A sequel to a game that had an interesting concept but disappointed when it launched but slowly got good, The Crew 2 is a sequel with a lot of new offerings. The Crew 2 brings you new ways to explore the United States with the addition of boats and aeroplanes and the ability to switch on the fly. The Crew 2 has been developed by Ivory Tower and published by Ubisoft and is out now for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. So, has this unique sequel learned from the mistakes of its predecessor or is it something similar with a shiny new touch?
The Crew 2 takes exploration to a whole new level with the skies and water bodies now being accessible. There’s a lot of different types of races and events like Drift, Rally, Street, GP and even different types of events for the planes and boats. You unlock these different events by getting more popular in the game world. However, there isn’t much of a story in this game. You start off as an unknown racer who has to make a name in the world of motorsports by winning and gaining followers which besides winning races can be gotten by doing stunts across the map.
Visually, the atmosphere for every location is bang on and the game is absolutely gorgeous. There were numerous times when I would get awestruck by how good the game looked like when you see a city in the distance during the night time while you’re on top of a huge hill, driving towards the city. However there are a few annoyances too. The game has Bad Level Of Detail which resulted on a lot of pop-in even on the higher graphical settings. This is something that really takes me out of a game and with a game this beautiful, this was a major annoyance. Another huge annoyance is the open world destructivity. It is hard to gauge what can be destroyed and what can’t and is a problem that a lot of people are complaining about. A small rock or bush can completely stop you while at other times you can just destroy most trees in your path. The vehicle damage system has also been greatly toned down and now your vehicle will only have slight dents and bumps unlike the prequel. In terms of performance, PC performance was good on a Ryzen 5 1600, GTX 970 and 16GB RAM. I was able to hit 60fps quite consistently with most settings on high. In the consoles department, the only console to supposedly hit 60fps is the Xbox One X while the rest of the consoles run the game at a locked 30.
Now the game has a few things that I feel hamper the overall experience. There’s no proper tuning for vehicles , you upgrade your vehicle by getting loot after races or after performing certain objectives. The loot ranges from common, uncommon, rare and epic with legendary loot coming in a future update. Another one is that the price for cars can be inconsistent. Some tuned out car can cost lower than a regular, daily driver car that you think would be cheaper than the aforementioned car. Some cars are priced exorbitantly high but are also purchasable by a microtransaction-based currency. Not to mention, that cars are of specific types so if you buy a Drift RX7 and want to use it for normal races, you can’t. You’ll have to buy a variant of it which is quite annoying and can push players to use microtransactions. Rubber banding was quite evident but didn’t really ruin my experience.
Now, in a game that’s titled “The Crew” you’d expect to be part of a crew and race together or against each other right? Well, the game allows you to do some of it as in its current state PvP is not in the game. Supposedly, it’ll be added in the future but honestly, what were they thinking? This is one of my biggest gripes with this game and left me very disappointed. While the multiplayer has half the features it should, the single player is basically non-existent. While the map itself is huge, there isn’t much in the world that makes it feel empty most of the time. While the car races are quite good, the boat and airplane races can be quite disappointing on their own.
Onto sound and audio. The voice acting in this is bland, boring and feels fake and forced. While the VA in Ubisoft’s other titles tend to range from good to great, in this particular case it was as if they made do with the bare minimum. Music is good and has different genres to choose from and even an option to turn it off if you aren’t a fan of the choice of music in game or get tired of listening to your favourite genre after an extended period of playing the game. The vehicle sounds in the game is probably one of the best in the genre. The engines on all the vehicles sound more than just ok, they’re a joy to listen to. As you travel across various terrains and different environments, you’ll hear the tonal shift that occurs due to the change in environment. The little ambient sounds that you hear like the rattling of a hood on a tricked out car or the slight noises of parts of your vehicle cling clanging together really add to it. However, there is a real distinct lack of change in audio when you go into first person mode since there doesn’t seem to be a shift to make you feel like you’re inside a car or riding on top off a motorcycle.
Ultimately, the game tries to do a lot but in the end, it just feels like it is lacking a lot of content. The push for microtranscations with the high prices for cars really hurts the game, not to mention the lack of PvP. While there is a great sense of exploration as you drive ,fly and boat across the United States with your friends, there still exists a feeling of nothingness in many parts of the game. I’m hoping that over time with patches and updates, the game might actually be worth its money but in it’s current state I wouldn’t really recommend this game unless you get it on a sale because it just feels very incomplete.
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