Ubisoft Ivory Tower has opened up the sequel to The Crew with a bunch of new vehicles and places around America. Find out what we thought in our The Crew 2 Review!
|Release Date||June 29, 2018|
|Developer||Ubisoft Ivory Tower|
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Ubisoft for review purposes*
I remember hearing about The Crew when it was announced. You could drive all across America! I thought that was amazing and I thought it would translate to a great racing game, but ultimately, it fell flat for me and I got bored with it pretty quickly. Ubisoft Ivory Tower went back to the drawing board and came up with a much better effort in The Crew 2. There’s no campy story to weigh the game down and they’ve added a ton of new vehicles and events to enjoy, but it still feels like more a reboot than a full sequel.
The Crew 2 is a much more content-heavy game than its predecessor. While you were confined to using land vehicles in the first game, now you have a bunch of different vehicles and disciplines at your disposal. Ubisoft has implemented a “Fast Fav” system that allows you to switch vehicles on the fly. It sounds pretty ridiculous at first thought, but it is surprisingly fun and easy to use. It made it so much easier to change cars than going to a pre-determined point on the map to do so. Heck, it’s even better than going into a menu and choosing a new one. It’s so much easier to traverse this beautiful world that has been created when you can go from being a plane to diving into the ocean with a boat or switching to a car from a boat right before you hit land. The novelty took a long time to wear off for me.
The boats were my favourite vehicles. They react differently when there is standing water to when the water is full of waves and swells. The thing that impressed me most was that I had trouble following boats close behind because of the way the water streams behind the leading boat. I also enjoyed the fact that you had to pull back on the analog stick to make the boat go faster, it wasn’t just holding the shoulder button down. I felt like there was a lot more skill involved. The jet sprint boats are my favourite vehicles in the game. They’re the second type of boat you unlock and they cut through the water incredibly well. I really enjoyed the responsiveness of the controls and the ability to make tight turns. They even had some really cool races through caves and through canals in Las Vegas.
The planes are pretty fun in their own right, but they’re a step below the boats in my opinion. They control really well and there’s a button to drift each direction as well as a button to make the planes even more responsive than they already. It’s barely necessary, but it’s nice to be that in control. The aerobatic races are really cool and see you performing loops, rolls, nosedives, knife flights, and tons of other tricks to get points. The air races are not nearly as eventful mimicking the Red Bull Air Races where you race against the clock through floating checkpoints. I mostly liked using the planes to get a better view of the beautiful landscapes in the game.
The street racing in The Crew 2 is generally pretty good and the locations are pretty memorable with various shortcuts strewn throughout the map. The circuit-based races aren’t nearly as good and I found them pretty boring. That’s to be expected with a game like this. I don’t want race tracks, I want a cool open-world to race through. Luckily, the offroad races are much better with the goal being to make your way to the finish line in any way that you can. Checkpoints are dispersed quite far from each other, so you can take a lot of shortcuts if you’re willing. There are even monster truck events that put you into a stunt park to try and get the most points. On top of that, there are even motocross and rally events that have different jumps and hills to fly off of. There’s a ton of variety here. If you get bored with one thing, there’s definitely something for you right around the corner.
It’s funny to me that a game that touts transitioning through different vehicles as much as The Crew 2, there aren’t many events that take advantage of this. The only type of event that allows this are the Xtrem events (yes, without the ‘e’) and rival showdowns against each discipline’s champion (which don’t unlock until you’re at 70% completion in the select discipline). That leaves the bulk of events to only use whatever vehicles you’re required to use and makes the “Fast Fav” system much less useful than it could be despite how fun it is. It’s unfortunate, but I can imagine that Ubisoft didn’t want this game to become too much of a gimmick and wanted to distance itself from something like Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed.
The AI is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a lot of rubber-banding here and it can get really annoying in a hurry. You can drive perfectly the whole race and barely get any type of a lead. The biggest lead I ended up getting in most instances was a 6-7 second lead. One wrong move and that lead was gone. You can play with this a little bit by hiding out in second place and slowing down only to accelerate into first at the last second if you feeling like gaming the system a little bit. Overall, the AI wasn’t too difficult, but there were some instances where it annoyed me a lot.
The presentation of the game is another mixed bag. There are places in this game that look incredible. I’ve never seen such beautiful reflections from water and sunlight. The natural environments look amazing with lush forests, awesome caves, cool swamps, tidy canals, etc. The spots where the game doesn’t perform so well are in the cities where everything kind of looks generic and there are similar storefronts and things like that far too frequently. I just felt that these urban areas didn’t feel very lived-in. I was annoyed that it was very difficult to tell what cosmetic items on the side of the road could be driven through. I was stopped in my tracks more than a few times by little things on the side of the road that I thought I could hit without consequence.
The progression system in The Crew 2 is non-linear. This means that you can jump between street racing, aerobatics, and motocross events whenever you want depending on if you have the appropriate vehicle. I loved leaving things that I didn’t enjoy to the side while I played all the events I did enjoy right away. It doesn’t take a long time to acquire enough money to buy new vehicles and you can get a few free ones right from the beginning. You obtain new parts with each race you complete/win and you can level up your vehicle with those parts. It’s kind of annoying to have to win races to get those parts, I would have much rathered buy them with in-game currency. There’s nothing really that good about it, you’re just putting on parts that have a higher numerical value. It’d be easier to have your car automatically upgrade itself.
The TV show concept that makes up the story in The Crew 2 is much better than the narrative in the first game. It’s a driving game, keep it simple. The dialogue can be pretty terrible, but it’s never something that you need to sit through or worry about too much, it’s simply there to set up the next event. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s a lot less forced than the first game.
The game does feature co-op multiplayer right now, but it is lacking PVP which won’t be available until December which is quite a long time from now. The police chases from the original game are also absent from this game for those who might have wondered.
|Huge variety of events||Not enough “switch” races|
|Quick-swapping vehicles||Rubber-band AI|
|Fun gameplay||Upgrade system is dull|