The Crew 2 aims to expand upon the core concepts of the original while taking some steps back in terms of narrative and structure. Instead of working through any sort of tale you're just engaging in races to earn fans to build a social media presence. I really dislike when games do this sort of thing, and that's where the structure is for how you level. The social media aspect comes across as lazy to me. Another interesting addition is that of boating and aerial tricks to the general car based racing. They're interesting yet I feel as though they were almost tacked on since the integration isn't entirely there. I really enjoyed having the two extra options, I mostly wanted to see more out of them.
The planes were essentially just doing a series of repetitive tricks in the elevated distance instead of offering racing or something else. The boats did have races, but that was really all and I did enjoy going out on the water. It seems like the two options were added late or something as the car races are expansive in selection and design. In general, The Crew provides an open world to explore across the United States. A number of large cities are well represented and you can teleport anywhere almost instantly for a race. There's the freedom to just drive around as well, you can even do this with others online which is neat.
The visuals are quite impressive, especially on Xbox One X where it has been enhanced. When driving the city is essentially flawless in terms of scale and appearance. That's the same situation when you're rippling across the water and it looks great. When in planes the world does tend to look a bit less appealing and some buildings also follow that route of a muddy look at small times when in other vehicles though really not too noticeable. The vehicles handle fine, I found the boats had a bit of a struggle to get going after jumps whereas the AI would fly ahead.
The challenge was fine for racing, I do wish they had a rewinding feature as that's always enjoyable for better single player action though not something I'll put a negative down because of. They have a fantastic photo option and an incredible video replay/editor present as well. Every vehicle can be greatly customized and you get new parts after completing races which appear as orbs. There are of course choices to tweak the color and customize the vehicles further using in-game money. The cars are expansive in tweaking options, the other vehicles are more limited.
The Crew 2 is certainly interesting from a technical stand point with how instant such an expansive open world runs, it just feels empty not having any sort of narrative structure. I really wish they would have done more with the story, or well adding one at all here. Without that aspect if feels like an assortment of random races without any determined goal. That lack of having a main objective makes this vast country feel empty.
I thought the addition of the extra two ways to race it out were creative, perhaps with the third entry this could become a full open world United States of extreme sports. The other two racing choices just needed further implementation, they had their moments. When it comes to visuals and the state of the world I was impressed. It all runs well and quickly without any loading as you explore an expansive environment. There are also so many regions, weather variants and volumetric clouds that are stunning. The Crew 2 has some good racing aspects to it across a very detailed, almost true to life world yet it doesn't particularly excel.
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The Crew 2 Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Ubisoft