I have a funny relationship with racing games. I’m not really a fan of standard track racing games. They feel so limiting. Sure, their driving mechanics are amazing and they have an unmatched sense of realism and the thrill of always gunning for first place can get addicting. However, I can’t help but feel like a caged animal when I play those racing sims.
I often get bored easily with those games. Instead, I prefer openness in games and having the option to go off of the beaten track and exploring. That caged animal in me wants that open road, the horizon that inches ever so closer with each kilometre/mile driven.
I like racing games where I can run free like a wild horse amongst the open fields, except this wild horse’s frame is made of steel, fueled by petrol and roaring like some fiery demon unleashed from the gates of hell. Or, at least, that’s what I felt like while playing The Crew way back when.
But The Crew 2 offers a buffet for the unleashed beast to consume that its predecessor and rivals (Forza Horizon and Need For Speed) don’t have.
Explore By Road, Air And Water
Variety is the name of the game in The Crew 2. As far as I’m concerned, this feature alone makes it one of the best racing games. There are various disciplines that players can master and each discipline has different subgroups ranging from Stunt Planes, Street Racing, Circuit Racing (including Grand Prix), Drag Racing, Overlanding, Motocross, Motor Rally, Derby and Speedboat to name a few.
This game has a lot going for it and that is just on the surface. Under the hood, there is an RPG system with looted parts for the vehicles that come in different rarities and provide varying buffs. There is also the option of ‘Pro Settings’ but one needs to know what they are doing here or else they will mess up their car (not that I’m talking from experience.) Luckily, it is easy to set things back to how they were.
Also, did I mention that the map is huge? The United States of America returns and is a beautiful map with lots of photo opportunities. I’ve been making use of the photo mode quite frequently and I’ve gotten some really nice snaps.
Hey, Let’s Hang Out!
Other than the obscene amount of activities to do in this game (I haven’t even tried all of them due to grinding to for cash to buy vehicles), The Crew 2 shines in its social interactions.
This map is huge and I’ve found coming across players quite rare while I’ve been playing on Steam. But when I do encounter other players we tend to hangout, interacting with each other using the quick emoji and contextual chat system and having fun.
I saw another player flying above Miami, so using the quick change option, I swapped from my boat to my plane and joined him in the skies. We then flew around the city doing stunts and flying low. Another time in Death Valley, I was testing out my new drag racing car and I saw another player join me.
We eventually ended up having races up and down the salt flats between his car and my plane. At one point, I was flying upside down and right above him that the tip of his car knocked my plane. We then partook in some monster trucking before I beckoned him to follow me as we had a grand ol’ time flying in the valley to the north.
We departed at the Golden Gate Bridge, bidding our farewells using the quick chat. That moment and many—like it— cemented The Crew 2 as one of my favourite racing games.
So that is my story, that is why I can’t put The Crew 2 down.