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The Crew 2 review: Speed racers on the ground, on the water and in the skies

There are races on the road and also

There are races on the road and also on water and in the air in The Crew 2. Photo Credit: Ubisoft

THE PLOT And they're off . . . on land, on sea and in the air.

RATED T for Teen

DETAILS $59.99; Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC

BOTTOM LINE Faster and more furious.

The Crew 2, the sequel to the popular 2014 auto racing game, kicks things up a notch by shifting the action from driving on land to boating at sea and flying around the Manhattan skyline.

Likewise, the story has a festival vibe as players compete in five different categories of events: street racing, off-road, freestyle, pro racing and the Live Xtreme Series.

Street racing has disciplines focused on drifting and drag racing while off-road features motocross and rally cars. Freestyle includes aerial acrobats via stunt planes and monster truck arenas, while pro racing focuses on F1-type vehicles and powerboats. Lastly, the Live Xtreme Series are long races that puts disciplines together, forcing players to switch between different forms and styles of transportation.

For boating, players can pull the left stick back to gain speed at the cost of control. It's a different element from the nitro boost that all vehicles have. For cars and motorcycles, there's a handbrake that lets players negotiate 90-degree and hairpin turns. Flying has an extreme mode that makes aircraft control more sensitive so that players can pull off more hair-raising stunts.

While the story has surprising moments, don't expect to find friends or villains worth caring about. Another issue: Some races, especially the longer ones, are so sprawling that it's easy to miss a turn or go off the track

But that shouldn't diminish The Crew 2 too much. The game's epic scope matches content that takes advantage of the diversity and breadth of the great American landscape.

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