October 27, 2017

PAX Aus - Hands on The Crew 2

Having the chance to play The Crew 2 at E3 was a blast, so getting to play it again at PAX Aus was something I could not pass up, the build was more refined, but the gameplay was the same, but I still had a blast.

Racing feels great here, where the first game had some floaty cars, here the handling is rock solid, applying the break in order to drift a tight turn is rewarding, thought being able to do so while taking a tight turn and avoiding other cars, people and obstacles elicits pure joy. Time will tell of course, if the tracks that the studio has crafted for the full experience will actually keep that feeling alive, the tight turns of New York city seems perfectly suited for that style of racing, the open world of the USA might change that feeling, with luck it will make it even better.

Racing on the boat was next and just like last time, it feels the weakest of the three types that were offered, not that it was bad, just lacked something compared to the others. Racing on the boat was fun, but with the water being a great way to lose your line, or launch yourself into the air, it really adds a challenge that the others lack. The problem is that while you can correct yourself on the ground, the water makes things a bit of a 50/50 chance that you might be able to correct yourself, before you bounce off too other locations. While the Hudson River might not be a great location, the boating has potential to become something great, but in all honesty there is a reason why we get dozens of car games compared to one that is about boating.

The final segment was in the air, think more those Red Bull plane racing events and you are close, the controls will be the one part that gets people here, using the left stick you can adjust your pitch, up or down, but if you move left or right, your yaw is change, ie you start to roll. You need to use the bumpers in order to turn, which is the opposite of the other disciplines offered. Once I stopped fighting the controls, it was something fun, being able to have the plane turn on its edge and zip between a pair of buildings, even if I did not have to, was a blast. Again New York city might not be the best location of this type of event, but it was still fun.

While the demo itself lasted all of 7 minutes, I really enjoyed my time and I still want more, the car handling is superb now, which corrects one of the biggest complaints I had with the first game. Time will tell if the additions of the other racing disciplines will make the game better or worse, but so far, the game is running on all engines.

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