Game Review : The Crew Motorfest revves up the open-world racer

Ubisoft has been a prominent player in the world of open-world racing games, and they’re back with their latest offering, The Crew Motorfest. As an avid racing fan, I couldn’t wait to dive into this title and experience its high-octane action. And after countless hours exploring its vast open world, competing in various races, and customising my dream cars, I feel as though I have only scratched the surface of the many things to do in Ubisoft’s The Crew Motorfest.

Shrinking down the map to Hawaii allows the game to be absolutely stacked with things to do, all while exploring gorgeous sand and sun-drenched vistas; The Crew Motorfest proves that the third time is definitely the charm for this franchise.

Start Your Engines!

The Crew Motorfest builds upon the foundation of its predecessors, delivering a realistic and immersive racing experience. The game boasts a massive open world across Hawaii, allowing you to explore diverse environments, from bustling city streets to serene countryside highways. The sheer size of the map is impressive and offers endless opportunities for both exploration and discovery.

Various racing events, including street races, off-road competitions, and even epic motorsport, aid diversity and keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. Each race feels distinct, requiring different strategies and skills that must match that of the car you are driving, ensuring you feel like you are constantly challenged. Whether you prefer the rush of high-speed street races or the rugged terrain of off-road adventures, there is always a new skill to master.

The customisation options are another highlight of the gameplay, offering up various parts and upgrades, which you can tweak and fine-tune to your liking. From cosmetic changes to performance enhancements, the level of customisation is incredibly satisfying and a consistently engaging feature of this experience. This allows you to create unique vehicles that match your preferred racing style, adding a personal touch to the game.

The visual and auditory aspects of The Crew Motorfest are impressive but not without some minor hiccups. The game looks stunning, with highly detailed car models and breathtaking landscapes. The transition between different open-world regions is also seamless, and the weather effects on this volcanic island are nothing short of breathtaking. This entire setting for the game is well planned out and consistently polished.

Unfortunately, the frame rate sees some occasional drops on the PS5 version, which can feel a bit jarring in an otherwise immersive world. While these hiccups don’t significantly detract from the overall experience, it’s worth noting.

The audio design is also top-notch, with an exceptional soundtrack that enhances the racing atmosphere. The sound of engines roaring and tires screeching adds to the adrenaline rush during races. This was evident through the pulsing of the brakes as you skid around corners that pulse out to the speaker on the PS5 Dual Sense controller.

Own Your Story

While The Crew Motorfest excels in gameplay and world design, it fails to deliver a compelling narrative. The story is bare-bones at best, with a predictable plot around a group of racers trying to make it big in the supposedly cutthroat motorsport world. Characters lack depth and dialogue often feels clichéd and uninspired. I know tempering your expectations in a game like this should be wise. Still, after the highlights of previous similar games like Forza Horizon, the festival playlist here can feel repetitive if you’re not a revhead.

Progression in the game is primarily about completing races and playlists to earn currency to buy and upgrade cars. While the gameplay loop of racing to earn rewards is engaging, the lack of a more engaging story-driven progression system might disappoint players who prefer a more narrative-driven experience.

Racing is Better With Friends

Ubisoft has considerably emphasised the online aspect of The Crew Motorfest, and it pays off handsomely. The game seamlessly integrates both solo and multiplayer experiences, allowing players to join or create crews with friends and tackle challenges together across the 15 playlists included at launch. One of the highlights is the Grand Race, which has a hectic 28 players that will have you switching between three different vehicles in rapid succession to keep things interesting. It is one of my favourite races of the game and is a great way to showcase the hundreds of vehicles on offer in Motorfest.

Final Thoughts

The Crew Motorfest is a formidable addition to the open-world racing genre. Its vast and diverse open world, coupled with a wide range of racing events and extensive customisation options, make for an enjoyable and immersive racing experience. Despite some minor technical issues and a lacklustre narrative, the game shines in its multiplayer offerings. As more content gets added post-launch, you will simply never be short of things to do on the island of O’ahu.

If you’re a racing enthusiast looking for a game that offers hours of exhilarating gameplay and the opportunity to share the experience with friends, The Crew Motorfest is well worth the ride. Ubisoft has once again demonstrated its expertise in the genre, and I look forward to seeing how this title evolves in the future with additional content and updates.


Highlights: Gorgeous visuals; Intuitive controls; The best of the series so far!
Lowlights: Repetitive playlists; Occasional frame rate drops
Developer: Ivory Tower
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC.
Available: Now

Review conducted on PlayStation 5 with a code provided by the publisher.