April 18, 2024

Revving up the engines and hitting the Hawaiian roads in The Crew Motorfest feels like taking a wild ride through a tropical paradise. Developed by Ivory Tower and fueled by Ubisoft, this game enters the arena with the big dogs. It’s all about speed, exotic cars, and stunning Hawaiian vistas at breakneck speeds.

The Crew Motorfest is the third installment in the franchise, following the 2014 original and the 2018 The Crew 2. It’s a pivot from its predecessors, exploring a different direction in the world of open-world racing.

At its heart, The Crew Motorfest offers a familiar open-world racing experience, much like the previous entries in the series. The gameplay revolves around high-speed races in exotic cars on a beautiful Hawaiian island. However, it brings its own unique elements to the table, such as the boat and plane switching mechanic, adding a fresh layer of excitement.

So, is this game all show and no go? Buckle up, because we’re diving into the heart of Motorfest to find out if it’s a paradise for racing enthusiasts or just another sunny drive down a well-trodden road.

AT A GLANCE
Title
: The Crew Motorfest
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ivory Tower
Release Date: September 14, 2023
Final Score: 8/10

The heart of The Crew Motorfest is its expansive open-world map set on the picturesque Hawaiian island of Oahu. It’s a vibrant and diverse playground for racing enthusiasts, offering a wide range of terrains and environments to explore. While not a 1:1 recreation of Oahu, the map captures the essence of the island, providing players with a stunning backdrop for their high-speed escapades.

The gameplay in Motorfest is centered around a variety of racing experiences. You’ll find yourself behind the wheel of a vast selection of exotic cars, each with its own unique characteristics. The game’s extensive car roster, featuring more than 600 vehicles, ensures that you have plenty of options to choose from, whether you’re a fan of American muscle cars or sleek Lamborghinis.

In The Crew Motorfest, they’ve really stepped up their game when it comes to how those cars handle. It’s like they gave each ride its own personality and style. Whether you’re gunning it in an American muscle car or gliding smoothly in a Lamborghini, you can feel the difference in how they handle. It’s not full-on simulation mode, but it’s a sweet spot that makes each car in your garage feel unique and, well, just plain fun to drive.

Motorfest introduces playlists, themed sets of events that offer distinct flavors and experiences. These playlists can be tackled in any order you choose, provided you have the appropriate vehicle to unlock them. Some playlists are visually impressive, like off-road forest sections or mountaintop dirt bike rides. Others add a unique twist, such as the retro playlist with decade-appropriate screen filters and a licensed soundtrack.

The game’s AI, while not perfectly balanced, provides challenging competition, especially at higher skill levels. Races can be close, and the gameplay keeps you engaged as you take in the breathtaking views and tackle the various disciplines within the game.

One small feature is the implementation of enhanced haptic feedback on the DualSense controller for PlayStation players. The haptic feedback system provides tactile sensations that immerse you further into the racing experience. You can feel the vibrations of the engine, the rumble of the road beneath your tires, and the subtle nuances of different terrain types. It’s a small but impactful detail that adds to the overall immersion and engagement, making every race and maneuver more dynamic and responsive.

Now, let’s put the brakes on the hype for a moment and talk about some of the less thrilling aspects of The Crew Motorfest. While the game offers a lot to enjoy, it’s not without its drawbacks.

First off, despite the improvements in car handling, some vehicles can still feel a bit loose and oversteer-heavy, especially when you’re pushing them to the limit. It’s not a deal-breaker, but for those who enjoy ultra-precise time attack sessions, it might be a bit frustrating.

Then there’s the issue of repetitive voiceovers and scripting. At times, the game’s characters can come across as overly enthusiastic, constantly telling you how wild and amazing the races are. It can feel a bit forced and childish, taking away from the immersive experience you’d hope for in a racing game.

The game is quite a looker. While it doesn’t aim for ultra-realism, it boasts a stylized, picturesque aesthetic that’s undeniably appealing. The lighting is well-executed, and when it comes to physics, even small details like knocking over objects or colliding with things are surprisingly well-done, adding a layer of realism to the world.

What really shines is the game’s open-world design. Because the map is so smaller this time around, it has allowed the developers to offer a more polished world to explore. It’s brilliantly crafted, allowing you to seamlessly switch between various terrains. Going from boats to racetracks, then to the skies and offroad paths, it gives you the sense that the entire gameworld is your personal playground.

Now, let’s talk about the car sounds. They’ve done a commendable job here. The engine roars, tire screeches, and the unique purr of each vehicle are a treat for automotive enthusiasts. The attention to detail in capturing these sounds adds authenticity to the experience. Whether you’re in a muscle car or a high-performance supercar, the audio feedback feels right at home.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Crew Motorfest offers a breathtaking Hawaiian setting, which provides a visually diverse and immersive backdrop for high-speed thrills. The improved car handling and a wide variety of vehicles enhance the driving experience, making each race a joy to navigate.

While the occasional inconsistency in AI difficulty may pose a minor challenge, it doesn’t overshadow the overall enjoyment. The Crew Motorfest strikes a balance between realism and arcade-style fun, catering to a wide range of racing enthusiasts.

8

PROS
+ Beautiful Hawaiian setting
+ Improved car handling
+ Diverse range of vehicles
+ Immersive visuals and Dualsense Haptic Feedback
CONS
– Occasional inconsistency in AI difficulty