The sequel to Ubisoft’s Racing-MMO hybrid The Crew, The Crew 2 does everything its predecessor did, but better, and at the same time, it also suffers from the same flaws.
The first thing you notice about The Crew 2 is its scale. It’s massive on all accounts, in terms of just the sheer size of the world you play on. Races in The Crew 2 take place on a scaled down map of the United States, though, don’t let that “scaled down” part fool you, the map is huge. Next you have the number of vehicle categories or options you have to race with, and then you have the number of vehicles you have to choose from in each vehicle category. It screams massive and you will be overwhelmed with how much the game has to offer. By how much here however, we only mean in terms of quantity.
Starting things off
Upon starting up The Crew 2, you’re able to pick a driver for yourself. Mind you, it’s not character creation, you just need to pick one from the various options available, each accompanied by a corny racing quote, “I feel the need, the need for speed!”. This obviously ties into the fact that you can customize your driver’s outfit. Heck, you can customize just about everything, in true Ubisoft fashion.
Once you’re done with that you’re thrown into a Live Xtrem race, which is one of the recurring major racing events you’ll participate in as you continue playing the game. What’s unique about this racing mode is that it consists of three parts, each of which is raced with a different vehicle, and you switch vehicles on the fly, like you can in the open-world. There’s no pit stop for vehicle swapping. It’s unrealistic sure, but it’s still fun. Once you’re done with that (you don’t even have to win, not saying we didn’t), you’re thrown into the massive open world that pretty much defines The Crew 2.
Becoming an Icon
Progression in The Crew 2 happens with followers. That’s right, in order to unlock more vehicle categories and races you need to become more popular. As you gain more followers, you unlock more content in the game. You can gain followers by participating in races, or just doing crazy stuff in the open-world. Obviously, completing race events will net you way more followers, and winning, or meeting the objective goals would be the fastest way to progress in the game. In the time we spent playing the game, at no point did we feel like we were out of things to do. Like we mentioned above, just the sheer amount of things you have available to do in The Crew 2 is its strongest point.
The Racing itself
For a racing game, The Crew 2 is definitely not on par with any of the other major players out there. We’re talking games like Gran Turismo, or Forza here. The reason many believe the first Crew game didn’t do too well was because of the abysmal racing. The cars controlled horribly and there was a serious case of AI rubber-banding in the game, which really eliminates any sense of challenge and fun from the game. So what about The Crew 2? Well, the issues still persist. The handling of cars is definitely improved and much tighter. But racing is still mediocre at best. But that’s just for cars, boat handling is worse but we haven’t really played other boat racing games to compare with here and when it comes to planes well, they’re easy to fly, but they don’t really feel as fast as a plane should.
But oh no, it doesn’t end there. You’ve got super bikes, monster trucks and motocross bikes in the game too. Most of which handle like garbage.
Overall, racing is meh.
Spoiled for choice… or so you thought
Remember how we said you were spoiled for choice in The Crew 2? Well, that’s still true. However, there’s a different issue that arises here. The game can’t obviously have an unlimited amount of just one type of thing. So if say you’re someone who enjoys street races, you will quite quickly run out of Street Races to participate in. Which means you’ll have to do a different kind of race, with a different vehicle type to get them followers up. Even if you absolutely hate drifting- we mean, that other category that you didn’t want to race, you might just have to play them IF you want to up those follower numbers fast.
The reason IF is all caps here is because, you can choose not to do those races and just continue doing whatever you want. You can keep repeating your favorite street race over and over again, you’ll still get followers for winning, though we imagine that’ll get old real fast. Or you know, just play The Crew 2 for what it is. Enjoy its massive open world and just explore, drive around, experiment with cars. Even just doing random stuff in the open world will reward you with followers.
There was loot in The Crew, what made you think it wouldn’t be there in The Crew 2? However, while in The Crew you were quite heavily reliant on the loot to upgrade your vehicles, in The Crew 2, the car upgrades feel almost insignificant. The loot we’re talking about here is the stuff you’re rewarded after winning or meeting with the objectives in an event. You get upgrades for the car type you were driving in that particular race. There’s numbers and fancy rarity tiers going from green, to blue, to even purple, but we didn’t really feel like it affected the vehicle’s performance at all. On the plus side, we’re not big fans of randomly acquired loot that can improve the odds of you winning a race.
The Crew 2 is a gorgeous looking game. There’s no denying that. Ubisoft definitely loves their open-world games and The Crew 2’s open-world is massive, and we’re getting tired of saying it at this point, has a lot to offer. There are a lot of sights to take in and the game even prompts you with photograph opportunities near landmarks or sights they think the player might want to check out. The various different terrains, and environments, it’s all beautiful, and you can pick the vehicle of your choice to take it all in. The human character models are sub-par, but it’s a racing game so we’ll give it a pass.
Verdict – The Crew 2
The best way to enjoy The Crew 2 is as a casual racing game. The only reason it works is because of its massive open world. Ubisoft have literally thrown a bazillion things into a pot and hoped that at least one of them ticks. Despite that, we can’t say that we didn’t enjoy The Crew 2. Whatever time we spent on The Crew 2 was mostly fun, and ever so slightly frustrating. Just driving around and taking in the sights while listening to the radio is not such a bad way to spend the evening.
|Platform: PS4 Pro
Developer: Ivory Tower
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Price: Rs 3,999
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.