Tech Stocking Stuffers: 18 awesome gifts under $50

Ubisoft's free game for September is 'The Crew'

By Shawn Knight · 14 replies
Sep 14, 2016
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  1. Ubisoft’s generosity continues in September with yet another game available to download and keep free of charge. Unlike earlier games in the promotion, this month’s freebie is a relatively new title.

    Now through mid-October, you can score racing game The Crew courtesy of Ubisoft. To get it, you’ll first need to download and install Ubisoft’s digital distribution platform, Uplay (assuming you don’t already have it installed).

    The Crew, from Ubisoft Reflections and Ivory Tower, made its debut in December 2014 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC (it was also ported to the Xbox 360). It’s described as an online racing game with an open and persistent world in which players can race and free-roam. Although I haven’t played it (a bit ironic since racing games are my genre of choice), it sounds similar to the concept behind Forza Horizon.

    If you’ve been keeping tabs, you’ll know that this freebie is part of a larger promotion that kicked off in June to celebrate Ubisoft’s 30th anniversary. Each month, Ubisoft has made a different game available to download and keep to anyone that wants it.

    The first game in the promotion was Prince of Persia: Sands of Time followed by Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell in July and Rayman Origins in August.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,837   +1,962

    Smart move, the base game costs as much as the numerous DLC packages. I am guessing they are hoping to hook a few players and then up-sell them the DLC. In any case a good free game for sure.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    Is it just me, or does this game have terrible pop-in (trees) on PC?
  4. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Booster Posts: 102   +33

    Instead of giving stuff away for free, I would spend the money to improve existing games
  5. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 551   +171

    Make sure geometry is on Ultra, and that you have trees and grass on high. As bad as it may be setting the FPS limit to 30 FPS can resolve some texture popping issues, at least it did for me on my weaker laptop graphics. Took me around 2 hours to get it running on my slightly stronger desktop, but has been going strong for a year on the settings I set. Ideally you want 2gb of VRAM minimum, with some tinkering you can make it run without texture popping on 1gb vram cards (I am stuck at this on my desktop). Not knowing what your system specs are I can't really recommend anymore, I know my friend with a 980 ti actually did super resolution and was playing the game on a higher res then 1080p (his monitor default) and that smoothed the game out a lot.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    Relevant specs:

    i7 6700K
    16GB DDR4 at 3000mhz
    Evga GTX 1070
    Samsung 850 Evo SSD

    I've got everything maxed in settings and running 60fps at 2K and 4K DSR. Game runs smooth as silk with the exception of the tree pop in.
  7. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 191   +45

    "To get it, you’ll first need to download and install Ubisoft’s digital distribution platform, Uplay (assuming you don’t already have it installed)."

    As far as I'm aware you don't need to install UPlay to get the game, only to play it. So if you're currently only a computer that won't play it you can grab it for the future through the website.
  8. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 551   +171

    Another weird thing to try, if you have Geforce Experience installed, do the "optimize settings" that took care of odd Frame rate and texture pop on a custom build I did with a GTX 970 earlier this year.
  9. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 551   +171

    So just to help explain some stuff the article kinda throws off, Reflections pretty much just did the port work, and clean up at the end of the game, Ivory Tower is the main dev on The Crew. Ivory Tower is made up of old Eden Games employees who worked mainly on Test Drive Unlimited, the first mass open world online racing game (or MMORG as Atari called it). Another good chunk of the studio worked on the successor TDU2, which improved (and hurt) the franchise in a few ways, expanding the map and adding better graphics and cars. Eden Games folded up around 6 months after TDU2 launched and now Atari is pretty much dead. Forza Horizon was created to compete against TDU2 and The Crew. After getting to try the Horizons 3 demo one huge thing you will notice that is different is map size. The crew's map is easily 3-4 times larger the horizon 3's map (which is defiantly bigger than Horizon 2's map was). So basically if you want to cruise around a huge map, the crew wins that but the horizon series has had great racing in it, and I think Horizon 3 will edge out the crew there (though the summit in the Wild Run is/was very fun). Basically this whole promotion is Ubisoft trying to compete against Forza Horizon's 3 this fall since the new expansion for the crew has had a mixed reception after games com, and really only targeted towards current users of the crew.
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    Already on optimized settings. Doesn't seem to fix the pop-in issue.

    I've uploaded a video:

    If you watch the trees on the right, you can see where it switches from the low res models to the high res ones. The high res pops in and then a half second later it draws shadows. It's not too noticeable in dense foliage (see trees on the left), but wherever they are spread or isolated it can get very bad.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,748   +647

    I was thinking of posting the same thing. UPlay is only needed to install any of these games. I can confirm that all you need to do is go to their web site, create or log into an account, select the game, and then it can be downloaded and installed at any time thereafter with UPlay.
  12. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 551   +171

    video is private, you need to make it unlisted
  13. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

  14. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 551   +171

    One more thing to try, turn off motion blur if it is on, see if that improves the popping. Your wasn't as bad as my HTPC build at the tree popping for that card it was happening 25-35 feet in front of the car, plus things like street lights and traffic cones were doing it as well, but your card is light years faster then that old 6770.
  15. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 926   +31

    I think this is a must-have for those who own steering wheels. Sure the steering is not very accurate, but through some tweaking you can get a very good arcade game which supports FFB and 900-deg steering. Good enough graphics with large cities and some challenges. Certainly enjoyed my past few hours with this game using my G27.

    On a side note, in certain cities players seems to be low, a good decision to make this game for free. Game size is 22GB but you can start playing when the download reaches 4.6GB.

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