The Crew Motorfest is by far the best in the series taking place in a beautiful, but small location. The racing game is better than average, but it still has some room for improvement. At times it feels like the game tries to do too much providing an overwhelming experience and for a racing game it feels like there is too much dialogue when participating in playlist events.
Developer – Ivory Tower
Publisher – Ubisoft
Platforms – Xbox Series X (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
Review copy given by Publisher
Ubisoft and Ivory Tower are here with their latest installation of The Crew series with Motorfest taking place in a tropical location, Hawaii. With The Crew Motorfest, there are hundreds of cars to collect from the past, present, and the future allowing players to customize theirs to how they like it creating a unique experience throughout the journey across O’ahu Hawaii
Jumping into the game for the first time you’ll be greeted with an introduction that will tease you by doing small portions of different races. These teases consist of street racing, offroad racing, motorsport racing, and others which is a neat way to introduce you to the new racing game. After you are greeted with the high-quality cutscenes, you will be able to customize your driver and from my experience, the customization options for your character didn’t impress me.
You’ll be introduced by your personal AI, Cara who will guide you through your free-roam journey or even during a race. She will give you better insights into all models of cars along with their backgrounds and will educate you on the locations you are traveling through in Hawaii. The Crew Motorfest without a question comes with a heavy amount of dialogue and Cara is a big part of it.
After you are introduced to the game you’ll find yourself in a central location where the Motorfest is located where you can either find online matches or start your free drive journey searching for treasure or participating in Playlists like the Hawaii Scenic Tour, American Muscle, or even the Made In Japan Playlist There are a number of different playlists to play in this game, but these three are some of the basic ones that you’ll most likely hit first.
Each Playlist comes with a set amount of races or events to participate in and each of them comes with its own atmosphere. For example, during the Made In Japan Playlist, there are races where they transform cities in Hawaii into what it looks like, Tokyo which made me almost forget I was racing in Hawaii at times. Where this playlist shines is how it educates you on Japanese car brands like Mazda, Honda, Toyota, and the list goes on. These tours also loan you a new car each race if you don’t own a vehicle with the required specifications, whereas in other racing games sometimes you have to actually have ownership of a specific car type before continuing on.
The variety of events within these Playlists is nice to see because racing constantly can get old fast, but in The Crew Motorfest, you will be put into a position to participate in a Drag Race, Time Trials, Boat Races or even flying planes giving you a unique view of the game’s location.
Flying planes in this game almost feels like a surprise because when you think of The Crew you just think of racing cars, not flying planes or even riding boats. The flying mechanics in Motorfest are not perfect and can be frustrating to use, especially in my experience. Participating in boat races was a fun experience taking me back to the days of Hyrdo Thunder.
The gameplay in The Crew Motorfest is like any other arcade racing game, it comes with a boosting ability so you aren’t relying on the car upgrades you build into the car and racing comes with unique courses taking you off the pavement into the woods or going on unrealistic jumps. While going at full speed the game feels great although, I did have issues at times when making sharp turns or steering in certain directions, but that could’ve been the type of car I used as well.
Because this game is open world, you have the freedom to explore wherever you choose. This includes the ability to crash through various obstacles such as trees, bushes, and outdoor decorations. One noteworthy aspect of the game is the lack of obstructive barriers, as you can plow through smaller objects like boulders and small trees without losing momentum. However, there are larger obstacles like buildings, houses, and large trees that will halt your progress completely.
Making money in The Crew can take a while depending on your approach. You may stumble upon hidden treasures that contain money, or you can earn cash faster by playing a playlist at a higher difficulty and placing in the Top 3 or winning.
Visually, this game is beautiful to look at. There has not been a moment while playing this game where I thought it was lacking in this department. One of the best aspects of The Crew Motorfest is the way it presents itself and players are able to see it on land while driving their sports car, driving their boat in the ocean with the stunning water design, and flying on a plane above land to soak it all in.
Racing games aren’t known for their dialogue, but this game provides more than it should. While racing in regular playlists you’ll be talked to by Cara and an expert within the event itself. For example, in the Hawaii Scenic Tour, there’s Keola who talks to you about the sights of Hawaii and it gives you a neat perspective about the area, but honestly, I’m just trying to race. Some players like me don’t want to know about the history of car models or the area itself, but luckily you can turn off this type of dialogue and race in peace with the sound of your car and environment.
Another positive about Motorfest is that it comes with a lot of ways to customize your vehicle whether it’s aesthetically or for performance there’s everything for the casual and hardcore racer.
The Crew Motorfest is an above-average racing game, but it’s not perfect. At times it feels like the game tries to do too much providing an overwhelming experience at first. Although the game’s location is stunning, it feels too small for an open arcade racing game.