The Crew 2 Hands-on Preview: More than meets the eye

My first hands-on experience in The Crew 2 was a triathlon-style race, beginning as a street race in a car, then moving onto a speedboat on water and a stint in an airplane. This was an amazing way to show that each mode of in-game transportation is equally as important as another. Completing a triple race of this type unlocks the area the race is held in, and from there you’re allowed the chance to explore quite thoroughly. It’s this exploration that impressed me the most.

There are people out there that will be playing for the challenge intense racing brings. Racers will look to top the charts and try to prove themselves as the best and fastest in each category, lording it over their peers. That’s not me — I like racing games just fine, but I’m not competitive enough to find as much value in the effort. Exploring New York city and coming up with ridiculous daredevil stunts at my leisure, though? That’s definitely something I can see myself spending a lot of time with.

The coolest thing about the free-play mode is the ability to change your vehicle type whenever you want. Let me say that again: whenever you want… even if it’s not a good idea. I found it particularly amusing to swoop down over a busy road in my plane and turn into a boat a few meters off the ground. I would then slide through traffic laughing hysterically, switch to a car, make my way out of the chaos I had created and build enough speed to turn into a plane again, taking back to the skies.

Switching is so quick and easy I started finding stupid things to do to abuse the mechanic to see if it would work. I would circle over the city in my plane and find a bridge, turn into a car and build up as much speed as I could before launching myself of the bridge, hitting the water at full speed in my boat. Every time I did it I had to stop myself from making an Autobot transformation noise. Transformers wish they could be having this much fun.

There is more nontraditional fun to had outside of the free play mode though. For example I did a race in an incredibly fast boat on a map down south. The area looked like it would usually be home to gators and prop boats but the boat I was spending my time there in was ultra responsive and turned on a dime.

As impressed as I was with the vehicle I wanted to have some fun so I was doing as much of the race on land as I could. I was hitting the banks of the small islands littering the map with as much speed as I could muster, sliding over the grass. I cut through each island this way connecting the checkpoints of the race in straight lines and saving loads of time.

Next up was a rally track — where all of the craziness came together. The map was a pretty thick forest covered in hills and was flying around the track in what was basically a roll cage on some outrageous suspension. After seeing some wildlife through the trees I decided to take a trip off road and see how I managed the trees. Not well at first but I became a bit more confident after jumping over some rivers and launching myself of the crests of huge hills.

Just as I was coming to the end of the race I attempted one more big jump but smashed, full force into a tree at the peak of the hill. The tree connected with the bottom of my car and I did a full backflip, landed comfortable on the other side of the hill and began my descent to the finish line.

There is some serious racing to be had in The Crew 2, and all of it lets you build reputation and unlock more vehicles. If you’re less interesting in forging your story, there are still hours of things to keep you entertained. Might I suggest driving off a skyscraper and turning into a plane just before you hit the ground?

The Crew 2 heads to Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4 in early 2018.

Stevivor was flown to E3 2017 as a guest of Ubisoft to cover the entire event. This relationship does not prevent Stevivor from covering other publishers’ titles, nor does it impact the opinions of any other of our authors covering E3 2017.

About the author

Shane Wall

I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe. A game geek turned audio engineer/musician. Shane's life is a delicate balance of video games, music and science fiction.