When the first trailers surfaced about The Crew, the gaming community was excited at the whole of the United States being offered as a playground for players to drive coast to coast and decide which races and events to take part in. The large-scale open world was impressive, but the overall experience felt like something was missing. The freedom that was promised was with restrictions, even though some players did not initially notice. Freedom of choice was a concern that warranted attention and resulting in The Crew 2. This newly acquired freedom will let players switch between driving, boating, and flying through the vast map of the United States.
The story featured within The Crew 2 revolves around an unnamed racer who you help increase their popularity by taking part in numerous races on land, water, and through the sky. Your popularity is solely dependent upon your overall performance and success in these races which then increases your follower count with a social media phenomenon, which also acts as your experience meter. Increasing your followers to certain levels will unlock different races within the four main disciplines featured in The Crew 2. The overall story felt uninteresting as you simply travel to a destination on the map of the United States, watch a short cutscene at times with dull characters and dialogue, then partake in a race and move on to the next.
Even though the story is lacking, there is a plentiful amount of content that will keep players entertained for many hours. A benefit of not having an in-depth story highlights the game’s simplistic means of quickly diving into The Crew 2 and playing for a race or two before logging off. It succeeds at providing us with an arcade experience that combines titles such as Need for Speed and Midnight Club. Controls felt responsive across all vehicle types and upgrades are available to fine-tune to your specific needs.
Gaining popularity grants access to disciplines across the three vehicles types and each newly uncovered mode lights a spark that players would become thrilled by. Cruising through streets, speeding through waters, pulling off tricks with bikes, or admiring the landscapes from an aerial view while engaging in freestyle challenges, offered up numerous enjoyable experiences throughout. A world so large that warrants careful exploration is made rather difficult with the absence of a waypoint system to make your travels more enjoyable. Players will constantly bring up the map to check their location and thankfully the transition from gameplay to the map is seamless and is without any loading screens to frown upon. Players can also simply jump directly into an event from the map system without driving through the world. However, giving players the option to select an event in this fashion greatly detracts from the overall experience that The Crew 2 has to offer.
Players can form their own crew of four players in The Crew 2, but they are only able to freely drive around the world and compete in events as a team. This shortcoming is definitely noteworthy as many players would like to see some competitive game modes, both as an individual and as a crew. Ubisoft has stated that multiplayer racing will be arriving in the future, but a key game mode such as this should have been included in the package on release. Ubisoft is among the best with supporting their titles post-launch, but in this case we hope it will not be too late for players when it arrives. Technology has advanced to the degree where updates and patches are the norm, but I would rather see a complete game on release with additional updates following instead of a semi-finished game on release with its completion being released in segments in the months following.
The Crew 2 will impress you at times when you least expect it. The photo mode will also have players be rewarded for their exploration, but the loading screen of cycling back and forth may cause minor annoyances. The visuals also stand out in most cases, specifically when lighting is a factor as it perfectly showcases the many areas of the United States that players may otherwise never witness firsthand.
With the several shortcomings that are featured within the unfinished package, there still exists a large map to explore and a plentiful amount of enjoyable races to take part in across a variety of vehicles. At its core, The Crew 2 is a fun arcade title that lacks an in depth story, a competitive game mode, and other design flaws. Players looking for a simple arcade experience where they can quickly jump into a race or two at a moment’s notice will have countless hours to take part in. However, anyone looking for a little more meat on the bone may wish to keep going and wait for the next rest stop that will offer up exactly what they are looking for.
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[A copy of the game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]
- Variety of vehicles
- Enjoyable gameplay
- Large map of United States
- Lack of compelling story
- Dull voice acting
- World still feels empty
- No competitive game modes