The Crew 2: release date, hands-on preview, news and more

The Crew 2 is here, and it’s totally bonkers.

After a mixed reception for the racing game’s first outing, Ubisoft has thrown every kind of motor vehicle you can think of at this, a new title set to launch “early 2018” on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

The game is set in a 2000 square-mile world based on the United States, called Motornation. Vehicles include – but aren’t limited to – cars, dirtbikes, stunt planes, jet boats, speedboats and mental 4×4 buggies. It’s completely batty, and not what we expected from a game that previously only focused on road-going vehicles. Environments include New York City, the Mississippi River and the Grand Canyon.

The Crew 2 release date

Ubisoft has announced that The Crew 2 will launch for PS4, Xbox One and PC on March 18, 2017.

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The Crew 2 gameplay – Hands-on impressions

My opinion of The Crew 2 hasn’t changed since its E3 2017 reveal trailer. There’s a silly number of vehicles, impressively diverse environments and a huge amount of content we’ve not yet seen.

I still don’t quite understand how it’s all supposed to fit together, though. I played the Live race that was demonstrated in the gameplay walkthrough trailer above, but it gave me no actual hint as to what was going on or how I could actually win the race at hand. I started driving a Porsche 911, then appeared in a stunt plane and ended up in a boat. I don’t know how the three were related, or whether my actions in the previous segment of the race were relevant to the next.

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the crew 2

The whole Inception-style world-bending that takes you from event to event is very cool, actually. Is it happening in my mind, or just a nice artistic effect? Either way, it’s visually stunning.

Handling felt fine; the car had a nice driftiness to it, the plane felt weighty but quick. The speedboat was pretty dull to drive, but I challenge anybody to make an everyday speedboat feel exciting in a video game. The courses are suitably ridiculous, my road-going Porsche was soon taking to the air with massive jumps onto New York rooftops, which was certainly a surprise. I was a little dismayed that this legally-sanctioned street race still allowed pedestrians to walk onto the course. If the peds weren’t completely drive-thru-able, I’d have taken quite a few with me to the finish line.

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The crew 2

After that experience, I was transported to Street Racing HQ, which is in Los Angeles. There, I was introduced to a dude who promised to help me climb the ranks, and even gave me a car. How generous! He informed me about the existence of a bloke called Tio, who’s apparently really good at racing, and it will take “everything you got” in order to beat him.

the crew 2

In addition to street racing, there’s also freestyle, pro racing and off road HQs, among others. The game is spread across the whole of the USA, with each city featured – including Miami, LA and NYC – all blending into one another without any loading screens. Each discipline will likely have a similar story arc; beat the best racer to become the best yourself.

In each category, you’ll complete events to earn Cred, which can be used to unlock cars and upgrades. That’s about all there is to it right now. I assume there’ll me more features announced soon with regard to the shadowy Live organisation, and how we can all become the best racer in the States.

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The Crew 2

After a brief introduction to the campaign, I was whisked into free roaming. It’s here things get super weird. You can quick travel to any point on the map, and spawn in a land vehicle. And then you can immediately transform into a plane, that miraculously appears in the street in the exact location where your car was. Take off, and perhaps you’ll fancy turning into a boat. I did just that and fell a thousand feet into the Hudson in my speedboat, which was interesting to say  the least.

In a persistent online multiplayer world, this sort of thing is probably very fun. In an offline demonstration, it’s just a bit baffling.

First Impressions

As you might be able to tell my the sporadic nature of my first impressions, I really don’t have the foggiest how The Crew 2 is going to fit together. Early 2018 is the release date, so let’s hope for a bit more information in the near future.