The Crew launches worldwide today, and seeing as we were let in a day early, I've written a detailed and balanced launch impressions piece for your perusal. However, now that the servers are live -- and holding up, at least for now -- we can also report on exactly how Ubisoft's new MMO driving game handles the dreaded spectre of microtransactions.
Like Assassin's Creed: Unity, The Crew contains a premium currency known as Crew Credits, which can be used to purchase cars that you haven't saved up enough money for by completing challenges, races and missions. You have the option to buy every vehicle with either your slowly-increasing pot of in-game currency or Crew Credits, the latter of which, of course, come at a real-world cost. You're able to buy them in five different packs, starting at 45,000 at £3.99 and ending with 600,000 for a whopping £39.99.
To put this in perspective, early-game cars can run you between 4500-65,000 Crew Credits.
Personally I hate to see microtransactions and premium currencies in full-priced games, as their inclusion is smoking gun proof that a game's economy is designed to delay, annoy or otherwise convince you to reach for the credit card. The fact that you can't ignore Crew Credits -- it's a dual currency, so the option is right there on the screen next to regular purchasing options and even represented on your player tag -- is also a real bugbear too. The sooner this fad dies out, the better, since you've already paid good money for the game and frankly shouldn't be constantly harangued to slap down a little (or a lot) extra.
We'll find out whether it's easy and affordable to play the game the way it should be intended as the days roll on - stay tuned for our launch day impressions later today and a full review at the end of the week.