|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Dev: Ivory Tower|
|Release: June 29, 2018|
|Players: 1-7 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Lyrics|
It’s almost as if The Crew 2 knows it’s bizarrely difficult, as the key point of multiplayer seems to be giving players human cudgels with which to beat the AI into submission. You do this by inviting people to your “crew,” of course, at which point you can drive around the open world together (the actual fun part) or tackle the various races cooperatively. Since only one of you needs to hit a race’s win condition, you have a much higher chance of not getting screwed over because you didn’t take a sharp turn perfectly or you clipped the edge of a tree and came to an immediate stop. I mean, the game even has a “get back on track command” to get you out of impossible situations. The whole racing element seems like a bunch of wounds, and then a bunch of bandages applied in order to facilitate the barely compatible genre mashup.
So you’re grinding up your car collection with endless loot box spawning, and you’ve coasted around the open world with your buddies. What next? Well, there’s not much really. Live event races seem to rotate in The Crew 2 through, to give players unique challenges, but it’s just more racing against the dreaded AI. What about random people? When you boot up The Crew 2, you go into a session with random players if you’re not playing with friends. You can invite the randoms to your crew or presumably get invited, but otherwise you may drive past one or two of them while you’re honking around or get in the mix on the leaderboards. There’s no option to say, just race people. There is no quick match option and no getting paired with random people automatically. You can’t even start a co-op activity and ask the game to set you up with people. It’s either have a crew or don’t, really.
I found myself struggling to “get” it, worried I was some degree of incompetent or something. But the more I thought about it, the more I feel like The Crew 2 doesn’t get itself, either. It wants so desperately to be an open world experience that can seamlessly become race-like events in a games as service-like multiplayer setting. But we just aren’t there yet, so the races exist in pocket universes where you and some friends can battle the computer or you can go it alone. Either way, you’re just grinding for the sake of it. Even the cool opening sequence, in which the world literally bends itself into a new state as you swap vehicles, doesn’t carry over to the game. You just press a button and morph to the other type, and perhaps fall with a big clunk from the air before driving off as if nothing happens. It’s like banging hot wheels together, if the rest of the cars in the box you aren’t playing with hate you. I was kinda hoping for a more mature Diddy Kong Racing with some more hardcore trappings. Instead, I got a headache from squinting ahead for turn arrows and playing with loot boxes.
Writing Team Lead