The Crew 2 Review: From 0 to "Meh" in 60 Seconds
Its time for the next high-octane racing experience to smash into PC and consoles, this time with an ambitious open world experience in The Crew 2.
Somewhere between an expansion and a re-imagining of the original, this time around your nameless vehicle expert will be flying, driving, and power boating across America.
This hodge podge of a sequel is all about extreme racing of every possible variety, and that's the game's biggest selling point. You get street racing, off-road rally / cross matches for getting muddy, power boat races on rivers and bays, and even aerial stunt plane racing all together in one game.
Ubi In For A Familiar Experience
First up its worth noting The Crew 2 is an always-online game and requires a Ubisoft account, which seems like the wrong way to go, especially since the multiplayer options are fairly limited at launch (with PvP due to land later in an update).
If you don't care for the loot box grind, then you may want to pass on this one. There's a fair amount of grinding for the those specific components you want, or for enough cash to buy that one killer ride you need. Its an overall smooth system, but it gets pretty repetitive when you try to get new parts for each type of vehicle across each type of match.
Graphically speaking, The Crew 2 isn't an ugly game by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely lacks the jaw-dropping "wow" factor of more focused titles like last year's Forza Motorsport 7. Overall the vehicle designs and environments are serviceable, if not exactly awe-inspiring.
Transformers: Fast And Furious Edition
There do tend to be more interesting courses here, however, since the races are meant to be in non-traditional areas like city streets.
The open world aspects make for some pretty spectacular scenes as you leave the city behind and hit the open road. A series of skill locations are scattered across the big U.S. map for unlocking new equipment or earning fans, but honestly in most instances you will just select a specific race and fast travel straight to it instead of driving across the country and back.
Switching back and forth between sea, air, and street nearly instantly is an undeniably cool new addition, letting you fly your plane into a sprawling metropolis of skyscrapers and then drop down into your car to go into a street racing.
Coming In Second Place
There aren't many long distance races to be found here, so a lot of the map is wasted space. Recreating a condensed version of America was an ambitious undertaking, but it doesn't feel like the game lives up to the potential there.
While the handling of each vehicle is satisfying, the biggest problem with The Crew 2's driving is easily the lack of any solid feeling when impacting objects in the environment.
It doesn't matter whether you are plowing through cacti, street lights, plastic signs, or anything else, they all barely even register a blip of sensation in the controller or on the screen.
Even crashing directly into the side of a building barely feels like a collision at all. It's odd (and a major negative) that a series like Grand Theft Auto has better collision handling than an actual racing game.
You can literally ride the walls of the buildings at full speed with the Nitro enabled and actually beat players and AI who are playing properly and sticking to the racing line!
The Bottom Line
A lack of focus clearly hurts the game overall. There is plenty to do to be sure, and a wide range of race types, but The Crew 2 seems like its trying to hard to be an unrealistic arcade racing entry, a hardcore street race simulation, or a loot-drop MMO, and the fun kind of gets lost in the mix.
If you want the ability to play five different types of racing game in one then The Crew 2 is obviously worth checking out, but if you demand a more authentic and fun experience, there are better racers out there now and more coming soon.