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The Crew 2 is an uncanny mess and I’m enjoying it anyway

The Crew 2 is the video game equivalent of cross-eyed puppy waiting in a cardboard box marked “needs good home” abandoned on the side of the road. It’s a bit busted, a little sad and quite confused, and yet, every fiber of me wants to love it.

It’s a bold statement of intent from a newly formed studio composed of some of the industry’s most underappreciated talent; a spiritual successor to a cult classic; and an official sequel to a AAA project that aspired to accomplish too much with too little. It’s an open-world game that spans the United States — from the regal Pacific Northwest to the dank swamps of Florida — and allows you to pilot not just cars, but motorcycles, monster trucks, planes, boats, hovercraft and a variety of other vehicles. The pièce de résistance: You can transform between them in real time.

If you’ve ever wondered what a speedboat looks like falling from the clouds into Nebraska farmland, wonder no longer. Or perhaps you’ve fantasized about flying from Los Angeles to New York City, then skipping the traffic and dropping into Central Park in an indestructible Porsche. No problem: The Crew 2 will let you do that, too. Here is a video game desperate to please, one that would love to let you do anything practically anything you can imagine with any vehicle on the planet — assuming it isn’t vulgar!

You probably know where this is going: In pursuit of doing everything, The Crew 2 struggles to do anything particularly well.

The Crew 2 is a lovable, thirsty mess, and the sooner you accept it for what it is, the sooner you can appreciate all of the idiosyncrasies that make this racing game unique. The map’s scale is astonishing, and finally delivers on the promise made by its spiritual predecessor Driver: San Francisco: basically, “Google Maps, but a video game.” When you pause and hold the left trigger, the camera pulls away from your vehicle to a view of the city block, then the neighborhood, the city, the state and finally the entire United States. But this isn’t a static map. The world continues to move, the waves crashing against the beach, traffic moving through the intersections, people and animals leisurely passing by your parked vehicle. Yes, the original The Crew was similar, but the sprawl of the States is better appreciated when you have the option to see it by swamp boat, motorbike or farm plane — an option that game lacked.

From the map view, you can select another mission elsewhere on the map, and almost seamlessly (on PC), you’re there. It’s an impressive technical feat. But like a good magic trick, it doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.

The Crew 2 spans the entire United States, yes, but it’s a condensed version of the country that curiously prioritizes Miami, Las Vegas and St. Louis above, say, places I’d actually like to visit. (I kid! I love fried ravioli!) Even favorite locales lack internal logic. It is tough to understand why, for example, New Braunfels appears in Texas instead of San Antonio, and why this version of New Braunfels doesn’t feature its iconic water park and lazy rivers filled with drunk 20-somethings in inner tubes.

Ubisoft has pitched The Crew 2 as a tour of the U.S., but this virtual country is more Lynchian facsimile, an uncanny contortion of Americana. When flying high above the map, the natural landmarks are muddy and lack detail, like when your friend Instagrams a blurry photo taken through a dirty airplane window. Up close, the world is unnatural. Drive through a cornfield and the corn bends, then slowly returns to an upright position, like a relentless cowlick. French restaurants advertise Italian dishes. Coffee shops sell pizza. Snow sticks to the rear of vehicles in the same way as mud. Or as PC Gamer’s Andy Kelly so aptly put it: “Looks like a giant baby’s been sick on my Ferrari.”

Kelly also notes that when it snows in The Crew 2, white sludge covers the entire continental U.S. — including Los Angeles and the deserts of the Southwest. I saw this in the beta and assumed it would be changed for launch. I assumed too much! I honestly can’t tell if this is a technical limitation of the game world (perhaps a seamless, perpetual moving map doesn’t allow for transitions?) or a bizarre choice. It’s unclear whether the game wants to be a simulation (loot in the form of vehicle parts tie into a surprisingly deep set of tinkering options), an arcade racer (vehicles bounce like they’re in a cartoony kart racing game from the N64 era) or an extreme sports festival set inside a sci-fi film.

The Crew 2’s intro sequence suggests a campaign full of reality-bending thrill-seeking. A car zips through New York City, then the entire world rolls into itself, Inception-style, as the race transitions to a boat, then to a plane and lastly back to a car that leaps across Manhattan rooftops. But after spending a couple of days with The Crew 2, I haven’t seen anything that fantastical. At its most spectacular, you jump off the Hoover Dam, only to land with a dull thwap on the water below. At its most mundane, you race on a largely flat and straight road in honor of the truly flavorless Papa John’s Pizza.

A Papa John’s partnership is fitting in that like cheap pizza, The Crew 2 wants to appeal to everybody, to let everybody pick their proverbial toppings. And like cheap pizza, it offers fun, empty calories. But the longer you consider it, the more you might think to yourself: “There has to be something better than this.”

And there is. The Crew 2 is bested by the Forza Horizon series. Horizon doesn’t span the entire U.S., and it’s limited to cars and trucks, but limitations can breed creativity and expertise. Forza Horizon 3, the most recent entry in the series, doesn’t allow racers to morph into a crop duster or a speedboat, but its races are more memorable, more thrilling, more authored.

And yet! The side of the road. The cardboard box marked “needs good home.” The cross-eyed puppy. The Crew 2’s weird freedom does make for an expressive play space. As a racer, its leaden physics and funky track design can be frustrating when they’re not downright maddening. But if you think of its vehicles like Hot Wheels toys and its map like the corner of your childhood living room that once hosted imaginary action sequences, The Crew 2 becomes a genuinely compelling and experimental plaything. Bouncing off buildings at high speeds becomes a forgiving advantage. You clip through stacks of rubber tires on the road because hitting them would slow the action. The weird signage and mutated American countryside sort of make sense if you pretend this is the world a child — making an action movie with their toys — might imagine awaits them outside the confines of their suburban neighborhood.

I recognize that probably sounds patronizing or dismissive, but believe me when I say, sincerely, that The Crew 2’s messiness is its charm. This world isn’t meticulously recreated in the style of Grand Theft Auto or even Assassin’s Creed; it’s the United States reproduced with whatever resources Ivory Tower could muster. I know, intellectually, that this game cost millions of dollars and required hundreds of people to produce. But because the goal is so high, it has the joyful, scrappy, devil-may-care energy of fan reactions to famous films shot on a camcorder with friends in lead roles and whatever junk is in the garage as props and sets.

The Crew 2 is also generous in a way few other AAA games even attempt to be. I don’t mean that it fills the map in busy work side quests (though it has some of that too). Rather, that there are so many vehicles, so many ways to zip through this bizarro USA, that there’s an argument to be made that you should ignore the game’s racing altogether and simply explore.

I haven’t played something so fundamentally messy and so unpredictably lovable since Ubisoft’s Steep, a game with a similar conceit: The player can ski, snowboard, wingsuit, sled and jetpack across a collection of humongous mountains. Its races ranged from middling to bad and the controls felt off, but neither stopped me from playing that game more than nearly everything else in 2017. For the most part, Steep didn’t force its players to play the core game to enjoy its world.

Right now, that’s not quite an option in The Crew 2; unlocking vehicles requires committing a good deal of time to completing obligatory races. However, Ubisoft has shown post-launch commitment to both its hits and its oddball longshots, sometimes turning the latter into the former months or even years after launch. There’s a lot of fun to be had in The Crew 2, and even more so than with Steep, I think that Ubisoft, in collaboration with whatever player base gels around this game, could find a way to elevate what works above everything that doesn’t.

In 2018, The Crew 2 is a mess, but it’s easy to imagine the same game, in 2019 or 2020, being a must-play. There’s a part of me that looks forward to that version of the game. But I’d be lying if I said I wanted all of its embarassing blemishes to be concealed, repaired and removed. There’s plenty to love about this cross-eyed puppy.

Sours: https://www.polygon.com/2018/6/28/17514160/the-crew-2-review-ps4-xbox-one-pc

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Sours: https://discussions.ubisoft.com/topic/99487/the-crew-reddit
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The Crew "Project Orlando" Screenshots Leak, Reportedly a New Game

The Crew buckles up for a new open-world adventure set in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, according to leaked screenshots and information from Reddit. The Crew's sequel The Crew 2 released in 2018 to mixed reception from racing gamers, who critique the game's lacking graphics and story while approving of its variety of racing modes.

Initial footage of the sequel released back in 2017 as part of a three-minute E3 trailer. Ubisoft and Ivory Tower marketed The Crew 2 as an open-world racer allowing players to do pretty much anything, built around the appeal of racing all sorts of vehicles in locations like New York, San Fransisco and even Mount Rushmore. Upon release, The Crew 2 was reviewed decently well by some publications, but was generally considered underwhelming, with complaints stemming from a lack of depth and replayability. The Crew 2 has mostly failed to rectify these shortcomings following its release, as the DLC season passes only included new vehicles for players to drive.

Related: Forza Horizon 5 Preview: Experience The Splendor of Mexico

If the leak detailed by VGC is true, Ubisoft and Ivory Tower look to change their luck with the future of the franchise. Rather than unrealistic recreations of Miami, St. Louis and other famous cities, data-mined screenshots from The Crew 2 suggest that the The Crew: Orlando will take place in Hawaii, despite the nickname. Tom Henderson on Twitter gives his take on the leak, linking to the original source on Reddit. Henderson describes The Crew: Orlando as "a completely new game with a new driving engine," currently in pre-Alpha without a planned release date. He hesitates to call the rumored game a reboot, as he specifies in a reply to his first Tweet. But he reports that a complete "overhaul" of The Crew 2 has ensued.

The Crew series has yet to reach the name recognition of competing open-world racers like Gran Turismo and Forza. Given how the upcoming Gran Turismo 7's online requirement requirement for single-player has alienated fans of that series, Project Orlando may have a chance to surpass its competition with the right execution. The detailed graphics and in-depth physics of Gran Turismo 7 have come underscored by frustration at the decision to keep the single-player campaign restricted to online, meant to prevent players from hacking save files. A complete overhaul of The Crew 2 would likely mean learning from the more blatant missteps of its competition. Project Orlando will at least have an opportunity to bring new modes of racing to the table. Per VGC, one of these new modes will include “a breathless crew vs crew race" where as many as 100 players can compete against each other.

Leaks like these often fuel speculation among gamers for months to come, and the screenshots for this new addition to The Crewfranchise will likely be scrutinized for some time. Gamers will have to wait for official word from Ivory Tower to find out for certain if this tropical open-world racer marks the newest entry in the series, and the newest racing game to throw its hat in the ring alongside the PS5 headliner Gran Turismo 7.

Next: Forza Horizon 5 Releases Initial List of Cars

Source: VGC, Tom Henderson/Twitter

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Sours: https://screenrant.com/crew-project-orlando-screenshots-leak-reportedly-new-game/

The Crew: Orlando leaks but it's not actually set in Orlando

The next entry in The Crew franchise may have leaked, and it looks like Ubisoft's open-world racing series is expanding its focus beyond the contiguous United States.

Reddit user RacingGameGuru0300 posted a set of images which they claim to have datamined from The Crew 2 updates, saying the pictures had been lurking in the game's files for a while. The images bear the title "The Crew 2: Orlando," but the work-in-progress assets point toward the island of Hawai'i rather than the Floridian city of Orlando.

The Reddit posts indicates the project started out as planned DLC for The Crew 2, hence its name, but has since evolved into a standalone project. According to Battlefield 2042 leaker Tom Henderson, the project is internally referred to as "The Crew: Orlando" and is a "completely new game with a new driving engine" with no currently planned release date.

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The Crew 2 came out back in 2018, so it isn't hard to believe that Ubisoft is already busily at work on some kind of followup (particularly one targeting new-gen consoles).

One last detail from the datamine is the existence of an "All Star" mode which would set 100 players against each other in a "breathless crew vs. crew race," switching vehicle types as they go. It sounds a bit like a battle royale-inspired experience, but there's no telling if All Star itself would have made the leap from the planned DLC to standalone game.

Find more open roads to make your own with our guide to the best racing games.

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.

Sours: https://www.gamesradar.com/the-crew-orlando-leaks-but-its-not-actually-set-in-orlando/

2 crew reddit the

This game has received a lot of hate. Personally, I believe a lot of the hate it undeserved, but they can make some good points.

Starting with the pros:
– Vehicle variety and detail. This game has over 300 different vehicles, and personally I believe the detail on the vehicles is out standing, even things as small as bolts for some extended fenders: 10/10

– Vehicle Customisation. Almost all of the vehicles have a wide range of changeable parts. There are many options to choose from in an easy to navigate menu, as well as bonus items that can be rewarded from playing the game by doing daily missions giving you a currency to buy special items such as under glow, custom wheels, tire smoke and more. 9/10

– The Map Size. The map size is where this game stands out above all. In a fast car (280Mph top speed+) with good driving it took me over an hour to travel from the southeast tip to the north west tip. In this map you will find several cities and other land marks along the way, also encountering the occasional player along your journey. The details in the cities are spectacular and the amount of places to go are countless. 10/10

– Multiplayer. The game puts you into a public lobby filled with usually around 3 to 8 other players, communicating with a custom chat menu which prevents and toxicity or bullying. When you want to play alone you can but on the other hand if you are looking to go on a road trip with a friend or do some races with a pal this game has made an easy system for you to do so. 8/10

– Race Variety. Currently in the game there and 16 different Motorsports events to choose from:
-Street Race, Drift, Drag race, Hyper car
-Motor cross, Hovercraft, Rally cross ( off-road ), Rally raid
-Freestyle ( Stunt planes), jet sprint ( Small boat racing ), demo derby, Monster truck
-Touring car, F1, Boat racing, Air race
Along with these you get different skill based activities like Speed-traps and escapes ( furthest distance in a period of time ) as well as Photo ops of landmarks or player scenarios. 10/10

– The Summit. Every week, there is a series of events that you can do competing against other players in order to win prices such as followers, parts or occasionally, cars. This feature gives a deep purpose to this game, and for me a feeling like i need and want to come back to do those races and get those prizes. 10/10

Smaller mentions:
-Unlimited garage space
-Customisable car settings and parts
-As you level up, you will receive rewards at certain milestones ( Cars planes boats etc )

And now the Cons:

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-Graphics. This game can look beautiful, however a lot of the places feel empty or dull, like they need something extra. Also, the shading was poorly made, with a lot of colours looking flat. Like I said, certain places look fantastic and are very photogenic, however the textures aren't HD and could have more colour. With a simple graphics remake this game could easily be level with GTA V or FH4. 3.5/10

-Sound. Some of the car sounds are well executed, but for the most part they seem dull and like they could be more intense. The vehicles that do sound good are incredible, however a lot of cars that seem powerful get underwhelmed by the sounds coming from the engine. 4/10

-Weather. Now when i say weather I need to make it VERY clear i mean the weather changing, not the visuals. In my opinion, the rain in this game falls just short of GTA V rain puddles in the city at night, but with this game you can be in sunny weather, you go into settings to maybe turn your sound down a little and when you are out of the menu, boom: Thick snow. Even when it changes visibly to the player, it is too fast and too frequent. 5/10

-The Voices. Oh my lord turn off voices and turn on subtitles because the majority of the voices in this game are infuriating and get super annoying super quick. 1.5/10

-The prices. The vehicle prices can be realistic and occasionally generous, with a Buggati Chiron costing 2.4 million, but then when you venture over to the low end of the spectrum like bikes, you start to see prices like 500 grand for a sports bike. It isn't accurate. Another thing to mention is the grind for money. The money received after a race needs to increase, as grinding mindlessly for 3 hours in order to save up 2.4 million like I have done gets quite frustrating, and whilst it normally pays off, the pain you feel inside when you know the only way to get yourself that money you need for your next car is going to take 100 races of the same race is discomforting and off-putting.

Important note: i see a lot of people talking about rubber banding and i need to say i have never experienced this. I often finish races 10-30 seconds ahead when i use my super fast vehicles, and on other races like the 40 minute race it is often minutes ahead. If there was rubber banding, how could the times they are behind me be so large?

To summarise, I am saying this game is worth it, but keep it in your wishlist until it is on a sale to make up for the cons you may experience in this game.

Looking for games to play on PC? Here are all of the new PC games to pay attention to throughout 2021.

PlayStation 4 game releases aren't slowing down in 2021. Here's everything worth looking forward to.

Sours: https://gamestoday.info/ps4/the-crew-2/my-steam-review-on-reddit/
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