The Crew 2 came out last week and after playing the open beta I wasn’t too sure whether I was going to pick it up or not. Though I’m glad I did, this game is really enjoyable and had me hooked from day one. The Crew 2 really shines when playing with your friends as it opens up a whole new level of fun and mischief. This time around I was playing it on the PS4 Pro, not like my previous review of The Crew where it was running on a PC.
Personally, when it comes to racing games I don’t really care much for a storyline, I like to just jump in my vehicle and go. Though for those that are wondering what the story is, you follow an unnamed playable character, which you choose the avatar for, and try to become a racing icon in the United States by participating and winning all kinds of races. The good thing about this is it’s a nonlinear story so you’re able to progress through the game as you please. The 4 types of disciplines are Street Racing, Off Road, Freestyle and lastly Pro Racing. My personal favourites at the minute are Street Racing, Touring cars and Motocross. A issue I have with The Crew 2 is once you have selected your Avatar there is no going back or changing it, sure you can buy clothes for them and stuff but once you pick your character your locked in, which for me was bad because I accidentally clicked the player I am now and can’t do anything about it… which is annoying seeing as you would think this is a basic function. Then on top of that when racing, if you have an accident and crash or take a wrong turning (which happens too many times in this game) there is no restart race button. You just have to finish it and then restart it, which becomes a pain later on in the game when you start racing from one side of the United States to the other. Again would have thought it would be simple sense to add these features but that might just be me.
The biggest thing to have changed from its predecessor is that you can now ride motorbikes, drive boats and airplanes! This is fantastic as it opens up a load more gameplay functions and adds a whole new way to play The Crew. I loved the chance to use a motorbike and also enjoyed the airplanes. A cool little mechanic is that you can switch between Boat, Car, and Airplane with a single push of the button. When free roaming there is pretty much nowhere you can’t go which is awesome, whichever vehicle is your favourite is the one you spawn in. It’s really surprising how smooth the transition is from the different types although, just make sure you have plenty of room for taking off with the airplane and you’re by water for the boat.
Another key feature of The Crew 2 is the ability to customize your vehicles! That’s right you can now make your cars your own. Whether you make your own custom livery design or select one from the catalogue at hand. I personally loved this and enjoyed making my own designs for my cars, it does take a while to get used to the control while making the designs but once you know what you’re doing you’ll be able to make them in no time. Not only can you kit your rides out, you’re also able to buy clothes and accessories for your Avatar. Though you don’t get as many options to be personally honest, I’d like to have been able to make my own character and not chosen from a pre-made one but this is only a small thing compared to all the things the game does right.
The driving in the game was difficult for me to get used too. It felt a little arcade like, compared to driving games like Forza and Project Cars, the driving is a lot different so bear this in mind. Certain cars, planes, boats and motorbikes I could use and find no issue with but then you could get into other cars and it go pear-shaped. I didn’t understand what was happening. In the end, for now, I just stick with vehicles I’m happy driving. You also get to fine tune your vehicles, you can go in really in depth if you know what you are doing but if you a newbie like me we can just collect loot by complete races, events, and task around the world which unlock upgrades for the vehicles we are using.
Teaming up with players in the world is tonnes of fun and is highly recommended, I didn’t really get to enjoy this element last time when reviewing The Crew as no one was really playing is as I had it before launch, but being able to play The Crew 2 in a populated world was awesome. You can team up with 4 people and enter races together as well as complete challenges together. Also, I like beating my friends drift score or highest jump records. It’s really fun and adds competitiveness to the game. The only thing I didn’t like was that you couldn’t race against other people, you were always partnered with your crew against AI, it would be nice to see a Player V player mode added later via an update or DLC.
The thing that I personally loved most about The Crew 2 was the Free Roam and Freedom you had with the game. You could literally take a leisurely ride/drive around the United State or hit the streets hard by racing. Literally, it’s up to you how you play this game which is ace. The game is literally as fun as you make it. I loved it most though when playing with my friends as it unlocked a whole new feel to the game.
The Crew 2 is definitely nice to look at whether that be land, sky or sea it’s a very visually pleasing game. Each vehicle has incredible detail and so does the whole Map. You’ll be able to visit top locations and national monuments from the United States and will feel as if you are present. Whether that be in the hot deserts located around Las Vegas or the busy downtown of New York, I’d happily say that this is The Crew 2’s strong point. I love the detail that goes into this game, every little bit of the map has something to offer and doesn’t look neglected, everything has a purpose in the world and it elevates the experience you get when high tailing it around the country roads or city streets.
Audio is okay. The radio, personally is a let-down, I have heard better radios from other racing games like Forza and Need for Speed but that is easily solved as I played music through Spotify on my PS4 which, didn’t affect the gameplay so in some cases you could say I had my own radio station for The Crew 2. It’s nice having voiced dialog between characters and also the odd cut scene here and there, the key with any racing game or game with vehicles in is that they sound right…. You don’t need to worry here as Ubisoft hit the nail on the head with that and really allows you to hear the power that you get from these Glamourous, fast and expensive vehicles. That was the only real highlight for me when it came to The Crew 2’s audio.
The Crew 2 has a lot of replay value. If you’re not hunting for that platinum trophy, you’ll be hard at work trying to gain them followers and get your reputation known. There is a good grind element to the game where you can keep playing the same races to earn more cash and followers, this, in turn, allows you to unlock more events and races to take part in as well as purchase more vehicles for your garage and to use in different events. The map is also littered with little mini-games and things to do, whether that be completing the photo album for each discipline, trying to bet the time on the numerous speed traps located around the United States or trying to escape a dome of light within a given time. You’ll never feel like there isn’t anything to do in The Crew 2 as you can replay it all over and over again and if you add a friend or two into the mix then it’s infinite driving and riding at your fingertips.
What can I say, The Crew 2 is by far an improvement on the first game. It took everything the first one did and made it ten times better with the addition of Customization, Boats, Planes, and motorbikes. The United States truly offers some memorable gameplay and the photo and replay centre are there for when you want to capture those epic moments. The Crew 2 has some issues, which were lagging during free roam and races, this consisted of traffic spawning out of nowhere. Loading times when switching from screens and from races, mainly when entering photo/replay mode and coming back into the game and the handling of the vehicles. I spoke to my friend about this one and he seems to agree with me slightly but doesn’t have a big issue with it like I do with certain vehicles. Though this could be that I’m just rusty with my racing games, the driving feels arcade like and the fact that every car has nitro installed as standard reminds me of the days of Need for Speed Underground 2 where you just used Nitro all the time and was like UNLIMITED POWER! The Crew 2 is at its best when playing in a crew, so get your friends together and go see what crazy stuff you’ll do in the United States. For the reasons stated above, I’m happy to give The Crew 2 a 7 out of 10.