Ubisoft’s Ivory Tower is back with the third installment in The Crew franchise, and this time, they’ve taken us on a high-octane cruise to the picturesque islands of Hawaii. The Crew Motorfest brings together an impressive collection of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, boats, and planes, for an automotive extravaganza like no other.
While it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Playground Games’ Forza Horizon 5, The Crew Motorfest carves its unique path, offering a diverse and exhilarating experience for racing enthusiasts.
The Crew Motorfest Details
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, GeForce NOW and Amazon Luna
Developer(s): Ubisoft Ivory Tower
Modes: Single Player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Hawaiian playground: a map to remember
The Crew Motorfest faced the daunting challenge of creating a map that could compete with its predecessor, The Crew 2, which featured a condensed version of the entire United States. Hawaii, though smaller, manages to offer a vast and immensely detailed map with diverse biomes that cater to all your land, sea, and air-based racing desires. From lush jungles to dormant volcanoes, charming villages, stunning beaches, and endless ocean vistas, Hawaii provides a visually striking backdrop for your racing adventures.
The vibrant and varied environment showcases the power of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, leaving no room for complaints about the visuals. The game offers two modes: a performance mode targeting 60 frames per second and a quality mode that prioritizes improved graphics. This allows you to choose between a smoother, more responsive experience or a visually detailed one, catering to your individual preferences.
For me, one standout feature of The Crew Motorfest is the seamless vehicle transition. With a simple button press, you can switch between your land, water, or air vehicles without any loading time. This fluidity allows you to navigate Hawaii effortlessly, and in my opinion, enhancing the overall gaming experience.
Playlist paradise: races and challenges galore
Beyond the breathtaking tourism opportunities that Hawaii presents, The Crew Motorfest delivers where it counts—the playlists. These playlists consist of events that bring together various races and challenges, each requiring specific types of vehicles, be it muscle cars, motorcycles, drift cars, or even Formula 1 speedsters. Some events even feature iconic branded cars like the Porsche 911 and Lamborghinis, while others take you on a nostalgic ride with classic vehicles from the 50s to the 80s.
James Pumphrey, the editor-in-chief of Donut Media, adds a touch of humour and automotive expertise as he hosts some of the game’s competitions. Environmental challenges, such as treasure hunts, are also part of the mix, offering valuable rewards like experience points, credits, and car parts.
The Crew Motorsport offers three difficulty levels at the start, allowing you to tailor the AI’s difficulty to your liking. Moreover, The Crew Motorfest lets you adjust the difficulty level mid-game based on your performance, offering a total of five difficulty levels to keep the challenge just right. Additionally, you can toggle the driving assistance display on or off for a more immersive experience.
The music in The Crew Motorfest doesn’t disappoint either, featuring a soundtrack that complements the high-speed action. Retro licensed themes for races with classic vehicles add to the overall ambiance and excitement.
Forza Horizon comparison: boats and planes in the mix
It’s hard to ignore the similarities between The Crew Motorfest and Forza Horizon, especially with their shared open-world racing formula, music selection, and style. Both games offer a sense of freedom and exploration. However, The Crew Motorfest distinguishes itself with its inclusion of boats and planes, expanding the range of experiences available.
One notable aspect where The Crew Motorfest falls short is the abundance of duplicate vehicles with minor visual changes. While you can purchase cars and customize them, many challenges require specific, unmodified vehicles. This limitation can be frustrating especially if you have invested time and effort in building a vast garage of custom cars, only to find that you can’t use them for certain events. Earning new vehicles can also be a slow and tedious process.
Though The Crew Motorfest offers nearly 600 vehicles, it allows you to purchase cars, not just cosmetics, with real money, raising questions about the game’s microtransactions. While it may not strictly be “Pay-To-Win,” the inclusion of real-money purchases in a full-priced game can be a point of contention. Furthermore, certain events and playlists may temporarily penalize players who cannot log in regularly.
Always online, occasionally disconnected
One notable drawback to the game is The Crew Motorfest’s always-online requirement. To play the game, you must be connected to the internet. This can be problematic if you’re traveling without internet access or if server issues arise. Although the game’s servers have generally provided a stable experience, it’s a factor worth considering.
As with any online game, you’re prone to occasional disconnection issues. These problems may cause problems and, in some cases, necessitate menu exits and reentries. While it’s unclear whether playing from the same physical location contributes to this problem, it’s worth noting for potential players seeking a smooth multiplayer experience.
The Crew Motorfest offers a solid and entertaining racing experience
Despite these minor hiccups, The Crew Motorfest maintains its solid technical performance, offering an entertaining array of races and events. The driving system has seen significant improvements, resulting in a more enjoyable and immersive experience. The visuals stand out as truly breathtaking, showcasing the game’s attention to detail and the capabilities of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
The Crew Motorfest emerges as the crown jewel of the franchise, marking an impressive leap forward for Ubisoft Ivory Tower. While it draws inspiration from Forza Horizon, it manages to craft a distinct identity through its inclusion of boats and planes, as well as its diverse playlists. The various difficulty levels and driving customization options ensure that both casual and hardcore players can enjoy playing the game.
Undoubtedly, The Crew Motorfest is a must-play title for racing enthusiasts and open-world aficionados alike. It encapsulates the thrill of speed and exploration while offering an unforgettable journey through the tropical paradise of Hawaii. Whether you’re soaring through the skies, racing on land or water, or simply basking in the breathtaking beauty of Hawaii, The Crew Motorfest promises an automotive extravaganza that is sure to rev up your engines and keep you coming back for more.
+ Entertaining array of races and events
+ Various levels of difficulty and driving customization make it accessible for everyone
+ Nearly 600 vehicles to play and choose from
– Requires an online connection to play
– Earning new vehicles can be a slow and tedious process
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF THE CREW MOTORFEST
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5