Ubisoft is approaching its next-gen open-world racer The Crew as an RPG, rather than a straightforward racer, creative director Julian Gerighty has claimed.
"We see this as an RPG," Gerighty said, speaking on the Ubisoft Blog. "It's an RPG where if you start with a car and you love that car, you'll be able to invest time and money into it and unlock all of its possibilities."
Gerighty highlights the game's extensive car customisation options as an example of its RPG-like structure.
"With the Camaro, we can take it from a street vehicle to a performance vehicle – a heavily modified vehicle – to a pure off-road vehicle, and at the end of the game you're going to be able to make it a racecar," Gerighty says.
Customising cars helps establish a sense of attachment to them, Gerighty suggests, which forms a "huge part of car culture".
"The only car I've ever had was really not a great car, but I was attached to it," he says. "It was my space. I loved that car. It doesn't matter that it wasn't the greatest car in the world. It was my car. That's something that's very important to us."
The Crew is set across a huge open-world recreation of the USA, which Gerighty claims will take "about an hour" to cross.
The game is due to launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in early 2014.