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THE CREW 2 — PS4, Xbox One, PC

Cars, boats and planes — they're all ready to play in The Crew 2.

To say that The Crew 2 is a racing game is not entirely accurate. Since it involves more activities that just want you be the fastest or the first to cross the finish line, I think it's more accurate to call it a "motorsports game". But even with the variety of activities, the array of vehicles and pretty much the whole of the United States (albeit a scaled-down version) to explore, does The Crew 2 give gamers the adrenaline boost they crave and make us want to come back for more?

THE PLOT

The game doesn't really have a plot or a story. It follows an unnamed driver aka you as you try and make your way to the top and become the best motorsports driver. That means having to conquer all four "disciplines": Street Racing, Pro Racing, Off Road, and Freestyle. It's really up to you which discipline you tackle and complete first.

THE GAMEPLAY & GRAPHICS

The Crew 2 expands on its predecessor in a significant way by making a variety of vehicles available for the player. Despite the four disciplines sounding as if they're all about cars, there are also activities and races on different kinds of planes, boats and motorcycles. That means you're not just stuck having to do rounds and rounds of street races, pro races on a track, or drag and drift races. You can do motocross races, monster truck events, air freestyle and boat sprints. Sure, the variety of motorsports is fun, but I really enjoyed exploring the open world, which is vast even if it is a scaled-down version, and switching between land, sea and air vehicles.

If you've watched any of the gameplay for The Crew 2, you know it only takes a push of a button to be able to change vehicles, so it was pretty hilarious to fly through the skyscrapers of New York, switch to a boat and watch it free fall to the streets before switching to a car at the last minute. Another fun thing I did was drive cross-country from San Francisco to NY and with the game's beautiful graphics, it was a treat and almost felt like the real deal.

The Crew 2 incorporates some RPG elements in the way that your vehicles are upgraded. The upgrades to your vehicles, called "loot", have certain performance levels and like other RPG games, certain items are rarer than others. Loot can also be found all around the open world but you're mainly going to get them through winning activities. They're called "loot" and not "upgrades" for a specific and frustrating reason: the only way you get them is through winning activities and finding them in the world. There's no shop to buy loot. That means if your vehicle is no longer up to par for the next set of activities and even if you have a substantial amount of money but not enough to buy a new car, you're going to have to redo some of the races you've already won. This was something that really annoyed me.

The multiplayer aspect of the game was marketed and emphasised heavily prior its release, which kinda confused me. Of course, the usual multiplayer set-up comes to mind: race against your friends and then there's also the co-operative rally raid events, but that's pretty much it. There's nothing special about its multiplayer.

THE VERDICT

While The Crew 2 kept me entertained for a good few game sessions and I enjoyed the sprawling open world, I found myself slumped by the "loot system", if I can call it that. I also enjoyed the variety of motorsports for a while only to find myself losing interest because I felt it was becoming repetitive, surprisingly. I guess the bottom line is this: The Crew 2 will entertain you for a short time, but like any great pizza, no matter how great it tastes, it goes stale after a little while.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5


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