The Crew 2's Best Feature Lets You Transform Your Car Into A Boat Or Plane

I'm shocked Ubisoft didn't make a bigger deal about this.

Analysis by Mike Williams, .

I'm sitting down to play The Crew 2, which hit with a solid reveal at Ubisoft's E3 2017 press conference. The first game had a decent idea - race cars across a modified version of the United States - but the execution left a bit to be desired. The sequel keeps the same premise but expands to multiple motorsports, with players racing cars, motorbikes, boats, and even planes.

Shifting mechanic at 6:53 in the above video.

The opening of The Crew is a mind-bender, with a start on the streets of New York, drifting around corners. As I reached the end of the course on a long bridge, the world goes into Inception mode, with the road ahead twisting into the sky. When it rights itself again, I was powering across the waves in a huge motorboat. Ramps give you chances to leap out of the water and use shortcuts. The world shifts again and I'm in a plane, flying between the skyscapers of New York.

This mission is meant to give you a general feel of what The Crew 2 is. If it has a motor, you'll be using it get around a redone version of the original's United States. You'll race down city streets in drift cars, skip near beaches in powerboats, run in smaller boats in swamps, off-road in forests with rally cars, and more. There's more variety in the Crew 2, something the original game lacked. The new environments also look amazing; not to Forza Motorsport 7 level, but damned good for everything you can do in The Crew 2. These are places you want to ride and race around in.

After that mission, I'm thrown in The Crew 2's open-world for a bit, where I find the best feature in the sequel. At anytime, you can shift between ground, water, and air transportation. You'll slot in favorite vehicles into each category and by hitting a button and picking a direction on the analog stick, one vehicle will fade out and be replaced with another. It's a damned cool addition that I'm surprised Ubisoft didn't play up more at the conference.

You can be tearing towards a river in your car, catch air and shift into your boat. You can hop a ramp in a powerboat and change into a plane in mid-air. The trick is the new vehicle is left in the spot where the last one was. If you're flying high through the air, changing to a car will have your sportscar plummeting from the sky. If you end up a bad spot, say with a car in the ocean, the game will move you to the nearest appropriate territory in a few seconds. There's some interesting places you can get to and things you can do with the shift mechanic. It was one of my favorite new features in The Crew 2 and a great differentitator in comparision to other racing games.

There are still missions scattered around the digital United States, meaning you can free ride or have a more focused experience. There are four different "families" focused on various types of racing: street racers, pro racers, off-roaders, and freestyle racers. By working within those specific families, you'll unlock new vehicles related to what they do. Ultimately though, the idea is to let the player enjoy what they like doing in The Crew 2. It's about the joy of racing, not being trapped within a limited track.

The Crew 2 will be launching on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in early 2018. I'm looking forward to seeing how far Ubisoft Ivory Tower will take the game.

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Comments 5

  • Avatar for VotesForCows #1 VotesForCows 10 months ago
    This sounds brilliant - and the addition of motorbikes is always welcome! What's the handling model like for the cars - arcadey?

    And where's Jaz these days, driving is normally his type of thing :)
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  • Avatar for metalangel #2 metalangel 10 months ago
    Finally an actual successor for Test Drive Unlimited, in ways neither the original Crew nor Forza Horizon were?
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  • Avatar for airbagfin51 #3 airbagfin51 10 months ago
    What is scope of traversal with the water and air vehicles? If you wanted to, can you ride your boat across/around the US in one journey, through rivers, and such? Can I fly across the entire country in a plane?

    Or is traversal with these vehicles limited to isolated spaces at a time?
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #4 MHWilliams 10 months ago
    @airbagfin51 If I had to guess, I'd say air traversal is likely seamless, while boat requires there to be an actual body of water of water around. Don't have any visibility on this yet, but if it's like The Crew, they're not adding new bodies of water to the US.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #5 Ralek 10 months ago
    The speed boats made we want another Wave Race, Beyond Good and Evil 2 made me believe it was possible ... Metroid Prime 4 then made me sad and happy at the same time :-)

    I never bothered with The Crew, but I might have to keep an eye on this sequel.
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