The Crew 2 Game Review: Solid Beginning, Disappointing Finish

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
July 2nd, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: The Crew 2

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On July 2, 2018
Last modified:July 2, 2018

Summary:

The sequel is a total mixed bag, filled with odd design choices and pointless campaign race that don't match the tone.

Review of: The Crew 2

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On July 2, 2018
Last modified:July 2, 2018

Summary:

The sequel is a total mixed bag, filled with odd design choices and pointless campaign race that don't match the tone.

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The Crew 2 Review

With a wide variety of exotic cars, bikes, boats, and planes to choose from, experience the unbridled thrill and adrenaline-pumping excitement of competing across the entire USA as you test your skills in a wide range of driving disciplines in The Crew 2

Ubisoft is without question one of the best developers on the market, creating groundbreaking worlds for audiences from the sticks to ancient Egypt. Their latest attempt at mind-boggling map design comes with the racing sequel 'The Crew 2', which renders the entirety of North America in real-time.

The original 'Crew' felt like a template for an exciting racing series, with the shocking map size and car list being unmatched. It's forced campaign made it a hard pill to swallow for racing enthusiasts, as the cars took a backseat in the proceedings for edgy drawn out cutscenes. I enjoyed the scope of the title that felt like a Test Drive Unlimited 2 successor, driving from coast to coast was enthralling despite being a very barebones.

There was so much great potential in the Ubisoft title which failed to reach fans. But what happens next? How do you follow up a mediocre title? Well, you turn the dial up to eleven! It boasts multiple areas to drive down, sail through and cause havoc in the skies of North America. These elements are what make The Crew 2 stand out from the pack, but with no varied level design feels unfinished.

The Crew 2

Outside of the main cities sadly everything else feels barren with empty fields, mountains and low-quality buildings. That makes everything feel cheap in the long run, which doesn’t go well with the high budget intros. The worst part of the presentation of this game stems from stilted dialogue and corniness which doesn’t fit the relaxed style of these supercars.

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It equals to terrible Nintendo 64 arcade games, with the lack of enthusiasm being almost laughable. Ubisoft must have hired inside staff for these voices because at points it just comes across like no effort got put into each role. Weather effects also feel lazy, with the snow particles not changing the gameplay but instead left me with a nasty migraine. Crew 2 is another classic downgrade situation, as various trailers of in-game footage look better than this final release.

It’s a massive shame because The Crew 2 is the most feature-heavy racing game out right now, with boat races and classic street events. Ivory Tower (The Crew) just needed more time to perfect things, and streamline it’s open world ideas. The games intentions are great with North America being a fantastic setting, but everything feels uneasy in motion. At the beginning of The Crew 2, players are introduced to North American motorsport culture and learn the multiple disciplines (including Off-Roading, Street Racing, Boat Racing and Plane Acrobatics). I loved the opening hours, which threw away the pointless dark story elements seen in prior titles and went straight in with races.

The Crew 2

Ubisoft made a right call focusing on gameplay this time around, allowing audiences to be thoroughly engrossed in their driving career instead of overly long cutscenes. From the beginning of proceedings, you can drive around America with friends at your pleasure, despite being able to race them in-game. A significant oversight which ruins any replay factor, making the tacked on multiplayer aspect even more baffling.§

The majority of The Crew 2 focuses around AI races, which differ in skill requirements but allow for upgrades and progression. Fans can switch between automobiles at their leisure (basically like Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed), which adds layers of verticality into races. Crew 2 is also a rare game from the studio, which doesn’t clutter audiences with terrible side-quests and pointless collectables. Instead focuses on sports and slalom events which allow you to learn each cars skills.

The Crew 2 shines when it commits to being a goofy arcade racer, with the car swapping mechanics used in creative moments. Transitions are smooth and require hardly any load time; It just works by pressing the right analogue stick. You can assign various automotive to the shortcut, making for more technical approaches in races. These additions make the game feel varied, even if none of those elements is perfected in-game.

During free drive – which is the open world, sandbox driving – this can be an absolute joy. There was plenty of amounts where I would play with the mechanic for hours, just trying to create tricks. One time, I drove up a ramp with my sports car and transitioned into an aeroplane to drop back down in a goofy looking boat. Ubisoft should have doubled down on these moments, as their more interesting that the first race events. The Crew 2 has got so much potential to be a fun arcade racer but forcing a very barren campaign to players ruins proceedings

Who wants to grind for a sports car, when you can mess about? That is something which needs to sort out in the coming months. The Crew 2 does a terrible job making the campaign worthy of grinding for, nothing is unearned, and most races throw away the transform mechanic. Ivory Tower should have included more crazy races, as they're the main highlight in this subpar racer.

Verdict

The Crew 2 (2018) is a total mixed bag filled with odd design choices and pointless campaign races, which feel at odds with the fun car swapping mechanics. It improves on many things from the original, including car handling and customisation settings. There was so much potential in Ubisoft’s racing sequel, as the early hours introduced promise with impressive car swapping mechanic.

I wanted to love this Ubisoft release, but after 15 in-game hours, nothing sticks and ends up feeling like an unorganised mess. Perhaps, the future of the game will be better? Maybe a good racer is somewhere in the DLC because it left me disappointed in the end.

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The Crew 2

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The sequel is a total mixed bag, filled with odd design choices and pointless campaign race that don't match the tone.

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