The Crew 2 Xbox One Review

July 22, 2018 by  
Filed under Xbox One, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher: Ubisoft  Developer: Ivory Tower  Genre: Racing  Players: 1

Age Rating: 12+  Other console/handheld formats: PS4

If The Crew 2 does anything, it seemingly tries its best to cram in as many different types of vehicles as possible, be that on land, sea, or in the air. There really is a vast array of vehicles, and it certainly keeps the game feeling varied as there’s the potential to play a huge number of events across its varied map, which is once again set over the entirety of American, albeit in a condensed form.

When compared to the original game, The Crew 2 is something quite different, certainly in its tone. The story takes a backseat, and the game is fully focussed on racing and gaining followers as opposed to having a criminal theme in the way that the original game did. For those who enjoyed the police chases, these are now gone, but there’s plenty more to be enjoyed in this fun filled racer.

Take the vehicle handling for instance. The handling has been nicely tuned for arcade-style thrills, which means that throwing vehicles around bends can be done with little real effort, and there’s also a great sensation of speed. All the latter is much appreciated in such a racing game, but add in the variety and you have an even more impressive game.

The Crew 2 is a stunner of a game, with the lighting being amongst the best.

There are a total of 14 disciplines in the game split across 4 categories: Street, Offroad, Freestyle, and Pro. There’s street racing, drag racing, rally cross and rally raid events, plane stunt events, motorcross, drifting, circuit racing, powerboat racing, and more to be found in a game that is very busy with events. All of the events are fun in their own way, but favourites are likely going to be events such as Rally Raid and Street Racing, which prove The Crew 2’s diversity with how very different they are from one another; one taking you through open off-road areas, and the other placing you inside more closed urban areas. The huge map starts filling up with events and barely stops, and succeeding in these events earns you extra followers, and earning enough of these fans will improve your stature, eventually unlocking the next Live Xtrem Series event.

The Live Xtrem Series events mix up different disciplines, meaning you can start the event in a street race, but switch to a powerboat midway through, and then finish in a rallycross car. They’re exciting events, and the game makes them come across as if they are big and thrilling events thanks to introductory segments as well as commentary snippets during each event. While there’s a disappointing lack of them, these races definitely feel like The Crew 2’s main events.

Whatever race you take part in, the AI isn’t anything to write home about, and some will be annoyed by their opponents easily catching them up, with it sometimes being difficult to shake them off, while the same doesn’t seem to apply for yourself when you are trailing behind. With that said, it does keep the races close and tense, and that’s always a good thing for a racing game.

Like the original, The Crew 2 may have a huge map, but fortunately you are able to quickly travel to events and activities that are spread around. This is all thanks to a fast travel feature as well as rapid loading times, but you are also free to travel across the map to discover different things (challenges, photo opportunities etc) or to just take in the sights at your own leisure. Given the size of the map, better use could have been made of its space in some ways it has to be said, as it’s possible to discover large stretches of the environment where there isn’t actually much to do. It’s a small complaint though given the size and detail of its world, and it’s clear as to why such an issue has happened with such a large map to fill.

Returning is the RPG style upgrading system in which you’ll earn vehicle upgrades after completing races, or found in the world. These upgrades are gifted to you in the form of loot boxes, although there’s no option to purchase loot boxes here, which will please those who have hated the now dying trend. Still, there’s an option to buy in-game credit, but this in no way feels forced on you, as money comes relatively easy in the game. You’ll even earn cash for placing last in a race, albeit a smaller amount of winnings.

It’s not often that a racing game gives you so many different perspectives of its environment in the way that The Crew 2 does.

The Crew 2 unfortunately doesn’t have any notable online multiplayer as of yet, although Ubisoft have suggested that the feature will be implemented via a free update in winter. For now, you are able to link up with other players, but there’s little you can actually do of note. With that said, it’s odd that the game requires an internet connection in order to play it, and I was rather annoyed that I wasn’t able to play the game whenever my connection decided to drop out for one reason or another.

The Crew 2 is a fun and feature filled game though, which means that there’s always plenty to do in its huge and beautiful environment, even if large stretches of it are rather empty of any meaningful gameplay at times. Online options need improvement and the game would have definitely benefitted from more Live Xtrem events, but this is still one racer that will have many playing for hours upon hours. All in all, it’s a definite improvement upon the original game, which suffered from a few missteps in terms of its execution, and it’s likely going to continue to get better and better.