It’s been a long wait for open world racer with the quality of the Forza Horizon series on PS4 and sadly, after playing the Crew 2, the wait continues. It’s not that it’s a bad game, it’s just not an amazing one.
The Crew 2 certainly packs in plenty of content that’s for sure, but with this comes annoying load times, missing features and map and menu system that is a chore to navigate.
It’s a shame because there is definitely a great racer under the annoyances and a pretty great looking one at that. There’s also plenty to do, with the game packing in so much content you’ll be kept busy for the rest of the year and beyond, especially if you decide to opt for the season pass.
Doing its best to recreate the U.S.A, you’ll play through a campaign mode using a mix of new vehicle types and racing disciplines. This means you’ll take to the road in your favourite sports cars, racing around the city streets, or if you like you can head off-road onto the dirt tracks using an off-road car or bike. If you prefer the water then you can take part in various events using powerboats and more. You can even take to the skies, taking part in various challenges which will see you perform tricks using your aircraft while trying to reach a target score.
The Crew 2 also offers a ‘Fast Fav’ system, allowing you to change between vehicles on the fly. This is a lot of fun as you speed around the open world, enabling you to discover all the hidden secrets which can gain you new parts for your vehicles. The ‘Fast Fav’ system is also made use of via special events which will have you switch between each vehicle as you race from start to finish. These special events are great, it’s just a shame there isn’t more of them.
All of the vehicles are fun to use and there are plenty of them. As with most racers of this type, as you win you’ll gain fans and earn cash. The more you earn, the more new vehicles you’ll be able to buy, while gaining fans will increase your popularity, which in turn will unlock new event types.
Any vehicles you do unlock can be viewed in your new home space. This offers a huge wide space where you can display and customise your vehicles. That’s right, using the in-built livery editor you can make your own, original designs with ease. You can even upload your designs for others to use, or if you’re not feeling artistic, download some for yourself using a little in-game currency.
When it comes to the handling of the vehicles I was very impressed. Whether it’s the cars, boats or aeroplanes, all are easy to pick up and within a few minutes, you’ll likely get the hang of each of them. I particularly enjoyed using the aircraft to perform tricks, while there was also something to be said about drifting around the city in a Ford Mustang. Whatever vehicle you choose or whatever event you take part in, there’s a lot of fun to be had here.
Sadly, there are some issues with the game. Load times seem overly long, while the map and menu system are quite confusing to use. The worst part though is the fact PvP lobbies are currently missing. The developer has promised they are coming, however, it does seem an odd omission, especially when co-op multiplayer and the ability to drive with friends is included.
One of my favourite features outside of the driving is the photo mode. I love being able to hide the UI and take photos of the many vehicles and varied environments, especially since The Crew 2 looks really fantastic in places, with the water especially standing out. All of the places you’d expect to see are there, such as Las Vegas, the Statue of Liberty and The Grand Canyon. If ever you wanted to tour America then it certainly seems to be well represented here.
The Crew 2 is a great game, of that there’s no doubt, however thanks to its lack of PVP, awkward menus and long load times, it can on occasion be a frustrating experience. Still, there are not many open world racers on PS4, so until there is a must-have, The Crew 2 will remain the best option out there.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*