THE CREW 2
This squad is invitation-only
Considering the major selling point of The Crew 2 is its large open world – a recreation of the entire continental United States Of America – it’s a shame that, online, there’s really not much to do in it. It may be called “The Crew”, but the way other players are worked into this shared world makes it a much more lonely experience.
As you drive around the world you’ll come across other players doing their own thing nearby. It’s cool to see this when it happens, as it makes the cities and roads feel a bit more alive, but you’ll rarely come across too many in your session. To be honest, the structure of the main missions minimises the time you’ll spend cruising anyway, so it’s even less likely. When you do spot other racers, though, there’s really not much you can do with them.
There’s no option just to hop into a competitive race, either in any of the menus or when you meet another player in person. Instead, the online experience is dedicated to completing missions co-operatively in a titular crew. Largely, the random people who appear in your sessions won’t want to crew up with you – why would they, really? If you do squad up, you’ll all get prompts to hop into an event when a crewmate starts one and you can race together. The experience is pretty smooth if you have someone in real life who will join your crew, but there’s no real matchmaking element to speak of besides randomly trying to find people. After a while, even being in the same races non-competitively with your friends gets rather stale.
A short while on from its release, The Crew 2 just
WHEN YOU DO SPOT OTHER RACERS, THERE’S REALLY NOT MUCH YOU CAN DO WITH THEM.
doesn’t give the impression of a very lively game, only a few racers dropping into our sessions at a time even in the bigger cities. There’s a reason some similar games fill their worlds with AI versions of other players when they’re offline. The United States is a too big a place to feel this empty. Often you’ll find other players simply idling, either in a state of disconnection from the servers, or perhaps at home as they make a cup of tea.
The scope of The Crew 2 is impressive. It gives the impression of online and multiplayer being a large component of what it is conceptually, when this couldn’t be further from the case with what it has on offer at launch. We can hope for updates further down the line – the first The Crew had some great post-release support – but ironically enough this is one racing game best enjoyed as a lone wolf.
Despite its name, this is less “The Crew” and more “A Crew, But Only Sometimes”. It’s a spotty shared world where only pre-existing squadships will be able to rule. Oscar Taylor-Kent
FORMAT PS4 PUB UBISOFT DEV IVORY TOWERS REVIEW #152, 7/10
We’d love the chance to race other players, reaching our goal by any vehicle possible.