‘MERICA!!! Do you like America? SPLOSIONS!!! Do you like Social Media? PEW PEW PEW!!! Do you want to explore all of America in a car? Or maybe a bike? A boat? Or even a plane? All while gathering Social Media Followers? KABLAMBO!!! Then maybe The Crew 2 is the game for you.
The Crew 2 ditches the revenge crime syndicate storyline from the first game and instead goes for a more Forza Horizon style storyline of you just wanting to be the best racer of all working from the bottom. To get there however, you don’t just have cars this time around, you also have boats and planes to fight your way to the top. The addition of boats and planes gives the game a lot more variety but with all the additions, it spreads everything a little thin. It’s kind of a case of, Jack of all trades, master of none. While it may not master each, they are still pretty damn good though.
Getting to the top doesn’t mean just winning races and being a good sport. Oh no. It is 2018 so Social Media Followers are the sweet sweet nectar of the gods and you need to gather as much as you can to assert your national dominance over the motorsport world. The entire progression system is based on how many social media followers you have. You can get more by winning events and challenges along with doing pretty much anything like flips and spins and drifting, etc.
Similar to the first The Crew game, the always online open world map for The Crew 2 is the entirely of the United States of America (condensed down a bit, this isn’t Google maps accurate). This was ambitious in the first game and is still pretty damn ambitious here. This is where another major change from the first game occurs and one I think is a step back considering the map they have. You can now fast-travel to any event on the map immediately so you could technically never experience what it’s like to drive across this massive awesome looking map (besides some pretty barren areas cross-country). I found myself driving to areas manually rather than use the quicktravel and there are some extra things to find along the way that aren’t on the map but I feel like the method in the last game of doing everything in one city and then moving to the next made for a better overall experience. Maybe that’s just personal preference though.
Having said that, it’s clear that the main aim of this game is pick up and play and it does excel at this. You can fast travel anywhere. You can change vehicles whenever you want with the flick of a stick. This includes switching from a car to a plane seamlessly. The controls for all the vehicles are easy to pick up and handle pretty well. One gripe I had with the first Crew was that the controls were too sensitive for all cars. They have addressed this in this version and each vehicle feels different and unique.
Speaking of the different vehicles, there are a lot of them in here. The whole game is split into 4 different event categories, which are then also split into more different categories (called disciplines) each with their own types of vehicles. You start off with one type of event from each category and unlock more as you get more of those sweet tasty followers. These categories are:
So lots of different vehicles and a load of events in each discipline means you have a lot to do. If you don’t like the boats, you don’t have to use the boats bar the odd event where you have to switch. There is a lot of choice here and you can easily reach Icon status without touching an entire category.
One more gripe I had with the game was the GPS system which can be a bit finicky, especially when they had the GPS done so perfectly in the last one. Some people didn’t like the ribbon over your head but personally, I loved it. So not having it as an option in this one was a disappointment. Every now and then you also need to load up the map and zoom out for the GPS to start using roads again as it seems to default to the as the crow (or bi-plane) flies route every now and again.
I’m not a big multiplayer person myself but I know that is the bread and butter of a lot of games nowadays and as of now, there isn’t a lot of multiplayer in The Crew 2 besides it being a shared open world with leaderboards. You do see other real people around the map and can challenge them to things and do some co-op stuff but proper PVP Multiplayer isn’t coming until later this year. The Crew 2 team seem to have a pretty big DLC plan which they have details on their website.
Quick recap here:
All in all, this game wasn’t what I was expecting as it is a lot different than the first Crew game (I loved the story aspect of the first) but once I realised what it was trying to be, I could appreciate it a lot more and really enjoyed the game.
It is always going to be compared to Forza Horizon as there are some obvious similarities. I personally prefer Horizon but as a pick up and play fun game, The Crew 2 is definitely worthy of a play. I’m gonna give it 3.5 Meltzers out of 5. Go have some fun with it.
The Crew 2 is out today June 29th, 2018 and was developed by Ivory Tower and published by Ubisoft.
This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.