The Crew 2 Beta Impressions

June 1, 2018

The Crew 2‘s release date is less than one month away now and the hype car, hype boat and hype plane are all in overdrive as players are given the chance to try out The Crew 2 Beta and see what’s changed in The United States of America. The Crew 2 beta is an invitation only closed beta that you needed to sign up for, and is available on Windows PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, however if you’re feeling left out then Ubisoft has given every beta player the ability to give codes to three friends via their uPlay friend list, so if you see somebody playing The Crew 2 beta and you’re wanting to jump in, shoot them a message.

For the sake of our impressions, we played The Crew 2 beta on both Windows PC and Xbox One platforms. While the overall experience was pretty much the same, the game did perform better and worse in different areas depending on which platform we were on, which left us feeling like there was no solid winner. While the Xbox One version lacked the level of environmental detail that the Windows PC version had on maximum settings, it did offer a smoother framerate experience overall. There was however the dilemma of having to be connected to the Ubisoft servers in order to stay in the game, so whenever we had to switch the Xbox One off, it would not let us jump straight back in to the game. We also experienced the beta crashing on Xbox One, but not on Windows PC.

The Crew 2 Beta

Getting to the gameplay, fans will be amazed that Ubisoft has unlocked the full map to explore. After the initial tutorial race which involves a little Inception world-bending where you test out the three vehicle classes, you’re shown the full map and granted the ability to unlock each class type and get a starter vehicle after completing individual events. Once you unlock a car, boat and plane you can freely switch between all three classes. The vehicle transitions seemed to work faster on Windows PC than it did on Xbox One, but this could just have been due to doing in in different times and places. Either way, it’s a great new feature for the series and really separates it from other open world racing games like Forza Horizon and Need for Speed. While the beta events were limited to one vehicle type, we hope the full game will have us switching mid-race and include more of the Inception style world-bending action, as it looked truly impressive.

The vehicle physics left a bit to be desired. We found the player vehicle, as well as AI, particularly the non-racing NPC’s, were quite bouncy and could often be thrown around like a ragdoll when involved in basic collisions. This instantly takes away from the realism of The Crew 2 and reminds you that you’re indeed just playing another Ubisoft video game. Hopefully they can work on fixing the collision physics in launch patches, as we would have preferred actual debilitating vehicular damage than the bouncy cosmetic damage physics in the game right now.

The Crew 2 Beta

In The Crew 2 beta, the leveling system was locked to the first rank of Rookie. You can max out Rookie but it doesn’t allow you to progress to Popular or Famous, etc. The ranks appear to go incredibly high with rewards given every 10 levels, but in the beginning it appears you’ll be wanting to level up to unlock new race modes and vehicle types. What you do earn in the beta however is cash, and you can use the cash to buy pretty much any vehicle in the game, but it does take a lot of time and effort to get money, particularly when you’re limited to Rookie events. A helicopter is teased, having to “beat your rival” to unlock it, but at least it confirms that helicopters will be in the game.

The Crew 2 currently has a huge issue with draw distances. Giving players access to a plane means the world needs to have a very long draw distance, and from what we could see on both platforms it most certainly does not. Cities look horrible from afar, roads look terrible from 1KM in the air, and lakes miraculously dry up to create grassy areas as you get closer to them. Buildings in cities have surprisingly lower texture qualities than what we were expecting, but where The Crew 2 looks good it looks amazingly good. Vehicles all look fantastic, and some key tourist attractions like the Grand Canyon and Fremont Street in Las Vegas look mint. The Crew 2 has a slow day/night cycle and we found that different environments looked a lot better at different times of the day.

The Crew 2 Beta

In summary, it will be great to see how The Crew 2 performs on the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro at launch, and whether Ubisoft can fix some of the overbearing issues that are already probably affecting early reviews and their respected scores. The Crew 2 launches on 29 June, 2018 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC platforms. Make sure to check back at Rocket Chainsaw for our full review at the end of the month. For more information on The Crew 2 beta, head to the official website here.

We played The Crew 2 beta on a launch Xbox One console and on Windows PC using an EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW GAMING edition.

The Crew 2 Beta