What we're left with is a flimsy framework - a sort of clothes horse for content - rather than a truly great racing game. DriveClub is patently intended to attract a global, interconnected audience of fiercely competitive racers but, to quote the increasingly obscure 1989 Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come. And, unfortunately, Evolution hasn't quite built it.
And the strange thing is, you'll probably want to try it at some point, just to find another excuse to criss-cross the continent absorbing the scenery and the Americana. There's no doubt that a huge part of The Crew's appeal is nostalgia for US road trips, whether previously experienced or just imagined. No game has mined that cultural seam quite so authentically or with such all-encompassing ambition. It's a game that requires and occasionally enforces patience, but like all great road trips it's about the journey, not the destination.