Since playing The Crew 2 for the first time during its debut at E3 earlier this year, we’ve been eager to get back behind the the various wheels, sticks, and other control mechanisms of The Crew 2’s diverse array of vehicles. We recently got just such a chance, and though the demo covered a lot of ground (and air, and water), we each came away telling each other stories about what we got up to during our time in Motornation. These are those stories.
How did I take advantage of the new Fast Fav feature in The Crew 2 demo? I set myself a challenge: drive off a riverside ramp and switch to my motorboat before my motorcycle plunges into the watery depths. The first four times, I went straight into the drink, but the fifth time… the fifth time, I nailed it. I hit the water with a splash and sped away, leaving a sizable wake and feeling suitably proud. You see, the Fast Fav is a quick-access menu that lets you switch to the ground, air, or water vehicle of your choice in a matter of seconds. You set it up by selecting your current favorite from each mode of transportation inside your own personal collection. When you get back to cruising Motornation, those favs will be right at your fingertips.
Using the Fast Fav feature is a fantastic way to take advantage of the many events and opportunities that pop up. After spending some mischievous moments muddin’ up the grass in Central Park in my truck, I spotted a challenge marker floating high overhead. Even when you’re not challenging yourself to swap vehicles before calamity strikes (as in my motorcycle-in-the-river situation), it’s still really fun to swap so effortlessly—to be driving over hills one moment and flying high above them the next.
After I took flight and started the event, I found myself flying through the skyscrapers of New York City, passing through rings while trying to line up my plane with each prompt. This made for some twisty flying and turbulent, ummm, landings, but in the end I tallied my score and noticed there was still something waiting in the sky for me. It was a prize for completing the event, something to help me put a personal touch on my favorite rides. Rewarded and ready for the next challenge, I noticed a marker down on the river surface. “Boat mode, activate!” (Shouting catchphrases while using the Fast Fav feature isn’t required, but I’ll have you know it is gosh darn delightful.)
Switching between vehicles really is as fun to play around with as Chris says, even without the catchphrases. I spent a good chunk of time flying around New York City, looking for spots where I could safely transform into a car or boat and effortlessly keep speeding on my way towards events and challenges to participate in. In fact, that’s probably my favorite aspect of The Crew 2, so far. It never felt like I had too much downtime between challenges, and in the early moments of the Gamescom demo, I was completely obsessed with perfecting my flight skills in an aerial challenge before trying my hand at some competitive multiplayer events.
One of these events was a personal favorite, motocross, and all we had to do was send out invites to our group, have them accept, and then meet up at the starting line. After a few seconds, we were all off to the races and I absolutely loved how different it felt from the traditional racing that I was doing a few minutes before. It was a thrill to maneuver over every small bump or jockey for position before making a jump off one of the many hills in the course. After a little while, I managed to make my way into first place where I felt like I had built up enough distance to attempt a flip. Let’s just say I should’ve taken some more time to familiarize myself with the timing. My brief jaunt in 1st place vanished as quickly as it appeared and I ended up in 3rd place when all was said and done.
With my adrenaline pumping, I decided to take things a bit slower, so I decided to go for a slow drive in the park – that is until I saw a drifting challenge… I couldn’t help myself.
I loved transforming from a car to a plane while speeding under low bridges, but my favorite way to use Fast Fav is to fly as high as possible and then transform for a long plunge. This worked great when dropping boats into water; fragile cars onto hard asphalt, not so much.
One of the things that originally impressed me about The Crew was its ability to not only carve interesting racetracks out of its open world, but to use its world’s openness to fill said tracks with possibilities for shortcuts and deviations. That carries over to the sequel; in a Financial District street race through Lower Manhattan, I noticed a few ramps that seemed to clash with the corner of the neighborhood. The first (and smallest) seemed to just be there to look cool, but seconds later I roared past a much larger ramp that I realized, too late, could have catapulted me up into a parking garage’s upper floors and let me blaze through to the other side unobstructed. I’m also terrible at taking corners at high speeds, so when I missed a turn and instead slammed into a ramp at 250 kph, I was thrilled to find out that it actually put me ahead of the other racers, who’d committed to following a big curve around my straight line.
One of the coolest things about The Crew 2, though, is the sheer range of possibilities that a game this big can offer. The tracks are as diverse as the US itself – in the space of 15 minutes, I raced a speedboat through a jet sprint in a Maine swamp, blasted through a pristine Jersey City racetrack in an alpha grad prix car, and tore up a muddy motocross track in the mountains. And if I weren’t being directed from event to event, I could have driven around freely and discovered each of these organically. There’s a huge sense of freedom in The Crew 2, and it’s only going to feel freer now that you can transform into a plane and explore from the air.
The Crew 2 is scheduled to launch on March 16, 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Check out our previous coverage for more on The Crew 2, and visit the official website for a chance to play the game ahead of launch through the beta access program.