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Game Profile
Xbox One
Ivory Tower
GENRE: Racing
June 29, 2018
The Crew

The Crew

 Written by Chris Woodside  on June 29, 2018

Reviews: A decent racing title that, while packed with many features, has been unable to solve its identity crisis.


The Crew 2 represents a major shift and adjustment by Ubisoft in their still-nascent open world racing series. In its second entry, it has scrapped many of the major elements of its last iteration. No longer is the series focused on an overly dramatic story of revenge, but rather in this entry you are given a blank slate of a silent protagonist, which works better for the new tones taken on by this game. While the main objective is to perform well enough in races and other activities to increase your social media followers to become famous, the game’s flaws make it too difficult to really stick with your character long enough to reach the coveted level of icon.

While I initially enjoyed the ability in the game to switch at any moment between a plane, a boat, and a car, the novelty soon fell apart due to the uneven gameplay. While no part of this game is too difficult for any of the veterans to the racing genre, the three forms of transportations all vary to a wide degree in difficulty. All of the activities and races in the boats feel almost too easy compared to skill required to successfully complete a race on the streets of crowded cities like NY and San Francisco, or the precise handling required to clear bridges and other obstacles while in the sky. The rivers and other bodies of water you race on in the boats are just too empty, apart from maybe some buoys or dams, there really isn’t much to get in your way. While I appreciate that the developers didn’t want each race to feel the same, just with a different type of vehicle, I just didn’t feel enough motivation to leave the water and head back to land very often.

Part of the issue with this is that The Crew 2 allows you to stick to just one of the disciplines if you so choose. No matter how many boat races you do, you will still gain the same amount of followers. The only exception to this rule are the few extreme episodes, which are the longest races in the game, and function as a type of ironman competition where all the racers will switch seamlessly into each of the different types of vehicles the game has to offer. I found those races the most enjoyable as it broke up the monotony of spending so much time in the water, but I would have prefered to see different experience meters within each discipline to encourage you to switch between them more often.

It seems that the developers may have recognized that the boating option felt the best to play, as the visual effects in the water were nicer than anything I saw on land or in the sky. A form of collectibles for the games is a photo mode, where the player is asked to look out for particular objects or animals in the landscape and snap a picture of them. One in particular asked me to take a photo of a bear on a mountainside, but it was very difficult to make them out when playing the game. The only way I actually found the bear to take a picture was to stop the car and spend about 5 minutes in photo mode scanning around. It was times like this where the visual inequalities between different areas of the map really took me out of the immersion of the game, since having to stop the car and take a picture in the middle of the race can pretty easily ruin the flow. I was looking forward to spending time driving or boating across the United States, but because there wasn’t really much to see on the drive there, I opted more often than not to simply fast travel rather than spend time travelling.


Perhaps the worst part of the presentation of this game, however, is the dialogue. It seems as though every line in this game is delivered either with the corniness of a bad arcade sports title on the Nintendo 64, or with such little enthusiasm that it was almost laughable. There were several moments playing this game where I genuinely felt that the voice actors were recording their lines without having ever read the script prior. After a while, I often found myself having to mercifully mash the skip button to avoid having to hear any more of the dialogue.

While the game does feature microtransactions, I felt that it was done in a way that was unobtrusive and I never felt pressured into needing to partake in them. Simply, you can spend real world money to buy crew points (CC), which allow you to buy some of the best vehicle parts from the beginning. I actually felt that the way the game was structured disincentives me from wanting to buy microtransactions, as I would have little reason to continue playing the game if I could skip to the end game of having the best cars and boats and planes right at the start. Most of the fun I did have playing this game came from earning the different parts I needed to finally assemble the car that would let me take down one of the discipline “bosses.”

Overall, The Crew 2 is a good game. It seems they have learned from many of the mistakes from their first entry with this new IP and the game is more enjoyable as a result. Still, though, the game is plagued by a lack of real direction for the series and a gameplay system that feels unbalanced. I am not completely done with this series yet, I believe there is enough good in this game that can be built upon in the sequel that can make The Crew one of the premiere racing titles on the market. Unfortunately, this year’s version will not be that one.

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