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Video Game / The Crew 2

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The Crew 2 is the 2018 sequel to The Crew, developed by Ivory Tower with help from Ubisoft Reflections, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. It was released on June 29, 2018.

The continental United States returns as the setting of The Crew 2, but has been completely redesigned from the original. Compared to the first game's plot about being an undercover cop infiltrating a crime ring to avenge your deceased brother, the plot of this game is rather non-existent. Instead it focuses on motorsports, with the world being called MotorNation. There are four different motorsport families across the country: street racers, pro racers, off-road experts, and freestylers. They each have their own unique motorsport culture and set of disciplines.

In addition to cars, The Crew 2 features the return of bikes from Wild Run, and the addition of planes and boats. Later updates added new disciplines as well, such as hovercrafts and Demolition Derby. Hot Shots, the latest update, debuted on April 23 and marked the return of the "Summit" PvE festival from the first game's Wild Run expansion, as well as new cars.

A third game in The Crew series, titled The Crew Motorfest, was released in September 2023.

The Crew 2 provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Icon levels go all the way up to 9999, most of which are Empty Levels. The last Icon Points modifiers that are fixed happen before level 1000 alongside the last major vehicle unlock. Unlocking the last LIVE Xtrem event only requires a minimum Icon level of 50.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: You can freely switch between vehicles, and some events like the rival and Live Xtrem ones have you swapping vehicles mid-race. This is all fine as it looks really cool and having to go to specific points to change your ride would get tedious fast.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The final bonus LIVE Xtrem Race, "Road to O'ahu", ends with the player and other racers leaving in helicopters to head to Hawaii, leading directly into The Crew Motorfest.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: You can switch between car, plane, and boat configurations on the fly, so there's no need to spend unnecessary time going to a garage to switch.note 
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Tio, Wade, and Clarence are all very assured of their skills.
  • Artistic License – Cars:
  • Artistic License – Geography: Much like the first game, The Crew 2 has some... questionable geography with the United States. Las Vegas is further east and north than its real life counterpart, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is misshapen and Detroit is further north than it is in real life, and Florida looks downright tumorous. Many cities lack famous landmarks, with the distinct Chicago skyline being reduced to mostly generic in-game buildings, with no Sears Tower in sight, and most of the country's topography is totally wrong. All of this is excusable, of course, given the sheer size of the map and the manpower it would've taken to recreate it all faithfully. One particularly baffling example is how Bar Harbor, a known Maine tourist destination popularized by a certain open world RPG, is featured yet the larger Boston and Massachusetts aren't in The Crew 2's version of USA.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Offroading family. When you pass your initiation, you are introduced to a mentor figure - in this case, Wade - and told about the leading paragon of the discipline; the one who usually stands as your rival. However, the further you go through the Offroad races, the more Wade becomes disillusioned with Tucker's "hippie" lifestyle and his love for offroading purely to see the landscape's natural splendour. When you hit 70% completion, you unlock the "boss mission". As well as being called The Switch, the opening cutscene features an irate Wade, now sick and tired of you buddying up with Tucker and challenging you to a race. After you beat Wade - sending him packing - you and Tucker finally have the one-on-one showdown you expected, though on far less antagonistic terms than Tio and Clarence.
  • Battle in the Snow: "Beat the Duke" takes place duing a relentless blizzard in the Mountain States, and is the only Champion event with forced weather. Conveniently the nearby river isn't frozen over, allowing for a Powerboat battle in the second leg.
  • Big Applesauce: One of the returning cities in The Crew 2, and looking better than ever.
  • Bland-Name Product: Almost anything that isn't driveable vehicles and Red Bull. Highlights including Live (Go-Pro), Motorflix (Netflix), Everyzon (Verizon), WKZ (CNN), Spearhog (Sparco), Staroger Coffee (Starbucks Coffee), Stormx (Fox Head Sports), Swediysh (IKEA), Division (Benetton), Free USA Airlines (American Airlines), Chaebung (Samsung), Yohmhoy (Yokohama Tires), and many others.
  • Book Ends: The New York Hypercar coast-to-coast race starts with you leaving New York City from the George Washington Bridge and it ends with you entering San Francisco from the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Can't Believe I Said That: Alexis, the mentor figure for the Pro Racing family, says this pretty much verbatim before a powerboating race when she actually agrees with something Hiro says.
  • Character Customization: Present, but apart from numerous selections of helmets and clothings, extremely limited to the point that you can't even change your character appearance once chosen.
  • Collection Sidequest: The Stories feature first introduced in American Legends Part 1. Players search the entire map looking for clues left behind by people of the past and present. While some stories end with the player obtaining a Cool Car for their troubles, some stories ends with the player obtaining rare cosmetics or money.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the four motorsport families are identified with a color: yellow for Street Racing, magenta for Freestyle, orange for Offroad, and light blue for Pro Racing.
  • Cool Bike: Motorcycles return from Wild Run.
  • Cool Boat: Boats make their debut here alongside planes.
  • Cool Car: All over the place, as one might expect, but especially prevalent with the Hyper Car discipline in the Street Racing family, which features Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Koenigseggs, and more (mostly) European multi-million dollar exotics.
  • Cool Plane: One of the highlights of the game is the addition of propeller sport planes, something rarely seen in games in general and doubly so for racing games.
  • Dwindling Party: The Salem Legacy story features a quintet of siblings looking for their mother's treasure. A non-lethal example however, each of the other siblings except the narrator get too scared and flee back home instead of dying.
  • Dungeon Bypass: The Maze Escape MAD skill can be easily beaten in 30 seconds by taking advantage of a small gap in a wall that only the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 can cross through. Normally you have to go around a winding path with several ramps along the way. Easiest 5,000 points ever!
  • Epic Fail:
    • The game will make no attempt to stop players from swapping into a boat while on land or in the air over land. On the flipside, switching from car/boat to aircraft will normally force the game to spawn the player somewhere clear of obstacles, but sometimes that can fail and can result in the aircraft insta-crashing into terrain or obstructions.
    • Pedestrians can still be found crossing roads, despite there's an officially-managed race going on.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot doesn't get more complex than "become Motornation's biggest star by participating in events, taking down rivals along the way".
  • Exposition Fairy: Hiro acts as one to the player. The mentors for each discipline sometimes lampshade how annoying he can get.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Two variants: rival events and the LIVE Xtrem Series races. The former involves multiple disciplines within the same family (for example, Clarence's features Touring Cars, Powerboats, and Alpha GP), while the latter can stretch across multiple families. The Grand Finale of the LIVE Xtrem Series takes it to its logical conclusion, featuring a discipline from each family as you take on each family's rival in succession.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Once Wade is ousted in the Offroad finale, all pre-race dialogue for races that haven't been completed will be replaced with Tucker's dialogue where possible. Tucker also refers to the player as the champion, but that doesn't mean his skill has waned.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The American Petrol Special Event, Wolf Territory, and The Switch will still have Wade in them even when he's supposed to have left. The former two being story missions where Wade appears in cutscenes, and the latter being part of the first phase of the champion event.
  • Guest Fighter: GT by Citröen from Gran Turismo series appear as part of November 2019's "Blazing Shots" update. However, the GT logo on it has been removed.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The first game was a street racing game in the vein of Need for Speed. 2 resembles Forza Horizon set across the entire Continental United States, with planes, boats and bikes.
  • Graceful Loser: The main rivals/bosses from the Offroad and Freestyle families, Tucker and Sofia respectively, have this when defeated by the player, in contrast to the Sore Loser reactions that Tio and Clarence from the Street Racing and Pro Racing families respectively have upon defeat. This also extends to the ending, where Sofia and Tucker appreciate what the player has done in their respective families.
  • Handicapped Badass: Latrell is wheelchair-bound, but gets the opportunity to race again in the second part of the "Latrell's Car" Hyper Car event, where he challenges you one-on-one while he's in a Koenigsegg Regera, which you won for him in the first part of the event. Turns out he's Still Got It.
  • Harder Than Hard: MAD Skills, introduced in the final Motoflix update, are harder than the normal Skills before now. Lara makes it clear that these skills can take multiple attempts before succeeding. Additionally unlike normal skills that allow you to use different disciplines, MAD Skills won't let you use another vehicle type than the one requested.
  • Hero's Classic Car: Starting with Season 5 of Motoflix, promotional material shows the protagonist driving a Porsche 550 Spyder. The car also makes a cameo appearance at the end of the "Road to O'ahu" LIVE Extrem Event.
  • Hero of Another Story: Played with. American Legends Parts 1 & 2 focus on the stories of various characters that the player never gets to encounter Save for the early bird cameos of the future representatives later seen in Motorfest. The main gimmick of these is the player retracing the steps of the narrator's stories that end with the player getting a reward for following them.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Boosted Legendary performance parts given out during Motopass or LIVE Summits are much more powerful than the loot obtained randomly. They have stats higher than the normal percent bonus Cap on regular loot and often come in a set, allowing a Set Bonus on top of that.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The climax of the Ghost Writer story has the narrator being so stressed out at being followed by a ghost across America (that just wanted her to complete the fanfic she wrote in high school) that she explictly mentions wanting to kill herself at the Ghost Town graveyard. While we don't see what it entails, the next segment of the story implies that members of LIVE stopped her from going through with it to turn her story into a documentary, and she's happy with that better outcome.
  • Invisible Wall: Again, you cannot enter Canada or Mexico, even though you now have access to aircraft. Likewise, you will not be able to go far off the East or West Coasts through either air or sea. That said, you do get an achievement if you travel far away enough from the game map until you respawn facing back towards the land.
  • It's Personal: Tio does not take kindly to you becoming number one in the Street Racing family, as he dishes out bitter-sounding Trash Talk during his portion of the Grand Finale. Hiro even lampshades it:
"Geez, it's kind of personal with this guy, isn't it?"
  • Level Editor: Added in the American Legends Part 2 update in July 2023. The Race Creator shares similarites to the first game's, but adds in even more customization options such as weather effects, ambience, and even screen filters! Another update added the ability to place checkpoints anywhere allowing for more creative opportunities.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Crew 2 takes a far lighter and more colorful aesthetic compared to the original, much like Watch_Dogs 2 compared to the first Watch_Dogs.
  • Loophole Abuse: Unlike most racing games, the races in the game only have checkpoints for you to pass through. The blue lines are the race's intended route, but the game does not penalize you for going off-track. This lets players look for shortcuts scot-free. This is why the New York Hypercar race (usually taking about 35-40 minutes) can be beaten in less than 24 minutes.
  • Loser Leaves Town: The Offroad rival event, "The Switch," starts with this between you and your mentor, Wade. Whoever loses the race has to leave the offroad family. Naturally, you send Wade packing, but not before he declares that you haven't seen the last of him.
  • Marathon Level:
    • The New York Hyper Car event is a point-to-point race that takes you from New York City to Los Angeles. It's not uncommon for the race to take close to forty minutes.
    • Endurance versions of the US Speed Tour events are available, which ramp up number of laps of each race to lengths longer than usual, ala typical endurance races. After an update, Community Races can also become this by setting the lap counter to a high amount, on a course that is already long.
  • The Maze: The Maze Escape MAD Skill tasks you with navigating a labyrinth made of shipping containers in the Norfolk seaport. Escaping the maze faster gives more points.
  • Money for Nothing: Spare Parts appear as a way to change boosts on performance gear you earn as rewards for completing events, but it's not used for anything else in the game.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie:
    • In contrast to the other three families, which put more emphasis on competition, the Freestyle family emphasizes having fun and expressing yourself above all else, making them a motorsport equivalent of this.
    • Tucker, the Offroad "rival", could be considered one of these. Rather than pursuing the discipline for fortune or fame, his sole motivation is that, by doing so, he gets to see parts of the world that would otherwise go unwitnessed. In fact, one Rally Raid race has him directly challenging you, explaining that "win or lose, the race would be worth it". In a big characterising moment for him, what makes the race worth it... is the epic view of a mountain valley at which you just arrived.
  • No Ending: Salem Legacy ends with the narrator entering their family house in Salem... and ends abruptly with no resolution. Not for the player retracing their steps, where they are rewarded with the Witch Potion Smoke vanity upon completing the storyline.
  • No True Scotsman: Tio and Clarence both believe this, in contrast to their family's mentors, Latrell and Alexis. Tio believes that a real street racer would never try and go legit and mocks you for playing it safe, while Clarence believes that racing boats and planes are gimmicks and that open-wheel racing is the only real kind of racing.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: The Crew 2 is a sequel to The Crew in concept, not story. It's not even clear if they exist in the same universe, seeing as how the map has been completely redesigned.note 
  • Not the Intended Use: Invoked. Several photo challenges require the player to perform unorthodox actions with the fast fav feature. These include flying a Jetsprint vehicle off of a ski jump, landing a Demolition Derby car on top of the Freestyle sculpture, and placing cars on top of various buildings and landmarks.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Several to The Crew Motorfest.
    • The final Motorpass, American Legends Part 2, adds several stories that features many Call-Forwards to Motorfest, with characters mentioning Hawaii and what they plan to do there.
    • There is a Motorfest headquarters in Fresno, and it is where the player obtains a special modified Nissan 300ZX from the end of one of the stories.
  • Retraux: The theming used for the Flashback Sakura and City GP races. Also later used for the penultimate Motoflix episode, Flashback, which focuses on retro racing games and pixelated assets.
  • Rule of Cool: The whole game runs on this (in no small part because your vehicle instantly changes from land to sea to air). Why can you boat race in the Hudson River? Because why not?
  • Scenery Porn: In spite of slightly reduced graphical fidelity compared to the first game to allow the seamless addition of gameplay features, the game is still beautiful to look at.
  • Set Bonus: Legendary Parts have one of five different sets that they can be in. Equip all seven parts of the same set to a vehicle and it will get a bonus ability that is independent of the ability bonuses.
  • Sore Loser: Tio proves one after you beat him in his rival event, stating that since you play it safe, he doesn't really think you beat him because it wasn't a true street race. This extends to the ending, where he flat-out calls you a fraud. In addition, Clarence, after his rival event, is shown to be quite salty that you beat him, refusing to stay for the whole championship ceremony and even angrily brushing off a LIVE reporter as he stomps off. Alexis lampshades this during the Grand Finale.
    Alexis: Clarence, you're just a sore loser.
    Clarence: No, I'm a great driver, as I'm about to show your former protege.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Sebring International Raceway, which appeared in the first game, has been replaced by the more generic "Miami Race Track". Thankfully, the other real life track from the first game—Mazda Raceway Laguna Secanote —appears here intact.
  • Temporary Online Content: The Motorpass rewards change with each update, consisting of special cars, cosmetics and outfits. Happen to start the game late? Too bad! All the previous rewards are no longer obtainable once a new episode begins. Zig-Zagged with Live Summit rewards. Vehicle cosmetics can be bought at any time and Legendary peformance parts can be obtained from prize crates and races, but you could be waiting for a while for another attempt if you fail to score high enough to earn a rare cosmetic or vehicle.
  • The Theme Park Version: Of the entire United States, also known as the Motornation. It wasn't even clear in universe whether the game is set in the actual United States or inside an artificial island / virtual reality rendition of an abridged United States.
  • Timed Mission: There are numerous time trials across multiple disciplines. Some, such as Rally Raid, are entirely built around this. A unique one occurs in the Street Racing discipline, in the mission "The Accident." A racer in a hot rod suffers a bad crash, and you abandon the race and have to rush him to the hospital, dodging and weaving through traffic all the while.
  • To Be a Master: The overall plot, is to be the master of auto vehicle competition, not just limited to cars and bikes, but...
  • Universal Driver's License: Cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, off-road buggies, stunt planes, hovercrafts, helicopters... your character can drive them all!
  • Unluckily Lucky: The titular Lucky Guy that has the most story segments, who somehow goes down on his troubles by going bankrupt multiple times only to strike it rich by sheer coincidence at the eleventh hour each time.
  • What a Piece of Junk:
    • Each class has a fixed upper level, and finishing a race gives you upgrade performance parts that can be applied to another vehicle of the same class. It just happens that cars like VW Kombi and VW Beetle are the same class as high performance muscle cars and sports cars (Street Class), take a guess what will happen...
    • The Street Race event called "The Sleeper" has Latrell and Hiro discuss the trope while looking over the player's competition. While they show some admiration for most of the vehicles, Latrell singles out a plain-looking Abarth 500 as the main threat.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: As with the first game, The Crew 2 is set in an open world that's absolutely massive, and has been redesigned from the ground up.
  • Worst Aid: The Street Racing event "The Accident" has one of your opponents suffer a bad crash during the race. Rather than, say, calling an ambulance, you physically drag their unconscious body across the road, push them into your car and drive them to the hospital yourself at breakneck speed. It's Hand Waved with Hiro remarking about how 'an ambulance would never make it in time'.