Following the product revealing conference at E3, Ubisoft has released the first look from its racing sequel The Crew 2 in the form of two videos. The original The Crew was released in 2014, with hopes that the game could spawn a racing franchise like Electronic Arts has had in the past with the Need for Speed franchise. It was a traditional open-world racing game, but with massive interconnecting single player and multiplayer elements. The game was an “always online” release, meaning you could not play the game it if you didn’t have online capability. In the tradition of all sequels, The Crew 2 seems to considerably up the ante, not only adding where and when racers are allowed to race, but what vehicles they are allowed to race in.
Ubisoft released a three-minute cinematic trailer for The Crew 2 showcasing the atmosphere and tone of the game, plus a nine-minute gameplay video showing those new elements in action. These videos premiered simultaneously at E3 and were designed for the E3 crowd.
The Crew 2’s big new hook is the sheer amount of things that the game allows you to race in, including (but not limited to) speedboats, race cars, and planes. The locations where racing occurs look diverse as well, as the trailer shows different races going on in New York, Mount Rushmore, and San Francisco.
The reaction to the original Crew was mixed, as the open-world design and game’s look was praised, but a lot of criticism was levied at the always online aspect of it. This issue was due primarily to a glitchy online server, where gamers had problems with a lot of lagging and crashing. The Crew has been labeled as an example of squandered potential among the gaming community, expectations that The Crew 2 hopes to rectify.
So far, things look promising. The Crew 2 seems to deliver on the same thrills that the first game brought gamers, and the developers and producers have had a lot of time to work out the bugs. Technology continually improving also helps the chances that the lagging and the crashes will be significantly reduced this time around. Some skepticism that the series will never be much more than a low-rate Need For Speed ripoff is somewhat warranted, but if this entry delivers, the series can branch out and make a name for itself.
The Crew 2 is slated for a March 2018 release.