GSY REVIEW | PC, PS4, Xbox One Saturday, June 30, 2018 | 3:00 PM

Our verdict on The Crew 2

Our verdict on The Crew 2

After giving our video coverage a bit more variety this week, we thought we had the right to finally tell you what we truly think about The Crew 2 and share some more advanced races with you along the way. As you'll see, though there are things we like about the game, there are still a number of issues we would have liked to see addressed in this sequel. Our verdict is based on the PC version of the game that we've mostly played in the past few days.




Verdict


The main issue we have with The Crew 2 is that too many comprises have been made to avoid frustrating casual players, which means all the others will have to cope with them in order to have fun. It's a real shame as we don't believe toning down the physics engine or making wet and snowy roads less slippery are design decisions that will benefit to most. That being said, everything about The Crew 2 is better than in the first game. The handling is more fun, the races are too and the content available at launch is pretty impressive. True, the added variety comes with a cost as not everything plays great in the game, but overall, it's a game that can quickly become time-consuming. That variety of vehicles, races, landscapes is actually this title's main strength without a doubt. Now sure, planes should have been trickier to fly, powerboats should have been made more interesting by adding bigger waves in the ocean to make racing at sea more different than on rivers, but it is still a lot of fun to pilot sprintjets, to do street and off-road races and even to pull up crazy stunts in freeride with the planes.

Then there is the freeride aspect, in which you can easily lose track of time, provided you didn't get enough of the US the first time around. Another bump in the road, yes, the map is more or less the same, no added cites (where are you Boston?), still two states missing (Hawaii and Alaska), just some new rivers to navigate. If you have never played The Crew before and you enjoy its arcade gameplay, you're in for a treat, but if you already know Ivory Tower's condensed version of the US, maybe the new shiny graphics won't be enough to draw you back in. There is also another design choice that some might find a bit surprising. In the first game, you had to reach the place of the race unless you had already driven on a nearby road, this allowed players to experience true road trips, not like in Forza Horizon 2 where they lasted 2 minutes. We understand why the developers thought it might be more convenient to be able to start any of the races by simply clicking on the event, but by doing so, most people will simply chain events without exploring the map at all. Then again, you're free to do things the way you want, so it's not necessarily a real shortcoming.

In short, The Crew 2 is quite a polarizing game. It's undeniably better than the first episode, but there is always something reminding you that it could have been more. Even when it comes to the graphics for example, it's a major step up most of the time, but pop-in issues are still very distracting in some areas. It's understandable when in a plane, a bit less when driving through a forest with more limited field of view. The swap mechanic is a silly idea that works perfectly in freeride and adds even more freedom, but it hasn't been used as much as it could have in the career. Some races make good use of it, but there are too few in our opinion, which is a shame as it is actually one of the things that give The Crew 2 its unique flavor. Weather should also be more subject to change, it barely rains, or at least, it hasn't for us in the 20 hours of gameplay we've experienced so far. Most of the things we're not satisfied with could be fixed in future updates, so we hope they will, because at the end of the day, The Crew 2 is a fun game to play. We just wish it pushed its boundaries further, both literally and figuratively.




On the plus side


+ Content is huge...
+ The thriller plot is gone...
+ Usually gorgeous...
+ Fast travel is incredibly fast...
+ The vehicules look great
+ Smooth, even on PC this time
+ The freedom the game gives
+ Improved handling
+ Freeriding is still unique
+ Races are generally well done
+ Drift events are fun
+ The jetsprints
+ Great variety in every aspect
+ Engine sounds are way better
+ Character voices can (and should) be turned off
+ Personalizing the vehicles (liveries, handling, etc.)
+ Money is easy to earn
+ Buying new vehicles isn't a problem anymore as a result
+ The game sometimes reminds of Extreme Sports on Dreamcast
+ The photo mode and the video editor
+ The Crew 1 as it should have been


On the downside


- ... on the very same map as TC1
- ... but we're given an annoying festival atmosphere instead
- terrible writing
- ... but sometimes more average or even a bit ugly
- ... which basically kills the road trip aspect of the first game
- Powerboat races tend to become a bit boring
- Difficulty is still handled like in a role playing game
- Too many compromises on the physics engine
- Motocross on dirt tracks is awkward at best
- Rubber band AI in 2018?
- Rain and snow have almost no effect on the handling
- In 20 hours, we have barely seen any rain
- Snow doesn't always look as good as it should
- The swap mechanic should have been more present in the career events
- Off-road races are two few and don't use the map to its full potential
- Too much pop-in (scenery, spectators, traffic, etc.)
- No PVP yet
- Who the heck wrote the dialogues?


Superb raid (PC/1440p)
Landscape replay (PC/1440p)
Snowy raid (PC/1440p)
Extreme race #4 (PC/ultra/1440p)
Motocross - Downhill (PC/1440p)
Jetsprint (PC/ultra)
Powerboat (PC/1440p)
More rallycross (PC/1440p)

All comments

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Commented on 2018-07-01 15:06:11
And no pvp in an online-only game.
Commented on 2018-07-01 15:08:12 In reply to droezelke
I couldn't care less for PVP personally but yeah, that's an issue at launch.
Commented on 2018-07-01 19:47:04 In reply to droezelke
Posted by droezelke
And no pvp in an online-only game.
Wait, what? You can't even race other players in the crew 2?
Commented on 2018-07-01 19:50:41 In reply to KORNdog
I think you can race your crew members (not sure though as Davton has never been able to launch the game on his computer). Real PvO will arrive later this year but I don't know why.
Commented on 2018-07-02 00:24:44 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
I think you can race your crew members (not sure though as Davton has never been able to launch the game on his computer). Real PvO will arrive later this year but I don't know why.
I think you meant PvP. PvP will be added the beginning of next year as I read it. It could be that that was a guess.
Yes, you can race with friends that are part of your crew online. However, at this point there is no real multiplayer. I also don't understand why you have to be online to be able to even play the game. I thought that was a thing of the troubled Ubisoft trying to prevent piracy in the past (which didn't work at all).
To me, Ubisoft was a great publisher, but then they went anti-consumer. And they still do with x amount of editions of 1 game. Their infamous downgrading about which they lie. Half-baked launches with countless bugs and performance issues. They could have been the most respected publisher out there, but greed got the best of them.
Commented on 2018-07-02 01:43:00 In reply to droezelke
Posted by droezelke
I thought that was a thing of the troubled Ubisoft trying to prevent piracy in the past (which didn't work at all)
Well, it wasn't. The Crew is a continuation of the Test Drive Unlimited series, which wasn't even originally published by Ubisoft.
Posted by droezelke
To me, Ubisoft was a great publisher, but then they went anti-consumer.
They didn't go anti-consumer either. Ubisoft is probably the best big publisher out there when it comes to games as a service. They just stopped making the games you wanted, apparently. Ubisoft is the best they've been in years.
Posted by droezelke
They could have been the most respected publisher out there, but greed got the best of them.
So who is better, and why?
Commented on 2018-07-02 08:15:11 In reply to GriftGFX
Posted by GriftGFX
So who is better, and why?
Maybe CD Projekt and their infamous downgraded Witcher 3 and downgraded-to-be Cyberpunk 2077 (since they finally confessed that what they presented as a real part of the game at E3 was actually a vertical slice that probably won't make it to the final product as it is). Apparently, some publishers are given a free pass.
Commented on 2018-07-02 10:37:05 In reply to GriftGFX
Posted by GriftGFX
So who is better, and why?
By just stating that I'm wrong without counter-arguments, you haven't proven that what I wrote was wrong. Who is better is of no importance as that would shift away from what I wrote without adressing anything about what I said about Ubisoft. And then the question should also be: who is better at (insert topic)?
Commented on 2018-07-02 10:38:09 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
Maybe CD Projekt and their infamous downgraded Witcher 3 and downgraded-to-be Cyberpunk 2077 (since they finally confessed that what they presented as a real part of the game at E3 was actually a vertical slice that probably won't make it to the final product as it is). Apparently, some publishers are given a free pass.
I didn't mention anything about any other studio or publisher.
Commented on 2018-07-02 11:52:16 In reply to droezelke
The thing is that Ubisoft seems to be the easy target when it comes to basically everything while other publishers get nothing. It wouldn't be a problem if it was legitimate, but most of them are way worse than Ubi at this point. Whether or not the games the develop appeal to you (or me for that matter) is another problem.
Commented on 2018-07-02 13:17:04 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
The thing is that Ubisoft seems to be the easy target when it comes to basically everything while other publishers get nothing. It wouldn't be a problem if it was legitimate, but most of them are way worse than Ubi at this point. Whether or not the games the develop appeal to you (or me for that matter) is another problem.
I guess I didn't make my original post more clear and that's why we seem to be talking past each other.
There was a time (during the Splintercell highdays, Prince of Persia, Rayman, ...) where I considered Ubisoft as the best publisher. However, they then took a desperate turn in an attempt to prevent piracy (on PC), by locking all games behind an always-online policy for SP games. Other devs tried the same thing but dropped that tactic very quickly because genuine buyers were f* in the butt when their servers failed or they shut the servers down. Ubisoft refused to answer the complaints of actual buyers. What happened for me was that although I bought the actual game, I still downloaded the cracked exe-files, to avoid the issues of always online. But then I coudn't use the patches and so on. Ubisoft just said 'fuck you, we don't care'.
Then Ubisoft started to deliberately show fake gameplay and denied downgrades, which were so obvious, that their denial was an insult. And that made them infamous for downgrades and is now a meme.
On top of that, they released big games with countless bugs and performance issues (Ass Creed, Splintercell, ...) for their PC versions (I was a PC gamer back then). I could no longer justify Ubisoft as the best publisher because of all these issues. Ubisoft became the least respected publisher while they used to be the best respected publisher. (You can follow the fall of Ubisoft over the years on Metacritic's list of best publishers).

Does this mean I defend other devs and publishers? Not at all. It's not a dichotomy.
Commented on 2018-07-02 13:35:44
Sounds like a typical Ubisoft game - Caters far to much for the casuals and will be the game it should of been 12-24 months after release.

God i miss the Ubisoft of the 00's
Commented on 2018-07-02 13:38:57
there's a reason ubisoft games have this reputation. and it's not one pulled out of thin air. if they stopped doing the thing that has become the running joke, then the association will fade. but they instead seem to maintain it by continuing to do it. the witcher 3 also did it, true, i said as much in the cyberpunk thrads, and various other publishers are also guilty, but i'm not sure of their relevance when specifically discussing ubisoft, in a ubisoft game thread? the "well that other developer does it too" defense doesn't really fly. we all know they did it, but it doesn't make what ubisoft does less shit. "they do it too" is not valid justification.

this is all regarding the downgrades i might add. the always online DRM/GaaS focus of recent ubisoft games just means i don't buy their games...seems simple enough. but i understand the frustration in seeing once SP focused titles suddenly ditching it entirely.
Commented on 2018-07-02 15:17:44 In reply to KORNdog
The last time they did it was like what, 5 f*****g years ago.

What about Watch_Dogs 2, The Crew 1, The Crew 2, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Assassin's Creed Origins, Far Cry Primal, Steep, Mario + Rabies Kingdom, the 2 South Park, For Honor, etc. None of these were especially downgraded between the moment they were first shown and the day they shipped.

Move on people, you sound like old grumpy people who stick to the past. Naughty Dog does it for UC4 showing a teaser running at 60 fps and you give them a pass when the game releases at 30. But sure, it's all fine hey, it's Naughty Dog!
Commented on 2018-07-02 15:54:09 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
Naughty Dog does it for UC4 showing a teaser running at 60 fps and you give them a pass when the game releases at 30. But sure, it's all fine hey, it's Naughty Dog!
that thing over there that you seemingly missed...it's called the point!

"but i'm not sure of their relevance when specifically discussing ubisoft, in a ubisoft game thread? the "well that other developer does it too" defense doesn't really fly. we all know they did it, but it doesn't make what ubisoft does less shit"

deflection is a strange way to defend a company.
Commented on 2018-07-02 16:54:09 In reply to KORNdog
There has never been any discussion about Ubisoft on this side of the website. Bashing is the only means of communication you're familiar with when it comes to this particular publisher. I'll stop here, I've lost enough of my precious time already. Better go pee in a violin, that'll be much more useful than this actually. Hope you have a good day in this world of your where you're always right.
Commented on 2018-07-02 17:04:38 In reply to Driftwood
I mean this in a sincere way: are you ok?
Commented on 2018-07-02 17:20:06 In reply to droezelke
I'm just fed up with Internet people (and I don't mean this in a nice way). I've often found Korndog to be pretty annoying and maybe now I'm just too old for this shit. Most of the French team has stopped posting on the French side for similar reasons, I'd better do the same that's all. Reading comments online is never a good idea anyway, because no matter what you say, you always end up being wrong apparently. Other than that, don't worry about me.
Commented on 2018-07-02 18:14:40 In reply to Driftwood
I think that's called opinions. Some are trolls. Just don't take an opinion about Ubisoft personally.
But it comes with the model of a site where comments are allowed. Different opinions. And at the same time, it brings traffic.
For me: as long as it doesn't become personal or insulting, I'm willing to read an opinion. When it's a yes vs no game, I'm not interested. I'd rather read an argument that proves me wrong than reading a comment that just says 'you're correct' or 'you're wrong'.
Commented on 2018-07-02 19:18:05 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
I'm just fed up with Internet people (and I don't mean this in a nice way). Reading comments online is never a good idea anyway, because no matter what you say, you always end up being wrong apparently.
maybe not always, but for sure attempts to make an constructive and useful conversation are ALWAYS worthless. thats the big problem of online conversations, there always NO output for you. just accept that, internet is biggest people "junkyard", and there always will be ppl to argue but have no intersest(or just cant) make an constructive conversation. trolls at least funny some times, but this... so yeah:
Posted by Driftwood
Most of the French team has stopped posting on the French side for similar reasons, I'd better do the same
Commented on 2018-07-02 19:24:28 In reply to Voland44
Attempts to make a discussion constructive are not worthless. People who think that is the case, are the ones not having an interesting conversation.
I think a healthy attitude is to just withdraw when it gets to insults, personal attacks, or just 'you're wrong, I'm right, but I'm not providing arguments. When it comes to that, you have already 'won' the conversation, so just withdraw and enjoy the spectacle. :-)
Commented on 2018-07-02 21:34:30 In reply to droezelke
Posted by droezelke
Attempts to make a discussion constructive are not worthless... I think a healthy attitude is to just withdraw when it gets to...
but withdraw exactly what i talking about! cus when u understand that there is no point in cont. conversation - it can have dozens of posts already. for me, even lost 10-15 mins(and text conversations "eat" time is 10x more than audio's, for example) on some worthless person is kinda critical, cus instead i can make(read, see, etc) something useful. and since like 99% conversations in the random internet(cus we still can have little groups of interests in the internet) just dont get profit(opening something new) for any side... yep, i think its worthless even to attempt. btw, its ok that u think just sharings of random opinions, without constructive conversations with their own profits - isnt worthless. there is nothing wrong when smb have a joy with chatting for chatting. but maybe i just get old and tired, or maybe dont have so much time, so i cant afford this, sadly

p.s. and i hope we have profits from this conv. :D
Commented on 2018-07-02 22:22:27 In reply to Voland44
Never said 'random opinions without constructive conversations'. Don't put words in my mouth. It doesn't help.
Commented on 2018-07-03 04:11:39
Sorry if i have to say this, but this is not the first time you overreact like this Driftwood. Why don't you just leave people their opinions? And he was right when he said, that you can not use other companies bad behavior to defend Ubisoft. It is true, they are still the best of the big publishers and i like buying games from ubi more than others. But should a company not be measured by their actions?To compare is never a good idea as an argument. Or to say "Others do the same!". That is not good as an argument as well.
Commented on 2018-07-03 09:17:44 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
What about Steep
That was downgraded, or rather all trailers were caked in post-fx snow effects.
Posted by Driftwood
the 2 South Park games... None of these were especially downgraded
Now That's Grasping TM
South Park, shoddy cardboard cutout style, downgraded.

I get it, you guys are French, Ubisoft are French, it gets a bit personal and hitting close to home when people bash them and not the other companies. But pro-Ubisoft bias comes as a red line through this site and staff, I've been noticing that even since I joined in, let me check, '13.
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