The crew 2

Ubi’s trans­form­ing racer reaches its fi­nal form this sum­mer

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS - Phil Iwa­niuk Pub­lisheR Ubisoft De­vel­oper Ivory Tower For­mat Xbox One, Xbox One X ETA June 29 2018

Over the years, Ubisoft has taken its fair share of crit­i­cism for play­ing things a bit safe with its big, block­buster fran­chises.

There’s a for­mula to the French pub­lisher’s open-world games, and among other things it in­volves climb­ing towers to un­lock things to do on a mini-map. So rigidly did the pub­lisher ad­here to this for­mula that even in 2014’s The Crew, a driv­ing

game, re­quired play­ers to find ra­dio towers in or­der to pop­u­late said mini maps. Some­thing had to give.

And it did. The Crew 2 faces no ac­cu­sa­tions of play­ing safe, col­or­ing within the lines of an ex­ist­ing blue­print, or wheel­ing out a tired fran­chise for another cash in­jec­tion. This is a game in which the tran­si­tion be­tween cars, planes and boats has never been smoother—even if that means that the world itself has to fold, In­cep­tion- style, in or­der to ac­com­mo­date your change of trans­port type.

It’s taken a while to get this new vi­sion of rac­ing game just right though. First an­nounced in May 2017,

The Crew 2 was ini­tially due for re­lease in March, but needed a bit longer in de­vel­op­ment in or­der to hit the qual­ity stan­dards Ivory Tower and Ubisoft had in mind. Con­se­quently, it’s now penned in for re­lease on June 29.

What have the devs been do­ing in that time? They’re keep­ing fairly tightlipped for the most part, but they have spo­ken in the past about the tech­ni­cal chal­lenges of blend­ing cars, boats, and planes: You move much faster in the air than on land, for ex­am­ple, and that means the game en­gine needs to ren­der the area in front of you at a faster rate than it ever had to in the pre­vi­ous game. Else­where on the tech front, at­mo­spheric clouds now pop­u­late the skies, and all-new high­de­tail veg­e­ta­tion pop­u­lates the land be­low. There’s even been a han­dling over­haul, which frankly is great news.

The Crew had a lot go­ing for it, but the fun­da­men­tal driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence al­ways felt lack­ing next to Need For

Speed’s sim­ple ar­cade skids and the more thought­ful poise of Forza. This time, Ivory Tower is chas­ing that ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ ideal by its own ad­mis­sion, but what we’ve seen so far is fast and loose, freeform rac­ing with a heavy lean­ing to­wards the ar­cade. So don’t ex­pect to be tweak­ing dead­zones this June. All change please Don’t ex­pect any­thing par­tic­u­larly sim­i­lar to the first game, ei­ther. Although the scaled-down open­world map of Amer­ica is still present, this isn’t a story-led game, and its fo­cus is much more on ex­plo­ration than pro­gress­ing along a nar­ra­tive path. In fact the ad­di­tion of so many ve­hi­cle types—mon­ster trucks, stunt planes, hy­per­cars, Har­ley-David­sons, pickup trucks, and much more be­sides—comes from some feed­back to the first game. Play­ers felt that the story pushed them from race to race with­out much chance to ex­plore what was, with­out doubt, an ex­tra­or­di­nary open-world space. This time the game’s there to en­cour­age you into ex­plor­ing the map, which is why the ab­surd propo­si­tion of boat and plane rac­ing ex­ists in the first place.

In­evitably, with news of the re­lease date comes men­tion of spe­cial edi­tions: The Leg­endary Mo­tors and Mo­tor­sports Deluxe packs both bring exclusive ve­hi­cles and driver out­fits for those who sim­ply can’t do with­out those things. For the rest of us, one of the most orig­i­nal rac­ing games for years is just around the cor­ner, and that’s enough.

“The tran­si­tion be­tween cars, planes and boats has never been smoother”

Test Drive Un­lim­ited devs Eden Games founded Ivory Tower af­ter the for­mer folded

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