The Crew 2’s technical achievements are forced to take a bit of a hit due to its grand ambitions.
In our review of The Crew 2, we arrived at the verdict that it’s a game that tries to do a lot, and while it has to be lauded for its vast and ambitious nature, we also have to knock off points for the fact that the game often buckles under those very ambitions. The same can also be said for the game’s technical aspects. The Crew 2 is a huge game with lots of different cogs turning in its machine at the same time, and while, viewed from a distance, it looks great, when you get in up close, you begin to see some of the cracks on the surface.
Before we get into that, let’s get the specs of the game on both, the Xbox One X and the PS4 Pro out of the way first. The Crew 2 runs at 30 frames-per-second on both systems, and the frame-rate rarely ever drops below that, usually maintaining a pretty steady lock on its target. It’s disappointing that it doesn’t attempt to hit 60 frames per second (the game doesn’t give an option for a separate mode that prioritizes performance over visuals), especially since a smoother frame-rate is often preferred by many players in racing games, but the game has to be given credit for maintaining the frame-rate that it does target pretty well.
When it comes to the pixel count on both systems, we begin to see the differences, and it’s the Xbox One X that comes out on top, not surprisingly. On the PS4 Pro, The Crew 2 has a pixel count of 2816×1584, while on the Xbox One X, the count is 3200×1800. 1800p on the Xbox One X is by no means very impressive, but given the large scale of the game and how taxing that can be on the engine, it’s almost understandable. Both versions of the game make use of per-object motion blue and temporal anti-aliasing.
Draw distances are another major talking point in The Crew 2, and are brought into the limelight even more when you consider the fact that the game allows you to fly airplanes and essentially look far into the distance of the game’s map. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of pop-in here, especially on the base versions of both consoles. On the PS4 Pro, though, the pop-in is less frequent and less noticeable, while the Xbox One X sees even further improvements in the area. The one area in the game, however, that is simply not up to the mark regardless of what variant of what console you’re playing it is, is the shadows. The Crew 2 allows you to walk around certain areas in first person mode (such as your garage or the game’s hubs), and looking at walls or floors or anything with shadows on it instantly lets you see horrible pixelization and very low detail.
On a macro level, The Crew 2 is actually a pretty good looking game. The interiors of cars look good, with a decent level of detail; there’s some impressive lighting work going on behind the scenes, which becomes even more impressive when you factor in the game’s day and night cycle and the constant visual changes it brings with it; while weather effects are quite impressive too, especially when it’s snowing or raining and you’re in cockpit view. However, up close, the game’s visuals falter a bit, and flaws become more readily apparent.
The effects of TAA are clear to see on both systems, which means the overall visual quality of the game takes a bit of a hit. Essentially, both systems of the game suffer from the same issues- they’re just more pronounced on the PS4 Pro than they are on the Xbox One X. By that same token, though, thanks to the One X’s higher pixel count, the game also looks a bit sharper and more detailed on the system than it does on the PS4 Pro. What this all means, ultimately, is that while the differences between both the versions of the game are plainly visible, the gap isn’t too large. That said, if we absolutely have to pick the best looking version of the game (on consoles, of course), it would have to be the Xbox One X.