The Crew 2

Despite the flashy boats and planes, this sequel to the ambitious open-world racing game is underdeveloped where it counts.

Key events

The Crew 2 is free to play this weekend on PC

With discounts on PC and PS4.

Ubisoft's first free update for The Crew 2, known as Gator Rush, is now live on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. And to celebrate, the open-world multi-vehicle racing game is free to play on PC for the duration of this weekend.

The Crew 2's free hovercraft-themed Gator Rush update gets a September release date

Ubisoft has shared a new gameplay trailer showcasing The Crew 2's forthcoming Gator Rush mode, which is now confirmed to arrive on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in a free update on September 26th.

The vast majority of Gator Rush's additions are themed around the hovercraft, a brand-new racing discipline for The Crew 2. According to Ubisoft's announcement blog, hovercrafting "has taken over the entire US, transforming some of the most iconic places into dedicated competition spots, from the lush and muggy Bayous to the crystal-clear waters of the Western lakes". You can see some of the new hovercraft action in the trailer below.

Gator Rush also introduces a total of five new vehicles to The Crew 2. Three hovercraft - the Bumblebeex, Double L-EEX, and Speedster - will be available to purchase using in-game credits on launch day. An additional hovercraft, the XK Armored, and the new Ariel Nomad Rally Raid off-road car also arrive on September 26th, but will initially only be available to season pass holders. That exclusivity only lasts seven days, however, and all players can access both vehicles from October 3rd.

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The Crew 2 review - sprawling racer wastes its potential

It's launch morning for The Crew 2, and I've logged in to do a final network test. The always-online racing game's predecessor had serious network issues on release, so I want to see if the new game is holding up. It's been stable playing with early access players this week, but would the influx of new people cause problems? So far, all is well (unless you're on Steam.) Players are popping up nearby, rather than halfway across the map as they have done during the sparsely populated early access period. They crawl their Lamborghinis up to my stationary 1993 Porsche and rev in wordless invitation to a drag race. They don't need to ask twice and we roar off up the Pacific coast road out of Malibu.

It's a fun moment, but then we just peel off and go our separate ways, because there is hardly anything for us to do together in this game.

The Crew 2 review

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The Crew 2's launch on PC is a bit of a mess

The Crew 2's launch on PC is a bit of a mess

UPDATE: And it's back up and running.

UPDATE: And it's fixed - Ubisoft has worked with Valve to get The Crew 2 back up and running on PC, and supplied us with the following statement: “The Steam key activation issue should now be resolved, and affected players should be able to launch the game. A Steam restart might be necessary. Thank you for your patience.”

ORIGINAL STORY: The Crew 2, Ubisoft's massively ambitious and absolutely massive open world racing game, has just launched today - although players who've bought the game on Steam are currently locked out.

RPS spotted the issue earlier, with the slightly cumbersome pairing of Steam and Ubisoft's own uPlay store seemingly the source of the problems as players are told they need an activation key that hasn't been released just yet - and it seems like the issue won't be addressed until Valve itself gets to it, with a member of the Ubisoft team taking to Reddit with a brief update. We've contacted Ubisoft to see if there's a timeline on when the issue will be resolved, and they provided us with the following statement: “We're aware of an issue where some players are not able to access their Steam preorder of The Crew 2. We are working together with Steam to resolve this issue as soon as possible and we'll continue to keep you updated here regarding the fix.”

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The Crew 2 takes Forza Horizon's concept and ramps up the scale

Digital FoundryThe Crew 2 takes Forza Horizon's concept and ramps up the scale

And Xbox One X provides the best console experience.

Given absolute freedom to race anywhere you choose, The Crew 2 is one of the most exciting racing concepts on PS4 and Xbox One consoles. For those who missed the original, it hands you a miniaturised version of the USA, from New York to San Francisco, remixed and remodeled for you to freely explore. Four years on, the canvas is now even bigger for this sequel - and to help with that heightened scale, developer Ivory Tower adds boats and planes to an existing warehouse of supercars, giving you more ways to get from state to state. The sense of scale is often staggering - a supersized version of Forza Horizon, if you will - and the idea is realised surprisingly well on all consoles.

Of course, you can bypass all of the game's open-world roaming, and just jump straight to set racing events on a 2D map. It's far more practical, but ultimately it's hard not to experiment with The Crew 2's engine in a more free-form manner, just to see how far it goes. Certainly in my experience escalates to a point I didn't expect going in.

First, there's the breadth of the terrain. Taken at a macro level, the breadth of landmass is a marvel - it's just as much experimenting with this side of the game as the actual racing. The engine gives you all the tools you need to migrate quickly: take a vehicle anywhere in the world, freeze the action, and then zoom out and out until you see a full top-down view. It's like an in-game Google Earth - even letting you walk around to admire your collection of boats, planes and cars. The orbital camera mechanic has similarities to Driver San Francisco - itself an unusual last-gen racer, which let you detach from your vehicle. It's curious to note this was developed by Ubisoft Reflections, who also had a hand on the original The Crew, and you have to wonder if some ideas were carried over between the two projects.

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The Crew 2 gets an open beta next week

The Crew 2 gets an open beta next week

All formats, preload now.

The Crew 2, Ubisoft's open-world multi-vehicle racing game, will have an open beta next week, just ahead of its 29th June launch.

The beta goes live on 21st June, on PS4, Xbox One and PC - and you can preload it now.

The Crew 2 has a motorsports theme and introduces powerboats and stunt planes alongside cars and bikes. The first game was a bit of an underrated gem with an incredible coast-to-coast map of the continental US, which is back for this sequel. The beta's got to be worth a look.

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Ubisoft details The Crew 2's post-launch plans

Ubisoft details The Crew 2's post-launch plans

"Major" free content update due every three months.

Ubisoft has revealed its post-launch plans for The Crew 2, ahead of the open-world racers launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on June 29th.

According to the publisher, two new vehicles will be added to The Crew 2's line-up every month, and the game will receive "major free updates" every three months after launch - expanding the core experience with new disciplines, modes, and features. First out of the gate, in September, is Gator Rush, which will introduce a "tropical cocktail of bouncy fun and wacky races" via the new hovercraft discipline.

It will also bring five new vehicles, and introduce a new "Legendary" rarity for performance parts that can be collected in-game.

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The Crew 2 is having a closed beta later this month

The Crew 2 is having a closed beta later this month

Registration now open for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Ubisoft has announced that open-world multiplayer racing sequel The Crew 2 will be be getting a closed beta on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, starting on Tuesday, May 29th.

Ubisoft says that the closed beta will include the first level of progression across four racing disciplines - Street Race, Rally Raid, Powerboat, and Aerobatics. As such, participants will be able to try their hand at the series' new water- and air-based vehicles, alongside more traditional two- and four-wheeled racing, switching between available types at will in order to make best use of the track.

"An airplane flying underneath San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge", explains Ubisoft, "can turn into a boat with the touch of a button".

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The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 sportscar is, according to my notes, capable of exceeding 300 kilometres per hour on asphalt, and if you think that's impressive, wait till you see how fast it travels when it's plummeting uncontrollably through the atmosphere from a few miles up. As my time with The Crew 2 draws to a close, I turn my stuntplane skyward and hit the nitro. Rain speckles the camera; clouds knit and part with a surly magnificence. I spin the view side-on, watching the bright pink plane carve a track across the horizon like a finger running up a dirty windowpane. All the while, HUD notifications drip from the fuselage as the game steadily translates various unintended feats of aeronautics - a lazy corkscrew, a second of knife-flight - into points and multipliers.

The Crew 2 is finally out in June

Coming to Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Ubisoft has announced that its long-awaited open-world driving sequel The Crew 2 will finally launch on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on June 29th.

Ubisoft has delayed Far Cry 5 and The Crew 2

To create "more engaging and higher quality experiences".

Ubisoft has announced delays for three of its upcoming titles: Far Cry 5, open-world driving sequel The Crew 2, and a third, currently unannounced game.

The Crew 2, Ubisoft and Ivory Tower's open world online racing game, has been granted a final release date, with PS4, Xbox One and PC versions all coming on March 16th next year.