The Crew 2 – Xbox One Review
Racing games have never been my forte so when I play them I don’t want any of that simulation bollocks like Forza 7, Project CARS or Gran Turismo. I need my racing to be recklessly fast with over the top handbrake turns and turbo boosts. I don’t care about hitting the perfect racing line, mastering a chicane or knocking into an opponent because where’s the fun in being pedestrian. This is where arcade racers like The Crew 2 come into their own.
The Crew 2 places you in a variety of different vehicles which you use to compete in various disciplines across a vast open world environment across the United States of America. Am open world racer needs a tonne of races and different race disciplines.
The Crew 2 serves them up in abundance. There are four Race Disciplines but within those disciplines you will find up to four different race types to choose from. Street Racing lets you indulge in Drift, Drag Race, Hyper Car and Street Racing. Off Road let’s you take it to the swamps, deserts and forest in Rally Raid, Moto Cross and Rally Cross. Freestyle lets you get a little crazy with Aerobatics, Jet Sprint and Monster Truck and last but not least is isPro Racing which is the most serious challenge you’ll face with Power Boat, Touring Car, Air Race and Alpha GP.
There are a lot of disciplines to master but the game does an excellent job of easing you in. Nothing is too difficult to begin with and everything is explained to you via cutscenes. As you progress through the game you’ll quickly pick up Followers and with that your popularity will begin to rocket which in turn opens up even more races for you to enter. That’s as difficult as the progression system gets.
When you unlock a discipline you’ll need a vehicle to race in and luckily you always get thrown a freebie so you can at least get your feet wet. As you progress through the game and your funds begin to build-up you can start buying whatever vehicles take your fancy as long as you have the money, obviously. The game progressed at a rapid pace and I found myself unlocking races at breakneck speed and if I’m totally honest it’s a lot to take in with new races popping up all over the place.
Winning races not only awards you with new followers and bags of cash it also gifts you with loot. These neon lit cubes reward reward you with various upgrades for your vehicles which increase the performance levels. You will need to increase your performance level to compete in specific races due to their performance level requirements. Thankfully applying your new parts is as simple as pressing a button but if you’re so inclined you can delve a bit deeper with the fine tuning option. After upgrading several vehicles I have to say that I didn’t notice any difference in the handling or performance of any vehicular I upgraded. Maybe I was missing something but nothing ever seemed to change.
The world is massive and your free to choose how you approach it. Just driving or flying around the map unlocks challenges for you to compete in or photo opportunities where you use the game’s built in photo mode. There is always something to do and you can change vehicles on the fly if you get bored with your current one. With a click of the right analogue stick you can instantly switch vehicles, it’s seamless and shit loads of fun. Just travelling around the world is fun and it allows you to really grasp the size of the world your playing in. Driving from one area to another can take ages though and I soon found myself using the game’s map and selecting the quick travel option just to save on time because the world is so huge it can take a good thirty minutes to drive to an event.
A world this big deserves a multiplayer setup that’s matches it’s ambition. Sadly The Crew 2 is lacking in its approach to anything resembling it’s online ambitions. There is no online racing to be found anywhere unless your crew up but even then it’s not really what you’d expect. To get the most out of the games online component you will need to form a crew with your mates. This allows you to race in co-op where only one of you needs to accomplish the objective of each race in order to complete it. So even though your in a race your not really competing against each other.
You will see other players ghosts all the time but you can’t challenge them to a race which is bizarre. There is no way to interact with anyone that you see. Why the game launched without anything resembling a multiplayer baffles me.Ubisoft’s insistence that you need to be always online to play is a mute point due to the underwhelming nature of its online component because even without an internet connection you can still complete the single player campaign.
The Crew 2 looks bloody gorgeous running on my Xbox One X. The screenshots really don’t do the game justice. All the game’s vehicles look fantastic and the environments are alive with detail. Thankfully the audio gap been updated with the same amount of love and the vehicles sound exactly how you would expect them to in real life. The soundtrack is poor though with some awful rock music but that’s easily turned off.
As a single player experience The Crew 2 ticks every single box and if your fine with only being able to hook up in a crew you’ll be fine but from a multi-player perspective it fails dismally. Ubisoft have promised that a PvP is coming sometime this September but that could be too little to late and for a racing game with such ambition it’s unforgivable and with Forza Horizons 4 only a few months away and with a full multiplayer already being shown off it baffles me . I would suggest hanging onto your money for now and waiting for the inevitable multiplayer update to drop and buying The Crew 2 in a sale because at the moment it’s really a single player experience.
The Crew 2 is available now for £54.99
Review copy supplied by Ubisoft.