The first The Crew game was an interesting proposition that didn't manage to fully live up to the hype. It was still interesting in its concepts and the compressed map of the USA was impressive, but it fell a bit flat.
The sequel, The Crew 2 aims to add character and polish to the idea. Let's see what's on offer.
The big selling point of The Crew 2 gameplay is all about an expanded vehicle gallery. The land vehicles have been joined by planes and boats, now letting you explore the parts of the map you'd sooner expect to travel in a GTA game rather than a racing one. How's that for an improvement. Being able to take to the skies or steer a speedboat across rivers, lakes, or coastal waters sounds like a pleasant respite from the merciless gravity. And that's not even the best thing about the idea.
The best thing is that you can seamlessly shift between land, air, and water vehicles with just a button press. Click, and your classy Ferrari or quad blurs out of existence and a plane emerges in its place, taking immediately to the skies without losing speed. Fly over a river or a sea, click again and you'll fall, full-speed, onto the water, making a huge splash.
It sounds like an action sequence from Transformers, but it apparently works. One wonders what crazy scenes people will be able to come up with when the game launches.
One worry that emerges is that the overworld seen from the plane will look smaller than the developers would want it to look, but that remains to be seen post-launch as well.
The Crew 2's massive map
Much like its immediate predecessor, The Crew 2 is going to take place on a persistent map of the continental USA, albeit for obvious reasons scaled down and compressed. It results in a sort of "the best of" feeling: a huge, detailed theme park ride meant to highlight all of the most iconic and scenic parts of the United States. You'll drive through some of the major cities such as Los Angeles and the New York City, you'll see the Rockies and the Grand Canyon, and these are but a few of the place The Crew 2 map is going to let you visit.
If there ever was a way to go on a road trip through USA on a budget and without ever moving from your couch, this is it.
Races, challenges, events in The Crew 2
Of course any of the above wouldn't mean squat is there was nothing to do in this open world. The game is going to feature several HQs, each focusing on a specific type of racing. There will be street racing, pro racing, off-road, as well as freestyle.
Every HQ has a separate ranking, showing in detail how well you're doing against the top racers in each category. The goal is, of course, to be the top driver/pilot/sea dog in all the HQs. A secondary goal is to earn enough cred and explore enough of the world to get all the vehicles in your figurative garage.
To spice things up, the races are likely to incorporate new vehicles, so there's a good chance that an event that you've started in a car may end with you passing the finish line marked by two buoys, or two balloons in the air. The trailers suggest some literal world-bending to make it work in the most visually impressive way possible without ham-fisted transitions. Time will tell.
The Crew 2 multiplayer features
Much like the first game, the sequel is going to lean heavily towards multiplayer experiences. Whether in the form of travelling across the compressed USA with a bunch of friends, or racing against them in any of the available events, or even just sharing the world and completing the events separately. Whichever way you choose to play, be it with just the closest gaming friends, or venturing out into the wild of public matchmaking, The Crew 2 is going to supply you with enough things to do to make it worth your time.
The Crew 2, unlike its ancestor, isn't going to event try having a story, and is going to focus squarely on racing-related activities. Make of it what you will.
Although the exact release date of The Crew 2 isn't known, the most specific suggestions at the moment of writing say it's going to be Q2 or Q3 of 2018.
Until some more specific information comes out, one can only lie in wait preparing the budget for the injection of open-world racing later this year.