Wot I Think: The Crew 2 as a single-player game

The Crew 2 is out proper tomorrow, at which point its servers will probably collapse for a bit, then eventually get stable as players fill up the vast amount of empty space in this miniaturised rendition of the United States. Meanwhile, I’ve been playing it this week to experience its vast amount of solo content, which is undeniably the focus of the game’s core progression. I’ve reached the conclusion that, oh boy, the multiplayer aspects had better be exciting…

I’ve no idea what The Crew 2 wants to be. It’s a rendition of vast stretches of the United States that just isn’t very interesting to drive around, and then lets you teleport to anywhere from the very start. It’s a multi-disciplinary collection of races, with cars, planes and boats of multifarious forms, yet tries to create a Need For Speed-style storyline that is wholly incoherent as it’s spread micro-thin across their surface. It’s a game that actively encourages you to play solo, emphasising all the hundreds of solo events and solo challenges and solo races across all its plethora of vehicles, and never whispers a mention of how one would ever actually form a crew – and yet is an always-on, network dependent game that logs you out if you leave it idle for more than a few minutes. It’s a multiplayer racing game that defaults to having you race AIs for all the progression. Good lord, it’s a muddle.

First impressions don’t do much. It’s often extremely pretty, but in a peculiarly sterile way. Cities are minimalist, textures pop in very late, and it’s hard to ever stop feeling like you’re driving around inside a 3D model of a city on some mayor’s table as he declares plans to build a casino. It also has this excruciating sensation from the very start of a game being made by confused dads trying to sound like teens. Its instantaneous and all-pervading obsession with “social media” reeks of a gruesome desperation to sound – what the game would probably call – “with it”. But being unlicensed from all the big names in the field (and yet oh so licensed in every other), isn’t able to actually say “Instagram” or “Snapchat” or any of the words it so desperately wants to. So instead you get the 40-something duuuuude narrator just awkwardly bleating about how important it is for us kids to “get more followers” on “your social media”. Shut up dad, you’re embarrassing me!

Followers becomes the games’ de facto XP, used to gain levels (of fame) and thus unlocking further tiers of races and race types. You gain followers either by competing in events, or by dicking about in the world, apparently incessantly filmed by invisible cameras and beamed to your ever-growing pool of adoring admirers. In reality, the latter is far too scrappy and inefficient, and you can zoom through the first four levels (to unlock most of the content) in just a few hours of taking part in races.

You then improve your ever-increasing collection of vehicles with drops won in races, which are alleged to let you tweak cars etc to your satisfaction, but in practice just mean you swap in a higher numbered item for a lower numbered, and your car goes a bit faster.

So to the races. It would take far too many words to describe each type, because to the game’s credit there are quite so very many. Fortunately I can generalise by saying: they’re all a bit crap. Not terrible. Mostly playable enough. But none anything special. And while each is a bit crap, they all achieve this in their own unique ways. Bog standard road racing is frustrated in irritating ways I detail below, while boats are tiresomely slippy and clumsy to control, drag races feel like a poorly delivered golf game (matching meters to target zones and pressing buttons), off-road is endlessly tiresome due to the complete random nature of what’s smashable (giant metal lampposts, say) and what’s not (flimsy striped raising barriers) … I do, however, want to focus on a couple in more detail.

First up, the aeroplanes. What really should have been The Crew 2’s most fun events, looping and spinning and diving in the air, are its most broken. You’re tasked with completing lists of tricks, interspersed with freestyle blocks, to accumulate high scores, but it’s hopelessly bad at recognising when you’ve done a trick. Loops are by far the most obvious, often having to be repeated two or three times before the game noticed you did it, and then dull tasks like vertical climbs are made aggravating by there being no visual feedback as to your position in the air when there’s no visible ground for reference. It gets even worse when it comes to detecting “near misses”, where you can be a micron away from the walls and roofs of buildings and have it not notice, and then credit you with one when flying past a tree. It’s all absolutely hopeless.

I also want to specifically discuss drift challenges, because they usefully exemplify another larger issue – how poorly everything is explained. I have yet to complete a drift challenge. This is, I am certain, due to my being inept. The game tasks you with scoring, say, 20,000 points, accumulated by drifting about the road, multiplied by chaining these together. But it a) never even mentions how to drift, let alone b) tells you that multipliers exist, how to chain them, what breaks a chain, etc. Touching anything in the world breaks a chain, so you are asked to skid and slide around narrow roads without touching any of the 380 million items it scatters all over them, but other Mysterious Things break chains too, which I’ve yet to discern. Also, it seemingly at random just refuses to score your drifting for reasons ungiven, meaning I’ve gone splendidly around a series of corners before noticing that it’s yet again not counting. I’ve only ever managed to accrue about half the points needed for an event, and still have no idea if I’ve missed something vital that I should be doing. It certainly isn’t interested in saying.

Not explaining what you’re supposed to do is endemic in the game, although having played enough of the games on whose shoulders this one stands, I already have the vocabulary to get on with things for the most part. I cannot imagine how unwelcoming it must be to anyone new to the genre. But drifting also stands out as the only time in the game I’ve felt a notion of challenge. It is otherwise stupendously easy to win races, progress through challenges, and keep churning through its squillions of map icons and levels. Difficulty, it seems, only comes in the form of more crapness.

As races get longer, the core problems of the game become more apparent, and frustratingly they’re like a checklist for everything that’s been wrong with open world racers since they started. Most of it comes down to AI, both that of the cars you’re racing, and of the NPCs (non-playable cars) that inanely mosey around the streets of America.

The former is best exemplified by Crew 2’s rubber-banding – the means by which it attempts to keep races feeling racy and not allowing you nor AI cars to get too far ahead/behind. Done well, it causes race games to be thrilling. Done badly, and it makes you feel secondary to the game you’re playing. Here it means you either feel patronised as your car drives astoundingly faster than the others, or frustrated by narrative scripted cars suddenly pulling impossibly ahead of you because the pre-amble said it was the car to beat.

But worse are those NPCars. In any street race, you’re going to have to dodge traffic, and fair enough. But what’s not fair here, as has miserably been the case in recent Need For Speed games too, is the utterly imbecilic nature of those vehicles. It is perfectly normal while racing down a road at 300kph to see a car pull out into the centre of an intersection, and then just stop. There’s nothing you can do about it, no way to avoid it, no way to predict that it’ll just decide it’ll commit suicide rather than keep going, and so SMASH. And if this is in the last sections of a race, such that the rubber-banding isn’t going to give you time to regain the lead, that’s it, you have to start over. And it happens so often. And when that’s a race that’s taken half an hour as some do, it can fuck off into the farthest reaches of outer space.

And then the game just gets weird. One of the most peculiar features of the game is the so-called time travel option for photographs. You can, it says, rewind and fastforward through recent time to take the snap you want/need. Except rather than actually record what happened, it only remembers where your vehicle went. So, smash through a market place of stalls and parasols, then rewind to get a snap of that moment, and completely madly the broken scenery continues to exist in linear time. Such that, your car rewinding through it will knock it about more! You can go back and forth along the time line, repeatedly bashing the physics objects further about, in quite the quantum confusion.

Then there’s the climactic time travel. After a race in Vegas I paused the game to argue about something in an IM window, and when I returned the desert was covered in a couple of inches of snow. Vegas. (I checked – it can snow there, but it’s astoundingly rare, and not nearly enough to settle.) Another time I was in a long-distance cross-country race, the AI cars bashed me off into inescapable trees, so I used the reset button to put me back on the track. PING! Everything covered in snow again! It’s extremely strange.

Oh, and ohhhh, the sponsorship. Eurgh. Frowny face. It’s so vulgar. Obviously there are all the licensed cars, and inevitably there are Red Bull stickers stuck all over the place, but then there’s the “Papa John’s Better Ingredients Better Pizza” challenge, which isn’t a fun little pizza delivery minigame, but just some other race with Papa bloody John’s incongruously emblazoned across it. It’s not alone.

It’s also worth mentioning that while this is essentially a single-player review, as it was written before the game was released and satisfactorily populated, this is a grimly always-on game. I’ve had the game not let me play it for server updates, as if it were an MMO. I’ve had it tell me I can no longer play because my connection dropped. And most egregious, if you leave it idle for long enough to go get a coffee, it’ll log you out from wherever you were, for absolutely no fathomable reason. There’s no good enough reason for this game so focused on solo play to be like this, and if you’ve a flaky connection, absolutely do not touch this.

It’s clearly vast in scope, ambition and content, and you might well scream that I’m a greedy-faced fool for wanting it to be exceptional in any of its eight billion disciplines. But I retort that an awful lot of mediocrity is perhaps not as good a thing as a small amount of brilliance. And there’s no denying that it fills time. There are so, so many things to do, that just to list them would double this already far too long review. But doing them never really felt that satisfying to me. And as I said from the start, I just can’t figure out what it wants to be.

There’s a “home” in the game for your character, who you can customise, and I’ve no idea why either is possible – they make no odds, and the home isn’t worth visiting. It does, however, feature the game’s hilariously clumsy first-person walking, also found in the main hubs for event types, which is something akin to walking around a kitchen in some free CAD software.

There are storylines, and implied evil baddy types who are trying to ruin your day/life, but then seem utterly forgotten even by the end of the race that was preceded by such inane waffling. This means that, yes, you’re going to hear the same bloody barks when you repeat a race, and they are spectacularly awful. (“Drive like you never heard of a red light.” “Keep that bike moving. That’s what a winner does.”) All the writing throughout is embarrassing and shameful.

There’s a whole continent to explore, and yet absolutely no incentive to explore it. Driving between events is dreary and sporadically dotted with the worst of busywork. (Take a photograph of a California condor, it’ll ask, before failing to recognise when you do. Drive through these floating blobs for a bit, for some reason.) And you can just teleport to any event from the main map.

There are just so many different types of race, different enough that there’s no consistency between car types to get used to, but not different enough that any feels specialised enough. (There are Formula 1 cars and tracks, where you can bump off barriers and skid around corners (although they clearly didn’t manage to licence the words “Formula 1”, so have opted for the fist-chewing “Alpha GP”).)

Next week, once the servers are busy, I’ll return and find out whether this is a game that desperately needs the internet it insists upon to shine. I’ll be delighted if that’s the case. Right now, this is an awful lot of not very much.

The Crew 2 is out tomorrow for Windows, starting at £50/$60/60€, via Steam and Uplay


  1. kud13 says:

    Sounds like yet another ubi “game as a service”

    Maybe they’ll patch it up to be good in a year’s time or so.

    • jman420 says:

      I have completely abandoned ALL ubi products for this exact reason. That and really, really bad customer service. Its a shame…I love me some assassins creed, but, oh well…

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        The only online-y things I’ve noticed in Oranges are that other people’s photos show up on the map, which is ok, they’re pretty ignorable, and occasionally useful. And you get side missions to ‘get revenge for radish420’, which basically consist of: click on body, get directions to some nearby enemies, then kill them (which you were probably going to do anyway).
        I think there’s some multiplayer-y stuff but I’ve found it very easy to ignore.
        I’m glad I bought it cheap though.

        • MelissaParkin says:

          Start your home business right now. Spend more time with your family and earn. Start bringing 100 DOllar per hr just on a computer. Very easy way to make your life happy and earning continuously. Start here….. Click Here And Start Work

    • tharjack says:

      i love the Crew 2, huge open world map with lots of fun stuff to do…move on to a different racing game to make yourself happy…9/10

    • WiseGamer says:

      You could leave out the “ubi” tag. Virtually all games from all devs/publishers release unfinished and with bugs these days because the consumers have allowed it, if not outright encouraged it, by continuing to be gullible and pre-order games. Ubisoft is no different than a dozen other companies, maybe with the exception that Ubisoft does eventually bring their games up to respectable quality levels as you mentioned. That makes them better than many others actually.

  2. Blackrook says:

    I had a couple of good fun days with the Open Alpha, playing with my Daughter and adult friends.

    The original was also dire as a solo game with an awful story, but brightened up as soon as you were playing with and against friends. Reviewing it so badly as a solo game when it is aimed to be multiplayer seems a little unfair, even if most of your points are valid.

    Oh and the way to improve the story line speech over is to listen in Russian or German. It is much more amusing that way.

    I agree the car AI is really bad, played one long race in closed beta that took 20 mins, was ahead by about a mile most of the race just for the AI to appear out of nowhere at the end to beat us.

    • Love Albatross says:

      “Reviewing it so badly as a solo game when it is aimed to be multiplayer seems a little unfair”

      It’s not though is it. It can and will be played as a solo game, so reviewing that aspect of it is perfectly valid. Especially when it apparently puts so much focus on the solo modes.

    • Apologised says:

      Try playing Resident Evil with an italian dub, I have friends who swear by it.

      Also “slightly unfair” is how John Walker rolls in these articles. You have to factor that into things, like a Zero Punctuation review, or remembering to adjust for the right wing slant in The Times. Once you compensate for it it’s fine.
      He’s mostly here to remind the others how to do critical games journalism, and I’d never want him to go, not since his interview with Peter Molyneux, which if you haven’t read I IMPLORE YOU TO DO SO.

      • Shacklestein says:

        That was a thing of beauty.

        (And well over three years later, the PC version of Godus has yet to materialize. Amazingly, it can still be bought on Steam.)

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          I like to see people that do bad things have their feet held to the fire when they do, but I thought the ad-hominem attacks were a bit crass. He kind of came off like he was trying to be a poor man’s Jeremy Paxman. That said I’m glad Molyneux got a kick up the arse; he needed it.

          • Shacklestein says:

            If my recollection from back then is accurate, you’re not alone in thinking some lines were crossed that should not have been. Some to the tune of “I’m never reading RPS again”.

            Working from memory, in my book I would not call it ad hominem. The reason they were talking was because of a long string of broken promises stretching over several years. (Promises that from my very brief investigation appear to remain unfulfilled to this day.) In that context I find using the L-word to be perfectly legitimate.

          • John Walker says:

            The interview contained no ad hominem attacks at all. I asked him an initial question – which I now wish I’d worded differently simply because of how much it stole the focus away from an important exposing of the depths of Molyneux’s struggle with facts – because I genuinely wondered if he’d considered the possibility. It seemed a more generous explanation for his antics than the alternatives.

            I at no point said any insults to him, and substantiated all my claims with evidence, much to his constant frustration and increasing anger.

            The interview, while crucial and pivotal in the world’s perception of the man, is a massive millstone around my neck. But it was NOT an ad hominem attack on Molyneux, and that needs defending.

          • ColonelFlanders says:

            I did suffix my post with saying I think you did the right thing in holding the man to what he’s said, but your opening gambit comes off as a strategy to make him uncomfortable and nothing more. I certainly didn’t read any genuine concern for his mental health in it. Loved most of the rest of the interview though, you asked all the right questions.

      • John Walker says:

        As kind as your words are, I strongly reject the accusation that I’m unfair.

        I’m studiously honest, and review the game that is in front of me, without care for wider opinion or pre-hype.

        In this case, this is a game that made no effort at any moment to direct me toward multiplayer content, focused entirely on the solo tasks that form the bulk of what’s on offer.

        When the servers are more populated, as the review says, I will return to explore further. However, it’s extremely unlikely that multiplayer will fix the game’s core issues of dreadful floaty controls and NPC AI that ruins races.

    • Ragnar says:

      I think it’s an entirely valid critique. Lots of people, like myself, would want to play it solo.

      • welverin says:

        It’s part of the game and needs tojudged for what it’s trying to do and not ignore just because it may not be the main part/point of the game.

  3. spacedyemeerkat says:

    I found the original fun to hack around in. But that was completely missing from the closed alpha and the betas I took part in.

    And my god, the graphics were so utterly sterile. (Although I was hugely impressed by the world wrapping effect at the start (or end?) of the boat segment in the intro.)

  4. Martijn says:

    never even mentions how to drift, let alone b) tells you that multipliers exist, how to chain them, what breaks a chain, etc.

    That sounds exactly like the problem I have with the similar Forza Horizon 3, which looks gorgeous and has pretty good driving, but where I often get something like 4,000 points in a challenge where I have to score 750,000, because it refuses to tell you how to score those points.

    I then made the mistake of buying Forza Motorsport 7, thinking it would be the same game with just straightforward racing. But it turns out that Horizon is developed by Playground, who know how to make a PC game. Motorsport on the other hand was made by Turn 10, who delivered a poor Xbox port that stutters all the time despite Windows taskmanager showing CPU and GPU are nowhere near maxed out and suffers from awful memory leaks.

    Seems like The Crew II isn’t the good solution either. Forza Horizon 4 looks promising though.

  5. Love Albatross says:

    “40-something duuuuude narrator”

    Oh my god how are they still doing this. Burnout 3 got ribbed for its excruciating middle aged bro narrator in 2004. You’d hope they would learn by now.

    • Martijn says:

      I don’t know. By now is a racing game still a racing game if it doesn’t contain some awful dudebro commentary and Red Bull sponsoring?

    • Mael Milscothach says:

      Because games that do this still sell, presumably, and it’s pretty much impossible to figure out whether they sell because of all the dudebro-ery going on or despite it. So they leave it in, just to be on the safe side.

  6. Baines says:

    The most fun I had in the first game was when they added the police chases. When you were playing the part of the smuggler, you were allowed to drive to your goal however you wanted, you didn’t have to follow the arrow. And of course the cops had to follow the smuggler, no matter what path the smuggler took.

    And then you decide to take a shortcut through a forest on a hill, and it becomes a deadly slalom…

    The worst part of the first game was the story. The races were bog standard affairs that weren’t fun and went completely against the “open” nature of the world, and of course it gated progression behind story as well.

    It is kind of sad that the customization hasn’t changed either. It is understandable, “numbers go up” is a standard approach to keeping people playing, but it was a bit sad to realize that “numbers go up” was all there was to customization. Higher level parts were simply better, and there were no decisions to be made as to whether or not to equip them.

  7. JTDenton says:

    The writing really is incomprehensibly bad, but I have to say I had a lot of fun with the beta. Being able to fly over the Grand Canyon and transform into a boat in midair and drop down and cruise along it for a while and then seamlessly transform back into a plane and fly over the mountains and spot a cool-looking stretch of road and transform into a car again to drive along that… The sense of flow and exploration was quite satisfying to me. Hopefully it gets some more free weekends, because I think it might turn out to be exactly what some people have been looking for, warts and all.

  8. onodera says:

    I dicked around in the open beta for a bit, skipping all the cutscenes, of course.

    KB&M setup for planes is just wrong (you can’t switch around pitch and speed controls). The land is kinda barren from above and the planes are slow.

    Boats were very pleasant to handle. I swam down the whole fake Colorado.

    Cars, as usual, are a pain to handle with KB&M. Dicking around in a buggy was more interesting than racing, but the world looked more boring than in The Crew 1. Saw no cops, too.

  9. PiiSmith says:

    So steep with cars and planes and boats.

  10. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Funny I rarely agree with John’s verdicts but “Right now, this is an awful lot of not very much.” might have nailed it as this is what I thought of the first game.
    I don’t think this will be completely different then.

  11. something says:

    I got the first game for free and hate-played my way through it. The mini USA was a delight. Everything else was utterly awful. Every complaint in this review also applies to the first game. It’s frustrating because racing around little America has so much potential to be crazy fun, but it feels like no one at the studio had the confidence to commit to that. Instead we get a corporate checklist of micro-transaction-friendly upgrades, SaaS multiplayer, and teenage dude-bro focus tested (or guessed at) ancillary content.

  12. DThor says:

    Snap. Got this for free with a graphics card purchase – looks like I got my money’s worth!

  13. Faldrath says:

    Aw, when I heard John was reviewing a driving game, I thought it was Wreckfest. Go play Wreckfest, John. Good driving, better crashing-into-other-cars!

  14. Creeping Death says:

    I was about to make a comment about how it’s clear now that Ivory Tower simply cant make a racing game and that they should perhaps return to whatever they did previously… but after a quick google it seems that what they did previously was nothing. The Crew and it’s sequel are the only games they’ve made :/

  15. Romeric says:

    Such a shame. I got the first game free with my GPU and had some fun with it. I thought the map was truly excellent if you blurred your eyes a bit, but pretty much everything else was disappointing. The AI was some of the most egregious I’ve ever seen in a racing game. Police would smash trucks out of the way in their pursuit, without sacrificing any of their speed. The issue mentioned above with AI rubber banding was so poorly disguised it was almost insulting. To say it was frustrating to play would be an understatement.

    I was really hoping they would sort things out for the sequel, but John’s review has summarised pretty much everything I disliked about the first game.

  16. Vitamin Powered says:

    I came to this review with the intention of answering ‘How is it for just driving around and across its mini-USA, listening to Mogwai’, and I guess this answers that.

  17. dsch says:

    Today on “how not to match reviewers with games.”

    • Ragnar says:

      Your comment seems to indicate an inability to comprehend the stated reasons for why someone may like or dislike a game, and extrapolate from that how you yourself would feel about said game. That is most unfortunate.

      • dsch says:

        The reviewer is so far from the target audience that he has nothing to say about what that target audience might be looking for. Reviewing a game (like reviewing any work in any medium) requires a basic sympathy with what it’s trying to accomplish and a minimal understanding of the generic context. John Walker has an obvious affinity for certain games, for which he writes lovely reviews, but then you also get things like this. This is where you might say a journalist “needs an editor.” But obviously that’s not going to happen here, and there is moreover an army of commenters to leave what they imagine are pithy remarks defending anything he does. That is, as you say, “most unfortunate.”

        • Marclev says:

          The audience would hopefully be one that likes racing games.

          Judging by the review, it utterly fails as such.

          What’s your point meant to be?

    • airmikee99 says:

      Today on “Learning How To Not Read Things That You Know You Will Not Like, And Commenting Upon Them.”

    • John Walker says:

      No no, carry on. What sort of reviewer SHOULD we have used for this game?

    • Raoul Duke says:

      What about those of us who almost always agree with John and want to know what this game is like?

  18. Ragnar says:

    I’m now really concerned that the same fate might befall Forza Horizon 4 with their switch to an always on, always multiplayer experience. I fear that design mentality too often relies on other people making the game fun, rather than the game being fun on its own.

    And maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t particularly relish the thought of random strangers invading my game. Give me the option of playing online, sure, but don’t force it on what was a perfectly fun single-player game.

  19. Caiman says:

    This is both the future we deserve, and the future we’re getting.

  20. Ninjustin1302 says:

    Always online = always pass for me. Tough I would have been interested, if there had been a good offline singleplayer mode. But I suppose it’s to much to expect from UBI.

  21. Premium User Badge

    Lo says:

    It just struck me now that some WITs by JW read a lot like the brilliant LPs of old, the ones with screengrabs and text rather than video! Good times :D

  22. Terrapin says:

    I thought a more real-world-grounded game might play better than the first Crew, with its endlessly ridiculous “murderous gangsters are obliged to pack up and leave town if you beat them in a street race, because those are the rules” plot, but woof. The writing in this thing is TERRIBLE so far, and the voice acting is worse. The guy who plays your…partner? Manager? Mechanic? I’m still not sure what he’s supposed to be, but the dude is incapable of delivering a line without sounding like he’s cringing as he reads it off a sheet of paper.

  23. lrbaumard says:

    I played maybe 40 minutes of the open beta and uninstalled it straight afterwards. Heres why:
    – The beginning of the story has some of the worst voice acting i’ve ever come across
    – I really don’t care about the story, stop blocking me from driving with long unskippable cutscenes
    – Racing itself feels awful, I feel like i’m driving a brick not a sports car, there is no feedback and this is worst during jumps. The landings are just awful and provide no immersion.
    – Boat races are boring
    – Planes is something i would have to practice with, I found it very difficult, but i’ve always been bad at controlling planes so i don’t blame the game for that.

  24. falcon2001 says:

    I got this for free with a new video card, so let’s see how much I like it for free!

  25. rockman29 says:

    I think the answer for why the game is like this or shallow in this regard might be fairly simple. It’s cheaper to make it like that and more attractive I guess in the online world to make it focus on abstract or not online features I guess.

    And I think for the young audience it comes down to the soundbites. In which game can you tour the USA and see a bunch of landmarks like the Vegas Strip or Hoover Dam all at the same time? The answer is actually GTA San Andreas, but since that game is from 2004, The Crew will have to serve as a temporary replacement.

    For my time I’d rather spend it on Wreckfest, so pleasantly impressed with that game, and apparently I’ve owned it from 2014 so it’s almost like I watched it grow up from its much more modest beginnings. Highly recommend!

  26. Toupee says:

    I have only played The Crew 2 for a couple of hours now, but I’m actually surprised by how pleased I am with it. I haven’t played the first game at all, so it’s all new to me. I totally understand from a reviewer’s perspective (because I used to write professionally for a bit) how important it is to be critical in this way. But for me, this review misses the mark a bit. I LIKE how doofy and arcadey this is. I’m so tired of extremely technical, difficult to learn racing games. The “story” bits and voiceover also have me cracking up in a ‘The Room’ or even ‘Deadly Premonition’ way — does anybody REALLY take them seriously?

    But for me the silliness is confounded by the impressive engine. I can… zoom out? And see the whole frickin’ map? Obviously it’s simplified, and there could be more landmarks, but the scope is still pretty damn impressive. I’ve really just been goofing around, making personal road trips, “visiting friends in other cities,” and such. I REALLY appreciate that you’re hardly beholden to doing anything before just wandering. I know it’s Ubi and the online is ridiculous and you have many many valid points here. And the bugs are unacceptable. But I’ve been looking for a racing game I can play with my dad, you know? It’s a breath of fresh air for me at least.

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