WELCOME TO MOTORNATION, A HUGE PLAYGROUND BUILT WITHIN AN ENTIRE OPEN WORLD AMERICA AND DESIGNED FOR ALL MOTORSPORTS AND FEATURING ALL KINDS OF CARS, BIKES, BOATS, AND PLANES.
The Crew 2 is big. Ludicrously big in fact. And there is a huge open world out there for you to explore, whether you are driving a car, a boat, or a plane the choice is your’s!
Seamlessly shifting between vehicles is a fantastic feeling that is unrivalled here, nothing else compares to the elation offered by this system.
The main problem though is that the deeper you get into the game, the more you realise that the majority of events so infrequently replicate that opening spectacle.
Instead, we’re continuously relying on a single vehicle and a single style of play to complete each task presented to us.
While it is unfair to expect a game to constantly be flying high, it would certainly be nice to see more moments like the opening salvo of land, to sea, to air.
Some of the events are all off-road; these include motocross races against other bikers through a combination of wildlands and the city streets, and time trial style events with you competing against another racer’s shadow with your only real direction being the checkpoints that you have to race through.
These are the most enjoyable of the events, the ones where you are given a goal, and the freedom to carve your own path out in order to meet it.
And of all the events available, the ones that offer the most freedom – naturally – are those in the plane, specifically the acrobatic events.
These tasks will have players attempting to achieve a high score by performing a string of different tricks mixed with sections of freestyle.
The controls here are incredibly easy to use and feel natural after such a short time with the game.
Not only that, but with the ability to shift into a high-performance mode at will you can quickly perform a sharp turn in order to pull out of a nose dive safely, or you can just up the speed at which you can do a barrel roll.
But whilst it’s the skies that offer you the most freedom, The Crew 2 looks best undeniably when it is wet, which is to say that the water looks fantastic, especially when you are slicing through it in a speedboat.
Even being at the back of the pack has the perk of letting you watch the trails left by the competition boats racing out in front.
But with the same appreciation, it’s a crying shame that these events are so horribly plagued by one of the game’s biggest issues, the rubber banding.
This is where the races go from being potentially entertaining to just feeling incredibly unfair.
You can pull ahead early in what should give you an incredible lead by finding the best lines to take and using your nitro whenever you can, but you will be caught up almost instantly by the AI drivers who can suddenly reappear just behind you as if they were driving an F1 car when you are stuck in a Vauxhall Nova.
Never does this infuriate most than during the time trial races, which highlight just how absurd this is.
While it should be simple enough to pull ahead in the races, instead you end up feeling cheated by the frequent occurrence of losing at the last bend because of a seemingly magical car that flies past you.
The main problem though, is that while there is a massive world in The Crew 2, outside of a handful of events, much of it feels rather heartless, a lot like a filler episode in a tv show.
What you end up with is a game that has a lot of content and ways to approach it, but also a lot of nothing, to actually fill it.
While singular events tend to be a lot of fun, and hopping between them is simple enough thanks to the map and fast travel that is present, you are rarely incentivised to explore the gigantic world that Ivory Tower has laid on for you.
Realistically, hopping onto the game, it’s so much easier and far more economical to fast travel between points. And with little reason to not use it, you’re into your next event much quicker.
Which almost begs the question, what’s the point of the giant world?
The Crew 2 is a good looking game, actually, a great looking game at times, with some genuinely enjoyable moments, but unfortunately, it’s also filled with far more barren filler areas than we’d care for.
Whilst the game might be enjoyable for a quick spin, we’re not sure how much mileage this huge open world has got in the long term.