When Ubisoft launched The Crew, an ambitious open-world racer with an always online approach set the game apart from rest of the racing genre. You could go where ever you wanted, whenever you wanted, and however you wanted. The open road was all you’d know, but unfortunately, it ultimately failed in what it had to offer and left room for an amazing sequel, here are our thoughts about the Open Beta.
In 2014, when I first got my hands on The Crew, I was slightly confused by what Ubisoft had begun to attempt. I was getting one part racing game, one part always online with competitive elements, and then I was being offered an open-world title that wanted me to explore all of the United States. But what I was given was less flattering than what had seemingly been their ultimate goal. I was given a condensed, but a contiguous version of the Continental United States.
To put things short, The Crew made an ambitious promise, one that seemed to promise too much, but ultimately came crashing down to numerous bugs ranging from a buggy and rubber-banding A.I. to problematic lag that plagued the game. Sadly, the reputation The Crew had in 2014 and the upcoming years wasn’t exactly what you would expect to have when stirring up a sequel. Yet, over the course of this past weekend, Ubisoft Reflections and Ivory Tower were given a chance to win everyone back and make this a massive success story for always online racing titles.
Now after five years of being into the current console generation of hardware, Ubisoft Reflections and Ivory Tower have a second chance to make something bigger, better, and badder than ever before. Toss in a second chance at writing a story that’s actually plausible and not something that feels like a Fast and Furious sequel and the sky becomes the limit.
After spending the entire beta period with the game and cruising around on my own volition across the land, air, and sea. My first impression was already put in place. The Crew 2 is definitely one full of the promise the first one had made. It’s one with a broader scope, one that isn’t troubled by constant crashes, horrible A.I or driving mechanics that were beyond excruciating to enjoy during the initial launch.
This time around, things have been immensely upgraded from the overall driving experience to the AI, and even the way you modify your cars and earn your parts. But that’s where the game really begins to shine. With the addition of two new extreme sports and racing styles, airplanes, and boats have both been added to add quite the diversity to the disciplines you will need to master.
Because of this, learning how to toggle between each of them is quite important and moving between them while exploring the continental United States is even more important. Surprisingly enough, moving between each discipline is rather easy compared to what I’ve experienced in other games with this kind of ambition. All it was? A simple click of my right thumbstick and moving the nob over to which type of discipline I wanted to use and before I knew it, I had switched and was once more on my merry way across the shorelines of California.
Soon after, I was already taking to the skies, spinning, looping and even knifing my way along (all being tricks that pilots can perform). The best part of it all? All my vehicles can be fully customized by parts I’ve obtained through Live Event’s or even Racing Trials that would go live, allowing me to earn followers across the spectrum of the game’s version of social media, which unlocks new races, disciplines, and vehicles to enjoy. The more followers I have, the better my standing, the better my standing, the more I can do. Simple, right?
That’s where the story kicks in. A story that is worlds better than its predecessor and actually makes you feel as if you are engaging with the world. That’s how simple the story is, you are merely a multi-disciplined driver that is learning the ropes by taking on challenges for each of the disciplines and earning followers via your performances given. The better you do, the more followers you get, as stated before.
But doing this at a steady 60fps at 1080p? That’s an admirable feat compared to the graphics, lighting effects and performance we had before. This very upgrade alone sets both 2014’s The Crew and 2018’s The Crew 2 worlds apart. Fortunately for us, it doesn’t seem anything was compromised between the original E3 teasers and the beta release. If this sticks true, we’ll have a sharp looking game on June 26, 2018, on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Stay tuned as we do hope to review the game when it launches.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.