The Crew 2 quasi-review: mindless fun

We've played the hell out of The Crew 2 Open Beta to see if it's worth the money

Set for launch June 29, The Crew 2 was made available for the public through an open beta, a perfect opportunity to try out the game before making a buying decision. So in this firsthand review, we’ll talk about the pluses and the minuses of The Crew 2 highlighting all the important stuff.

While everyone thought The Crew 2 would be a sequel for The Crew 1, the publisher Ubisoft surprises us with a slightly different take on the racing arcade genre. In The Crew 1, you avenge your brother’s death by going after the killer.

  

If then you thought it’s bit too much for a car game, you’ll be swiped off your feet by the plot of the second episode: in The Crew 2, you’re a novice who climbs the ranks in every possible motorsport discipline, in a competition called Xtrem or something like that, which takes place IN ALL AMERICA. At once.

And, because the organizers of this tremendous competition couldn’t close all America for this event, you might have close encounters with people or animals. Don’t worry; they can’t be ran over, I’ve tried. Yes, it’s as stupid as I’ve described it to you. There are porn movies with better plots that what this game has to offer. Fortunately, the Crew 2 isn’t about the story but the action. And, boy, it has plenty of it!

 

Cars, trucks, bikes, boats, and planes await you in the crazy world of The Crew 2, an abundance that might be overwhelming at the start of the game. My advice: play through, and it will make sense one hour or so into the game. 

The disciplines are, of course, categorized, so you cannot enter an off-road event with a Mazda RX-7. Unlike the first installment, in The Crew 2 all the disciplines have specific cars, so you don’t need to get traumatized by driving a rally-raid-spec Nissan 370Z. Visual customization is also available at your in-game Home.

 

For every race won you get money AND loot boxes containing performance parts. Now, I prefer to detail the performance upgrade part in a separate video, BUT I’ll briefly talk about it here as well. In The Crew 1, the upgrading system was kinda rubbish, making you grind for better parts. Here, it’s so bushy that some RPG seem superficial by comparison. On the good part, you don’t need to grind anymore, because you’ll probably stop caring about a car’s performance upon seeing all that rain of differently-colored parts.

Now, I keep saying “car,” but that’s discriminatory in a game with such a generous vehicle lineup. The cars and the motorcycles were present in the Crew 1 as well, but here, here you have boats and planes as well. I’d like to know more about ships and aircrafts now, other than what’s already obvious, like the fact that one goes on water, and the other on air. 

 

Ubisoft puts great emphasis on the looks of everything, something you wouldn’t necessarily say while watching the video interludes. But it’s all forgotten once you get in a car and start driving. It’s the same concept as in the Crew 1, only updated from a visual point of view. There’s a day-night cycle, and dynamic weather, granting a full open-world experience.

Speaking of experience, the gameplay is more than enjoyable once you get past all that bushy intro. All the vehicles are a gamer’s delight in term of control — so no, not as bad as the NFS Payback — and take little practice to fully understand. 

There are a lot of activities available, besides the actual races, like skill games where you have to accomplish the requested task, or photo op, where you have to, um, shoot things with your photo camera. Most importantly, you can rewind you recent path to capture one particular moment. It doesn’t have the accuracy of Gran Turismo Sport ’s photography, but it has enough tools to keep you entertained for hours.

After playing the Open Beta for several hours, actually, until I hit the XP blocker, I conclude that, just like the previous The Crew and Forza Horizon, The Crew 2 gets under your skin eventually and makes you want for more. 

It doesn’t have a linear story, and the dynamic world might get plane stupid (see what I did there?) from time to time, but this is just a fun-packed arcade with licensed vehicles, so treat it accordingly and you'll see it as a satisfying choice.

SEE MORE: ALL* the racing games happening in 2018

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