Back in 2014, Ubisoft released a massive open-world racer known as The Crew. It showcased the United States of America as a setting and delivered hours and hours of gameplay. While it didn’t turn out to be as great as Ubisoft hoped, it still grew a loyal following. The series’ growth is evident as Ubisoft will release the second installment of The Crew.

The Crew 2 is heading back to the United States, but this time it’s bringing gorgeous visuals, a reimagined open-world and an unbelievable amount of gameplay possibilities. What is immediately most striking about The Crew 2 is how players can seamlessly transfer from driving to boating to flying. Now matter how you play, The Crew 2 is giving you the freedom for fun.

In the time I had with The Crew 2, I had the chance to experience all three modes of play. For the driving aspect of the game, options include rally racing, dirt biking, racing, drifting and more. Each provides a different take on driving, which is essential. Drifting is the new experience Ubisoft showed off and man is it tough to master.

Drifting to me is one of the more difficult activities for any player to nail down. Ubisoft is making this all the more true with how they structured it. The longer the drift, the higher score you’ll get thanks to a nifty multiplier. If you hit an obstacle like a light pole or bench though, the multiplier goes back to 1x.

Boating is one of the three ways you can traverse in The Crew 2 (Courtesy of Ubisoft).

I am surprised at how challenging the task was at first, and believe it will provide some great legs to gameplay as folks experience it in difficult locations around the world. Of course, The Crew 2 is about playing with friends, and my buddy and I went after the drifting event several times.

In the demo, it was easy to link up with my friend. I didn’t even have to fire over an invitation, as that was automatically done for me. If this is how the feature ends up in the final version, it’ll be a nice luxury to not have to plow through a bunch of menus just to join up with a buddy. The current setup will keeps things fluid and not break the immersion.

Hitting the water after driving is a blast, as the gameplay feels lively and real. Ubisoft is providing a great base for how water gameplay will flow. I didn’t have a chance to partake in any water activities, but boating certainly makes for a very fun time, that much is clear. Again, the transition from driving to boating is stellar.

From the water to the air, I had a great chance to experience flying in The Crew 2. First, those who want to traverse instead of fast travel from place to place, flying is great. It provides exceptional perspective of the world around you. Ubisoft did a fine job of crafting the mechanics and gameplay of flying.

I did have a chance to complete a flying activity. This is a task where you have to fly through checkpoints in the air, and how accurately you fly through them will equal the score you get. If you don’t reach the score you want, it is easy to restart a challenge. I find flying to be very satisfying and believe Ubisoft is on the right track with how it plays.

Take to the skies for some death-defying action (Courtesy of Ubisoft).

Lastly, let’s talk about the visuals of The Crew 2. This is a feature that was heavily scrutinized by the press when the first game debuted, and with reason. I’m happy to say that beauty is the last thing gamers have to worry about when it comes to The Crew 2. This game is absolutely stunning from the skies to the streets.

Cars possess marvelous detail and textures are exquisitely created. The shine of wet pavement and precision of nearby rivers are all gorgeous to see. If this is an indication of how the final product will look, gamers do not have to worry about The Crew 2‘s visuals being anything like the first game’s. Its looks resemble a Forza Horizon game more than anything else.

Since The Crew 2 is still set in the same location as the first game, I am looking forward to seeing how Ubisoft differentiates this setting with the first game’s. On paper, there is nothing new about the open-world. However, the U.S. sounds like it is being rebuilt for this next game. Ubisoft will need to show just how this world differs from the first game’s.

Overall, the direction Ubisoft is heading in is an exciting one. The blend of all three different types of gameplay will surely make for strong gameplay diversity. It’ll be interesting to see how any narrative fits into the world. I also want to find out how all of these activities will fit within the context of progression.

The Crew 2 looks magnificent and it’ll be great to see how it plays at launch on March 16, 2018. The game will be available for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on The Crew 2.

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