Reviews - Updated on April 14, 2022

The racing arcade The Crew, released at the end of 2014, boasted a huge map of the United States with different landscapes and architecture, the ability to go through the entire story part with friends, a simulation of life on the roads (fussy pedestrians, sluggish traffic jams, accidents …), rich “customization” and other nice elements. There were also enough frank cons that rolled wheel to wheel with “expanding the boundaries of the genre” – it concerns clumsy physics, the requirement of a constant connection to the Internet, and an ambiguous damage model, and the same type of tasks. We will not continue – we think that the memories and scars of many readers are still fresh.

As is often the case with overly ambitious projects, The Crew left an ambivalent impression, but it looks like it made enough money for the publisher to green-light a sequel. At E3 2017, we listened carefully to the Ubisoft press conference and touched the demo – and here’s what we think.

Crew 2 game review

In staged screenshots, cars are pleasing to the eye – but how will it be in the final version?

Nowhere for the tire and screw to fall

In The Crew 2, Ubisoft once again brought out a theoretical, racing-obsessed America. The open world was called Motonation – from coast to coast, they only think about participating in competitions. The community of fans of wheels and speed spontaneously divided into four associations – we are talking about pros, street racers, freestylers and motocrossers. Everyone has their own headquarters (there you can buy and set up a vehicle), a list of disciplines and, of course, a sports philosophy.

The conditional map of the States (the area of ​​the seamless world is over five thousand square kilometers) is crammed with recognizable sights, landscape twists like the Grand Canyon and cities. The appearance of megacities is nothing more than a decoration for the main essence: all these are training grounds for races. The design has been redesigned in the direction of spontaneous tests – for example, starting to rush along the avenues like lightning, you can go to the roofs through the springboard system. According to Ubisoft, the efforts of the developers are aimed at making the sequel an order of magnitude more interesting and accessible.

Well, now about the main thing – in an attempt to capture the “spirit of American motorsport”, the authors supplemented the transport fleet with motorcycles, boats and airplanes. The horse’s move is practically: have you been playing a decent arcade game with boats for a long time? And what was it, the Old Testament Hydro Thunder?

Judging by the demo, the main “feature” that really refreshes the gameplay is the transition on the fly (by pressing a button) between vehicles. Rushing along the city street in the cabin – time! – and you are already in the boat (of course, the car will get stuck and will not go anywhere, but the fact itself is important!). The trick looks especially spectacular when “castling” an airplane hovering over water with a boat or a car jumping from a springboard with a steel bird.

Crew 2 game review

The Crew 2 is aimed at PC, PS4 and Xbox One, as well as 4K versions of Sony and Microsoft consoles. The release will take place at the dawn of 2018.

Running a four-wheeled pet, you can ask for off-road competitions or drifting, among boats – stop at a straight-line high-speed model or its more nimble girlfriend for a jet sprint, and so on. The planes happened to see only one type (it is difficult to control them – it will take a long time to get used to). The vehicle can be designated as a favorite – it is in its seat that a jet jump will be performed, which was mentioned a little higher.

In the demo, we felt street racing, aviation, both types of boats and buggies (you drive through the off-road without a specific route – at control points). In speedboat races there is an important thing, in addition to the buoys and slides shown at the presentation – waves from opponents. Getting on a wave, you lose control for a while, and the bastard water element is able to turn the vessel. On the one hand, that is still a thorn in the side, on the other hand, there is room for tactics and a plus sign for realism. If our sensations do not lie, then physics has been improved – a positive moment, isn’t it?

A cool option is map scaling: when the camera approaches while exploring the area, from a large schematic squeeze from the US atlas, at some point, it changes to a view similar to Google Earth, that is, real tracks, objects, and the like appear in the palm of your hand. The developer swore that the world was recreated believably and with respect for details.

Surprisingly, the space-folding effect shown in the debut trailer (like in the movie Inception) is actually applied in the game. In the “demo” we caught him once – in a staged episode when moving from a car to a boat. This is probably a purely design “revelation” that does not carry gameplay meaning.

Crew 2 game review

The screenshot reminded me of Metropolis Street Racer – it was a glorious race!

***

Again America, again the concept of “ride wherever you want.” And yet The Crew 2 causes, if not genuine, but certainly a cautious interest. Every trick and feint affects the progress in the game, we hope that the developers will take care of the multiplayer and the internal money system with more care than last time. The name Ivory Tower still inspires confidence – after all, the studio was founded by ex-Eden Games specialists responsible for Test Drive Unlimited. You can apply to participate in the “beta” here. And by the way, about the graphics – according to the two trailers currently available, many have already complained about the angularity of the cars, but in a press release, Ubisoft promises to plug holes in the visual picture with bundles of money – in particular, to make the clouds truly voluminous, rework the display of water and fog and grow realistic grass in virtual meadows.

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