The Crew 2 Review

Dan Webb

Believe it or not, I was one of the few people in the world to actually like the original The Crew. Once it got going, there was a lot to like about Ubisoft’s open-world racer. A nice, detailed open-world and opportunities to race some pretty iconic tracks around the US; what’s not to like? The Crew 2, however, seems like a missed opportunity and the most Ubisoft-style by-the-numbers game I have played in some time.

The Crew 2 sees racers return to the huge open-world that is America, but this time with more vehicles and choice than ever before. After dabbling with off-road in the original’s DLC and with bikes, they now form one of the main game’s four disciplines: off-road, pro-racing, freestyle and street racing, but arguably the two biggest additions to the game, are boats and planes. That, in actual fact, is The Crew 2’s biggest problem, in that the game’s new additions are more to satisfy an internal studio checklist for more features in the game rather than adding anything truly worthwhile to the game. In short: the boat races and the plane activities are pretty damn boring and only occasionally fun.

Admittedly, the boats and planes add another element to the game’s open-world, with players no longer being confined to the roads and now being true open-world, but it’s simply not as fresh an experience. We’ve already experienced the pines of San Francisco, the salt lakes of Utah, the impressive Mount Rushmore and so on, so returning to USA yet again – albeit with a lot more detail this time around – seems like a missed opportunity.

Aside from the boats and planes, the more grounded car, truck and bike races are pretty damn fun, and unlike the original Crew, the game gets going from the off, as opposed to waiting a good twenty hours. There, is where the game is actually enjoyable, whether it's the circuit races, the F1 races, the street races, the monster truck events, the off-road races, the drift events and the drag races are easily the best aspect of the game. By far. The reason to race, though, in what must be hundreds of different races, well, it doesn’t exist.

Gone is the game’s ridiculous and over-the-top story, but in what is an even bigger travesty, Ubi has replaced it with a takes-itself-far-too seriously set of in-game narratives that are truly bloody painful to watch and sit through. They're awful and so forced to the point of them being utterly cringeworthy. The Crew 2 is a numbers game. Race this many races to continue, do this many events to level up your follower count – which in turn gives you more access to other disciplines – and collect loot boxes from races that level up the number of your car. It’s interminable. It’s boring. It’s everything that’s wrong with video games.

It doesn’t help that the game is ridiculously easy to start with – I’m not sure I lost a race within the first ten hours and it got to the point where I wasn’t even trying. It’s not like I can just jump straight to hard difficulty either, as it recommends your car be a certain level (of 230) before you attempt it and, of course, have completed the normal difficulty level first. What’s the point in that?

The ability to switch between vehicles on the fly, however, is a bloody marvelous addition to the game that makes exploring the open-world that much more exciting. That, combined with the sheer amount of disciplines combine to form what is one of the game’s greatest aspects: the Live Xtreme events. These consist of a whole variety of land, sea and air events, it’s just a shame there are only a handful of them. If there were more of these, The Crew 2 would have been an infinitely better game.

If you get bored of doing event after event with no real purpose to proceed, you can also partake in skill events and take some photos for fans – the photo mode is excellent in The Crew 2 and can truly capture some amazing moments. It is a tad buggy though, and can often even change the time of day of your shot – weird! It does allow you to rewind a video of your last few minutes of play to capture the perfect photo too, which is bloody wonderful!

Like the original, yes, The Crew 2 is a co-op game and that’s the way the game should be played. Still, it doesn’t take away from how tedious the game can become. The game still suffers from some bizarre physics bugs and cheap AI (who corner like bosses and know every single shortcut known to man), as was an ever-present issue in the original.

The truth is that The Crew 2 is an okay game, one that corrects a few issues present in the previous game, but does little to nothing – of note – that takes the franchise to the next level. With an awful narrative (if you can even call it that), some truly boring boats and plane bits, The Crew 2 is clearly a game designed by committee at Ubisoft, one where the emphasis was on quantity as opposed to quality. The Crew 2 isn’t a bad game, it’s just alright, which for a sequel with so much potential, isn’t really good enough.

The Crew 2

The Crew 2 feels like a missed opportunity for Ubisoft after what was a decent start for the franchise in 2014. It’s a racing game with some interesting ideas, but the new main additions frankly aren’t entertaining enough and there’s too much of a focus on quantity over quality.

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Voice acting is woeful and while the soundtrack is decent enough, there aren’t enough tracks, so you often hear the same songs again and again… and again.


It’s a decent enough looking game – especially in 4K – but because it’s a huge open-world, it’s nowhere near as beautiful as say a Forza title.


Aside from some weird physics bugs, The Crew 2 is a decent racing game.


The same world with new disciplines that are frankly quite boring, The Crew 2 is a mess of a game with a terrible “narrative” to it and a crap load of events with no real motivation to keep you racing.


The Crew 2’s achievement list is actually rather great. Lots of variety, plenty of balance and even some creativity. A good example of how to do achievements in racing games.

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