THE CREW 2
Come fly with me. Come drive with me. Come… boat with me?
We never thought we’d see a sequel to Ivory Tower’s ever-so-slightly forgettable arcade racer from 2014, much less find ourselves actually excited for one. But here we are in 2017, eagerly awaiting another round of open-world, co-op-friendly vehicular mayhem.
Rather than settling for a second outing that simply riffs on the RPG-lite features that were both a help and a hindrance to the original, TheCrew
2 screeches onto Xbox One with an overhaul that places the onus firmly on having fun behind the wheel rather than pursuing the holy grail of realistic simulation. Simply driving isn’t enough for Ubisoft’s latest franchise—oh no, this time you can roam an open-USA in cars, planes and boats.
Don’t need roads
TheCrew2 has clearly taken a few frosted leaves out of Steep’s playbook with the decision to expand its vehicular racing to the sky and the waves. One second you’re driving around a night-time street in free roam, then one select of a radial wheel later and you’re instantly soaring into the skies in a plane. See a nearby river or stretch of water? Fly over, and just as quick you’ll transform into a boat and start carving through surf like a watery virtual cheeseknife.
It’s an incredibly permissive feeling, and much like Ubisoft Annecy’s underrated snowboarding sim, Steep,
TheCrew2’ s sandbox (featuring another truncated take on the United States) has been built to facilitate that sense of creative driving with shortcuts galore—including plenty of rooftop paths when you’re cruising through the city.
Races and challenges, the bread and butter of the original, return with myriad shifting from one vehicle type to another as you zoom from locale to locale. Our hands-on with the game sees us tearing up the tarmac in a sports car, only to switch to a stunt plane as the screen seamlessly transitions—with the world folding in on itself, Inception- style—from road, to sky to water. It makes races feel creative and unique beyond the aesthetic of its multi-state US setting. Even the races that don’t feature vehicle-shifting offer something to keep you keen, such as off-road races that hurtle you through checkpoints across fauna-covered hills.
It’s clear Ivory Tower wants to keep ‘fun’ at the forefront of its latest open-world racer, so even the return of the arcadey (if far from nuanced) driving model doesn’t curb our petrol-headed enthusiasm for the return of Ubisoft’s car, plane and boat extravaganza.
“Simply driving isn’t enough for Ubisoft’s latest franchise”
Main With a detailed horizon stretched out before you, The Crew 2’ s planes offer the best way to explore.