THE CREW 2 [Review]: Cruis’n for a Bruis’n.
“Lector” RONNY LECUYER: Ubisoft’s The Crew 2 is set to lead a genre ruled by ultra-realistic racing sims with far too many racing games having crumbled under the weight of mixing realism and car mod fantasy. Here, Ivory Tower knew better to try to match the powerhouse of games like Forza and steers in a different direction. For those unfamiliar with the series, The Crew encourages diversity with land, sea and air vehicles to race at your own discretion. Whether you embrace this change to the standard racing formula or outright refuse to experience it, this game has some strong legs but a wavering identity which could lead to problems keeping racing fans enticed.
“Reverend” LAURO ROJAS: Bro. Ubisoft has always been a hit or miss for me, but I am a sucker for their product, although not always good. Ubi gave us such wonderful gems like the first three Assassin’s Creeds, many of the Tom Clancy related titles (Splinter Cell!), but has also offered such duds as Unity, Steep, and.. well.. The Crew 1. That being said there’s a real love/hate relationship between the developer and the fans. The Crew was, perhaps, an over ambitious undertaking the first go-around yet still somewhat empty; now, how does the second iteration fair, Ronny? One word: abysmal.
RONNY: I won’t entirely disagree. The Crew 2, much like its predecessor, leans more towards white knuckle frustration than its intended arcade style fun. This game blends the typical racing formula of race-to-race gameplay and the freedom of open world exploration to attempt something groundbreaking — which, here, feels like an afterthought than the main selling point of this title. Having spent days just driving from coast to coast, I was surprised to find Provincetown on the map as an event area. As I raced towards my home state with childlike glee, Massachusetts’ furthest town east slowly breached the horizon. Ever so slowly materializing in my view, my hopes of racing over sand dunes and splashing along Herring Cove Beach soon were doused with reality — that little care is given to the few event locations scattered on the country’s map.
This is the number one frustration with The Crew 2. Every location is generic to the landscape concepts, cities have cement, buildings, and cityscape, whereas woods have trees and ponds for example. They few main cities for event hubs — New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, etc. — are a mere echo of what they could be. There is absolutely no difference from coast to coast when it comes to rural areas. Locations had fictional names such as Uber Dam (Hoover dam) or the outright removal of famous city all together had me shaking my head. Don’t get me wrong; I know it’s an impossible task to map the entire country, but where Boston is located, is a duplicate name (I’m no Cartographer but you would imagine one of the country’s founding cities would at least be names correctly). Sloppy research or outright negligence would be the only reason this type of error could have gone through to product release.
LAURO: Like a supermodel, with all the superficial upgrades and none of the brains or any semblance of a soul, the game is pretty and fun to play with for a few hours but the fun is all gone after a while and leaves you wanting more. There’s some hackneyed story of you, the player, trying to be the best and in order to do that you have earn a crap ton of followers. Unfortunately, our videogames have gone the way of social media and now your ultimate goal is to go viral. Who developed this game — the Kardashians? Environments are one thing, man, but the dialogue and acting is atrocious, like it was written by some kid for some teeny-boppers. “Are you ready to get EXTREME!??”
RONNY: Talk about year-2000 dialogue. I have seen better use of stereotypes in Duke Nukem games. From the OG racer, now injured mentor to the arrogant guy with the money and cars, the borderline offensive story or lack there-of is atrocious. After a few of these awkward cutscenes, I found myself mashing the skip button to spare the misery of more disaster. On the positive, I found the controls to be easy and straight forward for most classes of vehicle; Drifting in and out of corners, e-braking, and momentum shifts all felt fluid and responsive. Being more arcade like, the planes felt like a fast-paced Pilot Wings. The way boats glide across the shimmering sea at dusk was a splendid experience, too, bringing back memories of Wave Race 64. Although off-road vehicles felt floaty and marginally uncontrollable.
LAURO: Sure, car handling I found perfectly fine but the boat and airplane modes were hard to maneuver and were my least favorite of events. And while modifications are pretty dope, it just isn’t enough to save this game from drowning in the shallowest of ends.
RONNY: Shallow too, Lauro, are the little variation in colors and textures this side of car detail. Amazed at the lighting, the way it bounces around the cars curves in your home garage is a testament of the potential this game could have lived up to. If only the efforts were made to make the landscape match the dynamic lighting quality, The Crew sequel would have been a completely different gaming experience. Moreover, there is no vehicle damage. Lame.
LAURO: With racing series such as Forza Horizon and, hell, even the remastered Burnout there’s really no need for The Crew 2. It tries to be too much. Again. And as Peter Griffin once said, “it insists upon itself.” What does that mean? It tries to hard to be a million things–a great concept with a final product that simply does not cross the finish line. 2/5 Bibles.
RONNY: There’s no doubt that Ubisoft and Ivory Tower wanted to make a gaming experience different from the other prime offerings and cater more towards a casual gamer. With the social media aspect of the vague story and unforgivable generic environments, The Crew 2 trails behind in innovation, only to create a stagnant play experience. If you’re a fan of the arcade classic Crusi’n USA then you’ll have fun for the first few hours at most. Sadly, Ubi either needs to remodel this catastrophic attempt at a racer or junk it all together. 2/5 Bibles.
-Lauro Rojas & Ronny Lecuyer