Ubisoft’s The Crew released in 2014 to average critical reception despite its attempts to revolutionize the online racer. Even so, the game had a few great ideas that went ignored. It featured a massive always online map covering the entire United States, allowing you to drive with your friends from New York to San Francisco in less than an hour. While it wasn’t truly fleshed out, forming an underground street racing crew and kicking ass with your friends is ridiculously appealing.
Announced at this year’s E3, The Crew 2 looks to expand on these features and have you compete not only for best driver but for best motorsport racer in the United States. That’s right, being the best on the road won’t cut it. The Crew 2 adds boat and plane racing to the on and off-road mix of the first game, and this may be what the series needs to be regarded as one of the greats. I haven’t seen a lot of buzz for the game, but it looks like a can’t miss for both racing fans and gamers in general.
Imagine practicing your barrel rolls over the deserts of Arizona when a crewmate calls upon you for help with the cops. Soon you’re taking them on together, land and air. Going off the cinematic trailer, you’ll be able to drop a smoke screen to help out your ground buddies. I can only imagine what else is planned.
Even better is the instant transition between vehicles. When flying over water, for example, you can switch to a boat and fall through to the depths, giving yourself a massive momentum boost. While that might seem cartoony, The Crew isn’t trying to be a simulation. It puts fun first.
This isn’t limited to the open world either. Some races have different segments requiring you to have a real mastery of the four styles. I hope to see an event pitting motorcycles vs. boats, having them weave in and out with jumps over the river and such. The potential is high.
The Crew 2 is placing the story in the background, focusing on the gameplay instead. It will be better for it. The game includes four hubs centering on off-roading, street racing, pro racing, and freestyle racing. Each hub has landscapes and missions allowing you to rise in the specialty.
It’s through these mechanics that The Crew 2 is trying to appeal to everyone, and it’s likely to succeed in this. Its large variety of vehicles and focuses not only allow you to play the way you want but can still contribute equally through the Crew system.
Not much else is known about the game, but what’s been shown is very promising. If we’re to look at history, Ubisoft games tend to not live up to expectations the first time around, but on the second time, they seem to nail it. Assassin’s Creed and Watch_Dogs being the biggest examples.
2017 has been a killer year for games so far, and 2018 looks to be no different. Picking which ones to get will not be easy, but racing fan or not, The Crew 2 is likely to be worth the purchase. The first one had a strong base, and all the sequel’s changes seem excellent. It would be a shame for it to fall through the cracks when it releases early next year. Regardless, I know I can’t wait to drive around the condensed United States with my friends again.
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