The Crew was one of Ubisoft’s more random releases a few years back, with the publisher trying to carve out a niche in the arcade racer market while also adding boat and plane racing into a video game aimed at seemingly everyone instead of dedicated racing fans. The series’ first iteration was a decent try, much to be desired overall. With the release of The Crew 2, Ubisoft fixes issues from the first game but loses some content along the way. The Crew franchise is an open-world style racing game in a similar control style to Microsoft’s Forza Horizon series.
In a similar style to Forza Horizon, you have a big open world to find and do events and side quests. The difference here is, with The Crew the open world is the entire United States. Generally, you warp to zones with races you want to do, and each zone is a different place in the U.S. (city, desert, etc.) and from there you can do various races and side content in any order you want. The open world in The Crew 2 works well for racing games (especially those with boats and planes) but Ubisoft reduced the overall number of events from the first game, so sometimes you are left wanting a few more things to do in each location.
The actual racing in The Crew 2 is what stands out. It’s a very competent arcade racer. The car/truck racing feels really good, and the races are competitive and fun. Jumping into a plane you get to do trick events and more, and these offer some good variety and control well enough to be fun to play as well. I’d say my only complaint is the boat race category. The races are fun enough, but boats control so easily that sometimes the races aren’t who drives the best, but who uses turbo at the right time. Outside of the racing, there is a small story and a bunch of side content (photo spots, etc.) but the story is poorly acted and it isn’t very interesting. Another interesting concept in the series is as you beat races you get loot in the form of upgrades. This was a neat addition, but picking up loot boxes on the ground after races didn’t really seem all that necessary. For multiplayer fans, co-op is in now but PVP multiplayer is coming later this year in the form of DLC, which, for a racing game is extremely odd.
The Crew 2 Review Final Thoughts:
Overall The Crew 2 is an improvement over the first game but the open world just doesn’t seem full enough. I ended up warping to races as opposed to driving all around because of this. The game controls great and has some neat concepts with loot and upgrades, but the missing player vs player multiplayer is an odd decision or concession. If you’re in the mood for something that will scratch your Forza Horizon itch before October (or don’t have a series like that on your platform of choice) you could do worse than The Crew 2. It’s a solid arcade racer that does some interesting things overall.