During Ubisoft’s E3 2012 presentation the publisher called The Crew the biggest game ever made, boasting the whole of the United States as its game world. That’s probably hyperbole, but Ivory Tower COO Ahmed Boukhelifa has some more concrete and still very impressive details.
Speaking to OPM, Boukhelifa admitted that describing the game’s world as the whole of the US is “poetic license”.
“It’s really massive, really huge. It’s over 10,000 km of road,” he said, though.
Being so large, the world map “opens the road to much, much more gameplay experiences than before. You have this huge open-world. We spent lots of time-building a physics model with the goal to create all the cars with differences in handling, but also to tune them and make them behave correctly whether you’re on a dirt track, completely off-road, roaming the mountains, on circuits.
“With this and the variety of the physics experience, all the cars in this huge open-world, we can really provide this a la carte experience of driving the way you want, as you want.”
The game’s world is dividied into five regions which gradually unlock as the player progresses, adding new cars and gameplay features. Boukhelifa said Ivory Tower spent a lot of time deciding just how much to include.
We worked for about a year on research because it was, of course, a technical constraint but possibly a gameplay constraint. What is the right size to make an interesting world?” he said.
“We thought ‘big’, because we want this exploration, we want to [be able to] cross the desert, but not to be too big for the experience that was there. So you are always one minute away from a challenge, a mission. So the size we have today, I think, is the perfect fit and balance for the game we wanted to do”.
During the E3 demo, Ubisoft said the racer is like an MMO, with drop-in, drop-out multiplayer. Boukhelifa went into further detail on that, too, describing an impressive scenario.
“The way we work is we split, technically speaking, the area around you is peer-to-peer, all the MMO services, they come from the server. Those MMO services can manage for everyone in the world from a selection of localised servers and those servers network together,” he said.
What does that mean? It means there’s no limit to how many players can be alongside you in one session, apparently. “We cannot limit,” Boukhelifa said.
The Crew is expected on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2014.