It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly 2 years since The Crew 2 launched on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It was a game that I was taken aback by, in a good way. Was it perfect? No. Absolutely not. But it had all of the accoutrements of a great open-world racer: large vehicle selection, tons of customization choices, online multiplayer, and the entire (well…) continental United States to roam around. However, this game is not just about cars. I said vehicles because we also got a smattering of motorcycle, boats, and even planes. The uniqueness of the game was the ability to, at the push of a button, traverse the land however you see fit. I still play the game on my PS4 to this day.
So imagine my delight when I found out that The Crew 2 was coming to Stadia. Coupled with the recent update to connect the controller wirelessly to play on your PC, I thought that The Crew 2 was going to become my go-to racing game again, especially with the ability to play on the go. But would the game hold up? Even in the shadows of Forza Horizon 4 and Need for Speed Heat, I am happy to say that it does. Oh yes, it does.
Unfortunately, and doing some research I have found I am not alone in this opinion, but Stadia is perhaps the worst platform for such a great game. The game is currently locked at 1080p, and this will not change until Ubisoft updates the title themselves. This results in the game looking more dated than it really is with a plethora of blurry images to dazzle your eyeholes. If you’re a steering wheel fan, don’t expect support here for that. You’ll also find that the Live Replay and text chat is missing from the game as well. Now, many can look beyond these issues and still have fun with the game. Of course, only if you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t experience too much lag or network problems. I personally don’t have too much of an issue with these, and the ability to play this game virtually anywhere while carrying just a controller does outweigh these minor inconveniences.
Now, I have a near perfect setup at home on 2.5 gigabit network speeds, so I imagine that the player who isn’t operating under these ideal conditions, even gigabit internet, results may vary. However, I have experienced some of these issues while out and about on my phone, and needless to say there were a few rage-quit experiences as I plowed into the wall thanks to a hiccup in my network connection and I proceeded to watch the competition just fly past me. It can become a deal breaker in fast, action-paced games like this, compared to slower adventure games when network problems occur, even the slightest ones.
All in all, The Crew 2 is still a really good game. It’s not the best looking game these days, especially on the Stadia platform, but it sure is a lot of fun. If you are lucky and you have a pretty flawless Stadia experience on a consistent basis, then you should definitely pick up the game. The bottom line, however, is that the racing genre is probably not the best when played on any streaming service. More than any other genre out there, it relies greatly on control input to control the behavior of your vehicle. Any thing that breaks this immersion and has such a profound effect on your immersion and performance just can’t be looked past.
3.5 stars out of 5