Set in a huge open world that allows players to race their way across the United States, Ubisoft's new action-driving MMO has 7,000 miles of roads, 15 cities and 15 million individual objects. Depending on your vehicle and skills behind the wheel, it's said to take about an hour and a half to drive coast to coast in the game and four hours to circumnavigate the entire map.
The Crew is primarily an online multiplayer game, but it does have a single player component that offers roughly 20 hours of gameplay. The game has been designed for the latest generation consoles and PCs, though the former are capped at 30fps frames and a resolution of 1080p while our preferred platform ought to look and feel better with a 60fps cap and a higher res.
The Crew has been built using the Babel game engine along with developer Ivory Tower's proprietary tools. Considering the fact that we haven't tested a title powered by this combo before, we don't know how well optimized the game will be. For what it's worth, Ubisoft has had a poor track record in this area lately so we're interested to see how The Crew performs.
We used the latest AMD and Nvidia drivers on 31 DirectX 11 graphics card configurations from both companies covering all price ranges. Our test rig was outfitted with the Intel Core i7-5960X to remove CPU bottlenecks that could influence high-end GPU scores.
For benchmarking we used Fraps to record 120 seconds of gameplay. Benchmarking The Crew is a little tricky as it's online without checkpoints.
Whenever you quit the game it saves were you currently are and reloads you in that position next time so we thought it would be a good idea to drive to one of the big cities and record performance while driving around a block, returning to the starting spot at the end of each test.
This worked well for a few tests but then after about the sixth test we were loaded into a different section of the city and it took too long to get back on track each time.
In the end we found the perfect section of the game to test. When purchasing a new car from the garage you have the option of going for a test drive.
This allowed us to pick the same car each time and carry out the same test drive each time. The average result was taken from three separate runs. For graphics cards that rendered below the 20fps mark, the test was cut short to just 30 seconds as we drove down the straight because the game was nearly unplayable.
The graphics settings were set to the 'Ultra' preset and then we made a few customizations which meant forcing ambient occlusion to SSAO+ and anti-aliasing to 4xMSAA. These are the default AMD settings while Nvidia cards use HBAO+ and TXAA. So it is important to note that the preset settings are different on AMD and Nvidia cards.
We tested The Crew using DX11 at four desktop display resolutions: 1366x768, 1680x1050, 1920x1080 and 2560x1600.
Test System Specs
- Intel Core i7-5960X(3.00GHz)
- x4 4GB Kingston Predator DDR4-2400 (CAS 12-13-13-24)
- Asrock X99 Extreme6 (Intel X99)
- Silverstone Strider Series (700w)
- Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512GB (SATA 6Gb/s)
- Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X (4096MB)
- Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 (4096MB)
- Gigabyte Radeon R9 285 (2048MB)
- Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X (3072MB)
- HIS Radeon R9 270X (2048MB)
- HIS Radeon R9 270 (2048MB)
- HIS Radeon R7 265 (2048MB)
- HIS Radeon R7 250 (1024MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7970 GHz (3072MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7970 (3072MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7950 Boost (3072MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7950 (3072MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7870 (2048MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7850 (2048MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7790 (2048MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7770 (2048MB)
- HIS Radeon HD 7750 (1024MB)
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX Titan (6144MB)
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 (4096MB)
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 (4096MB)
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 Ti (3072MB)
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 (3072MB)
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 (2048MB)
- Palit GeForce GTX 760 (2048MB)
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti (2048MB)
- Gainward GeForce GTX 680 (2048MB)
- Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti (2048MB)
- Gainward GeForce GTX 660 (2048MB)
- Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti (2048MB)
- Gainward GeForce GTX 560 Ti (2048MB)
- Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
- Nvidia GeForce 344.75 WHQL
- AMD Catalyst 14.11.2 Beta