The Crew was built from the beginning to be a living playground full of driving fans, so it’s only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world,” Ubisoft’s senior community manager Gary Steinman writes. “And by other, we mean thousands and thousands and thousands of players – something that can’t be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press.”

Because of this, The Crew will be available to media outlets to begin their review process once the game launches on December 2. No embargoes will be set for any kind of coverage when The Crew is made available, which means we’ll be able to stream and talk about the game as much as we want, for better or worse.

Ubisoft also warns its potential customers from reviews that are published immediately at the launch of The Crew. “While we fully anticipate that you might see some reviews immediately at launch – largely built around the preview sessions we facilitated during the past months or the limited content of the closed and open betas – they won’t be based on optimal conditions or reflect the finished game.”

If you’re the kind of person who likes to gauge what the professionals think of a game, it looks like you’ll have to wait a few days, maybe even weeks, for reviews to come rolling in. I plan on reviewing The Crew for Shacknews, and I’ll try my absolute best to get through it as quickly as possible to offer my opinion of the game so you'll know whether or not you should pick it up or add it to your wishlist this holiday season.

Also - if we learned anything from Ubisoft's handling of Assassin's Creed Unity, I'd recommend holding off on The Crew until we're able to give it a review.

Senior Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 25, 2014 8:15 AM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, Ubisoft withholding The Crew review copies from media until launch day

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 8:19 AM

      hahahaha WHAT. so on the heels of Unity, which was an embargo and sculpted media disaster, they are going to double down and just lock it all down until it launches.

      I'm guessing they are hiding more social media/microtransaction stuff.

      it’s only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world

      yeah... not so much.

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        November 25, 2014 10:47 AM

        haters gonna hate, so fuck em, they'll do it live.

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      November 25, 2014 8:19 AM

      hooo boy

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      November 25, 2014 8:23 AM

      The storyline was over the top, but I liked what I played in the Betas.

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      November 25, 2014 8:25 AM

      People were shitting on this game during the beta I can see why.

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      November 25, 2014 8:26 AM

      The PR-speak twist on their blog is awesome. So carefully worded, and trying to put themselves on the side of the customer.

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        November 25, 2014 9:10 AM

        Are you talking about the "warning" about reviews released immediately on launch? Yeah, that's insulting to reviewers who can actually release a decent review after a release date all-nighter. I remember Jeff Gerstmann talking on the Bombcast about how some other game review press staff accused him of breaking the embargo, and he said, "No, it's just because I'm FASTER than you at writing reviews."

        Just for this, I hope Jeff reviews The Crew, has his review out on release day, and ends up being in line with all the other reviews released days later.

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      November 25, 2014 8:27 AM

      Yeah, fuck you guys (sorry to our Ubisoft peeps).

      After Unity and the issues with Far Cry 4, I'll wait a few weeks before touching one of their products again.

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        November 25, 2014 8:38 AM

        'a few weeks' haha you sure showed them

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          November 25, 2014 8:39 AM

          Give me time to see if the game is worth buying or not. Like why I'm skipping FarCry 4.

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            November 25, 2014 8:45 AM

            Far Cry 4 had a few hiccups, but it's a... Umm... Far Cry from the issues with Unity or even Watch Dogs. I'm not saying you're not justified in being wary of Ubisoft, but FC4 is a pretty great game.

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              November 25, 2014 8:54 AM

              I don't like Far Cry games much. So it was a 'ehhh, maybe' anyways.

              With it having performance issues, it goes to a straight pass.

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              November 25, 2014 10:24 AM

              speaking of watchdogs is that fixed yet? I want to know if it's a good time to pick it up if it goes on sale this week

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                November 25, 2014 10:28 AM

                Heh. Guess.

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                  November 25, 2014 11:53 AM

                  That is a shame even at like $20?

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                    November 25, 2014 12:05 PM

                    I wouldn't, but I'm sure some would. A lot of people had issues with stuttering, particularly when you were driving. It was really distracting. Then when I tried to get over and just enjoy the game, I found the game to be... Not very enjoyable. Felt like GTA lite with the typical Ubisoft "capture the tower and collect 1 millions items" formula. With GTAV coming out on PC soon, I'd rather put the $20 towards that.

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                      November 28, 2014 11:43 AM

                      That "sttuttering" wasnt really stuttering, it was the vsync messings things up big time because there wasnt a middle ground between 60 and 30 fps, if it couldnt mantain 55+fps the fps drastically dropped to 30.
                      But that was easily fixed, i know in amd it was, had no nvidia card to test. You just had to use radeonpro, force triple vsync there and disable it in game and use dynamic frame control limited to 32 fps. Then you had to remove mouse smoothing and acceleracion, and bam you had a pretty good game.
                      Obviously i played it with a patch on my eye because having to do that is a pretty good reason not to buy it, but it at least was more or less easily fixed.... on the other hand, unity and far cry 4 have things that cant be fixed with config files or custom configs in programs like radeonpro or nvdia inspector.

                      So if the crew ends up beeing another failure... i wouldnt be surprised if the exited the pc market instead of doing some actual work...

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              November 25, 2014 2:05 PM

              It's a good game but the stuttering is REALLY bad. It basically kills the immersion they are going for with the otherwise great visuals. And it makes it pretty fucking hard to play sometimes.

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                November 25, 2014 5:28 PM

                Has there been any indication of whether this will ever be fixed?

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            November 25, 2014 8:58 AM

            FWIW I have 20 hours in FC4, I'm almost finished. Had to tweak one setting in an XML profile relating to mipmaps on day 1, but have not experienced any abnormal performance since then. Zero stuttering.

            I have a 660 Ti, 3570k @ 3.4, 8 GB ram, and an SSD. I'm at 1080p, everything is on ultra with the exception of shadows (set to high). My AA is SMAA and AO is SSBC or whatever it is. Locked my framerate to 30 (it varies between 30 and 40 with these settings) and have had a really smooth and awesome experience with the game. Not one crash, excellent performance and amazing visuals.

            I even played 3-4 hours of co-op in one session on Saturday, not one crash. One continuous 3-4 hour long multiplayer session. It was very impressive.

            I think the reports of FC4's issues are quite overblown.

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            November 25, 2014 9:16 AM

            Agreed; the only games I buy anywhere close to release date are either indie games, or ones that I've thoroughly vetted. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax was my only release-date retail purchase this year, and I knew exactly what I was getting: a fighting game with a visual novel storyline of the Persona characters. And I liked the story mode; it was really good (especially the "Episode P3" storyline).

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            November 25, 2014 10:13 AM

            It sounds like someone finally found a way to fix most of the mouse acceleration issues with the gibbed mod tools so I might finally be able to buy it. I'd still like to try it first to be sure. Bad controls and especially mouse input will ruin any fps for me.

            http://www.reddit.com/r/farcry/comments/2n5w68/far_cry_4_mouse_fix_tested_on_103/

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              November 25, 2014 10:23 AM

              oh wow that's some detective work. check that out and let us know!! I don't have FC4 yet but I will definitely be getting it once all this is sorted out.

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              November 25, 2014 10:52 AM

              It's amazing that its so hard for certain Ubi studios to just have raw mouse input...

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                November 25, 2014 12:09 PM

                It's not just ubi, although they are a current major offender. Needs to become a PC standard across the board.

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                November 25, 2014 5:09 PM

                I remember the mouse control in Far Cry 3 feeling really good, it's a shame.

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                  November 25, 2014 6:07 PM

                  They were fucked up in their own special way and never actually fixed by ubi, even blood dragon shipped with the same issue though it was well documented on how to fix it by that point: http://www.reddit.com/r/farcry/comments/2miuum/farcry_4_pc_mouse_input_is_it_good_this_time/

                  The difference is only people using a high dpi & usb rate paired with a low game sensitivity ran into that one in a big way. I couldn't play Far Cry 3 for many months until someone on the ubi boards stumbled upon it and found a way to edit it out in similar fashion with the 3rd party mod tools.

                  Plus you still had to edit out the smoothing and acceleration in the .xml because the in game options were broken for a long time, not even sure if there was a in game setting for the forced smoothing.

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 8:29 AM

      If they've got no confidence in it, then neither do I. I'll be skipping this one.

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        November 25, 2014 8:37 AM

        I can't believe how hard Ubi is burning bridges with its customers right now.

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      November 25, 2014 8:42 AM

      Speaking of Ubisoft, Anandtech decided to test out AC: Unity and offer their impressions: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8738/benchmarked-assassins-creed-unity/2

      'In short, not only do you need a fast GPU, but you also need a fast CPU. And the "just get a $300 console" argument doesn't really work either, as frame rates on the consoles aren't particularly stellar either from what I've read. At least one site has found that both the PS4 and Xbox One fail to maintain a consistent 30FPS or higher frame rate. '

      None of their tests locked at 60fps on Ultra. Only an SLI 970 got to > 50 fps at 1080p. The highest average was 30fps.

      On High they managed to get the 980 and 970 SLI above 50 FPS average with drops in the 40s.

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        November 25, 2014 8:47 AM

        Great to see AnandTech still doing nice detailed analysis like this.

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          November 25, 2014 9:08 AM

          I'm new to AnandTech but I like their attention to detail and using actual numbers. They some times get way to detailed for me but its a nice reference.

          • reply
            November 25, 2014 12:06 PM

            Even then you can pick one or two graphs or sections to dig into. They're fantastic, have been for over a decade.

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              November 25, 2014 12:40 PM

              I'm worried that the site's founder left to go work for Apple. Hopefully the analytic quality doesn't suffer.

      • reply
        November 25, 2014 9:09 AM

        [deleted]

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        November 25, 2014 2:00 PM

        I hope they do this for Far Cry 4 as well. It seems like Ubisoft is about to pull a Watch Dogs on that (and AC:U). In other words, it looks like they'll never fix the problems with stuttering (stemming from problems with multithreading and texture streaming).

        Hopefully more media covering it will change that.

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 8:51 AM

      I got into the beta for this... never even loaded it.

      F Ubisoft.

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        November 25, 2014 9:09 AM

        it's wasn't worth the install. trust me ;(.

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        November 25, 2014 10:44 AM

        the beta reminded me a lot of burnout paradise but i didn't play too much of it. not really into racing games.

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      November 25, 2014 9:03 AM

      Ubisoft should change its name to buggysoft

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 9:11 AM

      Madness is trying the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 9:49 AM

      You would have to be a real asshole to preorder this or even get it on launch day.

      • reply
        November 25, 2014 10:30 AM

        I... I want a hood racing game on my PS4. Please don't judge me :(

      • reply
        November 25, 2014 10:40 AM

        I spent like 30hrs with the beta and loved every minute. Even if the game for some reason is nothing like the beta they still kinda deserve the money for those 30 hrs.

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        November 25, 2014 11:30 AM

        I am going to switch to chrome so I can lol this.

      • reply
        November 25, 2014 5:56 PM

        I heard the beta was pretty fun.. who knows.

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 10:19 AM

      Going for the hat trick, I see.

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      November 25, 2014 12:07 PM

      I really hope they started over with the driving model after the beta. It was so bad.

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      November 25, 2014 12:29 PM

      [deleted]

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        November 25, 2014 12:32 PM

        No joke. I don't buy games on launch if they embargo now... pretty much a good sign that the game is crap or needs to be heavily patched.

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 1:42 PM

      I didn't get to play much of the betas, but didn't think it was bad, actually. I didn't enjoy the missions much, but driving around in the open world city with other players was fun.

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 1:52 PM

      Gaming Publishers will try to punish websites from mentioning they are withholding review copies in news stories. Just give it 5 years. Someone will try to do it.

      • reply
        November 26, 2014 4:21 AM

        Well - in this case, Ubisoft made the announcement themselves. I normally don't report on review copy delays if the publisher let's me know personally, but in this case, and given Ubisoft's track record with their releases this fall, I thought readers would want to know.

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      November 25, 2014 2:01 PM

      mmmm, pass! i still dont trust ssds

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      November 25, 2014 2:21 PM

      I'm glad that the Wii U isn't their exclusive outlet for doing the wrong thing.

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 5:15 PM

      the crew apparently features ... towers. that you have to go around and unlock.

      http://i.imgur.com/VmpOypm.png

      • reply
        November 25, 2014 5:17 PM

        haha ONE MINUTE LATER...

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        November 25, 2014 5:42 PM

        This will be amazing. I hope there's social media icons on the towers !!!

    • reply
      November 25, 2014 5:29 PM

      Remember the crazy table showing all the versions of Watch Dogs? http://i.picpar.com/7LK.jpg

      lol

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