The Crew is an open-world racing game that came out in 2014. It really doesn’t feel like that long ago, but by the time the sequel appears it will be about four years old.
A lot more is explained in the gameplay demo video below, including the location, size of the map and new features.
The Crew 2 release date: When is it out?
While Ubisoft had originally planned a release date of 16 March 2018, in December 2017 the company announced a delay to "invest additional development time," with the game now scheduled only for "the first half of Fiscal 2018-19" - which, given the dates of Ubisoft's financial year, means anywhere between April and September 2018.
If you can’t wait that long and you haven’t played The Crew for a while, don’t forget that an expansion pack was released in November 2016. Calling All Units lets you play for the good guys, helping the FBI shut down a gang of illegal street racers, among other things.
You can pick up the DLC for £19.99 from Ubisoft’s store and it also includes the previous Wild Run expansion.
Also, there are incentives for continuing to play the original game with The Crew Rewards Program. Essentially, you can unlock up to 18 cars in The Crew 2 by completing "actions" before the new game is released. And just for playing the original game, you'll get a Ferrari 458 in the new one.
If you don’t have the original game, you can get the Ultimate Edition which includes both expansion packs, plus a season pass for £39.99 from Ubisoft.
The Crew 2 beta: How can I play the beta?
Ubisoft is running a beta programme for The Crew 2 so you can register your interest to be in with a chance of trying the game before it's finished.
The Crew 2 platforms: What platforms is it on?
The Crew 2 will be available on PC, Xbox One and PS4.
However, given that there’s at least one new platform – the Nintendo Switch – it’s possible that The Crew 2 will also come out for this too, though nothing is official.
It's worth noting that Sony is offering refunds on all pre-orders of The Crew 2 on the PlayStation Store following the delay in release. While Sony is staying tight-lipped for now, sources claim that the decision was made due to the unclear nature of the release date. So, if you were going to pre-order on the PS Store, we'd hold off for now!
Ubisoft nor Microsoft have confirmed whether they will follow in the footsteps of Sony.
The Crew 2 gameplay: What can I expect?
Although The Crew didn’t get the greatest of reviews, it still has around 5 million players and the open-world nature of it makes it great fun.
In fact, the huge map which recreated pretty much the whole of the US (albeit scaled right down) was – and still is – the game’s highlight.
In real terms, there’s 5000 square kilometres to explore, and driving from coast to coast (from Miami to LA) takes about 45 minutes, it’s that big.
Anyone hoping for a brand new map and location will be disappointed, as it appears that Ivory Tower has stuck with the original US map and added bits here and there and - oddly - called it MotorNation. Here's the gameplay trailer for lots more detail:
Sea and sky races
The main new feature, then, is the addition of boats and planes, so you can now race on the water and in the sky as well as on- and off-road.
A new control mechanism lets you switch between three types of vehicle during races so you could fly for a while, jump into a speedboat and then finish in a car. This applies to 'Freestyle' races.
There’s no offline mode in The Crew and it’s fair to say the game has had more than its fair share of technical problems and glitches. From what Ubisoft has announced, it appears that the sequel will be the same: this is an online racer with the same always-on internet requirement for both story mode and multiplayer racing.
Street racing is still core to the game and tweaks include things like ramps to jump onto rooftops for a different perspective during races.
Here's a screengrab of one of the menus which shows how race types are divided up:
Thanks to a new partnership with the motorbike manufacturer, The Crew 2 will include Harley Davidson motorcycles - starting with the Iron 883 below.
We’ll be following the game’s development closely and updating this article as soon as we have more details, so be sure to bookmark the page.