The Crew 2’s Virtual Americana Leaves Us Bored On the 4th of July

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Open world racing games have a special kind of appeal. Not only will the dedicated car enthusiasts among us get satisfaction, but even complete novices can have some arcade-style fun as they step on the gas and explore the beautiful terrain. So the massive coast-to-coast roughly US-shaped landmass of The Crew 2 should be exceptionally exciting in the lead-up to Independence Day, right? Well, don’t light the fireworks just yet.

2014’s The Crew had some gargantuan ambitions, but the lackluster driving, technical hiccups, and problematic design lead to many shrugs from reviewers and players alike. It had incredible ideas, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

This time around, the dev team at Ivory Tower has done well to expand on the core concept with addition of boats and planes, but much of what plagued the original game has kept The Crew 2 from hitting the highest heights.

At our sister site IGN, reviewer Luke Reilly gave the game a Good score of 7/10. He gives high praise to the ability to quickly switch between air, ground, and water on the fly, but in the end, the game just doesn’t use the transition mechanic very often. And while the handling models are pretty decent, the inauthenticity of the major locations brings the whole game down.

The PS4 version of the game has the most reviews on Metacritic, and it is currently sitting at 69/100. That’s better than the 61/100 metascore that the original received, but it’s still in the “mixed to average” range.

Outlets like PlayStation Lifestyle and Digital Chumps scored the game particularly high based on the improvements made over the original, but others like Eurogamer and CGMagazine couldn’t get past the middling multiplayer and the subpar progression system.

The Digital Foundry has gone through and done the pixel counting to nail down the resolutions on the various consoles. While the Xbox One X is top dog with a native 3200×1800, the standard Xbox One is a mere 1600×900. The PS4 Pro hands in a respectable 2816×1584 while the vanilla PS4 dips a bit under 1080p with 1728×972.

Each console version features temporal anti-aliasing, adaptive V-sync, and a 30fps target, but the finished product ranges pretty wildly. The half-step consoles stick to the 30fps line fairly well, the stock PS4 has slightly more frame rate issues, and the base Xbox One regularly features torn frames. So not only does Microsoft’s cheaper console look blurrier than the rest, it runs worse as well.

The ability to drive from city to city is still neat, the primary locations are pretty, and the vegetation in between is lush. But taken as a whole, there are better ways to celebrate this week. We’d recommend that you try zooming around Colorado in Forza Horizon on the Xbox One’s back-compat mode, truck across the southwest in American Truck Simulator, or head back to the fictional Paradise City with Burnout Paradise Remaster.

[Image credit: Ubisoft]

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