E3 2013 Preview: The Crew gives us the entire United States to race around

The next generation has seemingly brought with it a slew of new racing games. From Forza Motorsport 5 on the XB1 to Drive Club on PS4, it looks like each system will have its own exclusive title for car fans to sink hours into. Leave it up to Ubisoft however to steal the show with The Crew.

The Crew looked like your average racer to begin with. Licensed cars, beautiful environments, the works. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except then you take a look under the hood, and see just how crazy The Crew is. Let's talk about the first thing that caught my eye. The giant map.

The Crew map

The Crew will give players a scaled down version of the United States. That's right, the country, not a single state. You'll be able to drive around Florida and then cruise around California, and the best part, you can literally drive there seamlessly. Now granted, I did say the map was scaled down, because let's face it, no one would actually want to drive all the way from Florida to California in a video game, that's just nuts. Ubisoft scaled it down in a way where the map still feels massive, and yet fun enough to actually make you want to cruise around in.

Customization is also a big part of The Crew. A Ubisoft rep stated that car customization was really lacking in current gen games, and that they really wanted to bring it back in a big way. Now you can put giant truck wheels on your Nissan sports car, and even take apart the entire car piece by piece, change out individual pieces and then put it back together. It's impressive to say the least.

The Crew car customization

Of course, being a next-gen racer, the game looks absolutely stunning. Being from South Florida, I definitely felt like the team captured Miami Beach perfectly. Of course the same detail went into each car.

You can't name your game The Crew and not expect a heavy emphasis on multiplayer. Turns out, there is quite an involved Story Mode in The Crew, and you'll be able to bring along friends to tackle the entire game with you from start to finish. What's more, you can then form actual crews and take on opposing crews of real players.

The game will also feature a second screen mode where you're able to customize your car however you want on your tablet, and then see that exact car in the game. There might be more functionality besides car customization, though that's the only thing I was able to actually check out during my brief time with the game.

The Crew will be launching on Xbox One, PS4 and PC in early 2014.