In 2017, Ubisoft announced that it was delaying two major franchises and moving their launches back several months, putting them into a 2018 launch window instead. Far Cry 5 moved to a late March 2018 window, just in time for sales to reflect on Ubisoft’s balance sheets before their financial year ended, and The Crew 2 was moved to an undetermined date set after the rollover into the 2018-2019 financial year. That time is (almost) now. There’s a trailer for racing fans after the jump, and some details about the pre-order incentives (though, I remind readers that pre-orders aren’t really necessary in this day and age).

The Crew 2 is nothing like the first game in the series. Players don’t pick up the role of the protagonist in a storyline about revenge and speed. Instead, The Crew 2 is all about competitions and the thrill of going anywhere fast. There are no police, and players are given free roam of a map of the United States. The game’s emphasis is on players rising up the ranks as a celebrity racer, earning followers online as you win more races and do more stunts, and appear on more magazine covers. Notoriety is the main aim here, just like the 2015 Need for Speed reboot.

This past weekend, Ubisoft held a closed alpha test for The Crew 2, which I was invited to. I can’t say a word about the alpha’s contents, but I can say that they’re further along than I expected. An open beta or two for the game should be expected in the coming months.

The Crew 2 includes racing disciplines from road and track events, off-road events, as well as speedboat and airplane racing. Basically, take the racing activities found in Grand Theft Auto Online, and make an entire game around them. Players will also have other activities to keep them occupied, including versus events, multi-lap F1 races, and competition between teams or factions. The latter kept up interest in The Crew for a while as players fought for their factions to capture areas, so I’m hoping to see this return in the new game.

Pre-ordering The Crew 2’s Deluxe Edition will net you some in-game goodies, including the Mercedes-AMG C65 Touring Car, the Harley-Davidson Iron 883, the Ford F-150 Raptor Race truck, the Pilatus PC-21 stunt plane, and the FIAT ABARTH 500 monster truck (that last one is based on a real car).

Pre-ordering the Motor Edition will include the Deluxe Pack, the Season Pass, a map of the game, a steelbook case, a licence plate, some stickers, and the Gold Edition of the game (which I can’t tell you what it includes because Ubisoft’s website is down for maintenance right now).

The Crew 2 launches on 29 June 2018 for Windows PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The game is also enhanced for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

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