To much of my surprise, I am actually enjoying Ubisoft’s latest racer, The Crew Motorfest. While I do usually like to drive around an open world while bashing through trees and ramping down hills, I have suffered from driving fatigue after spending hundreds of hours in the obvious other racing clone, Forza Horizon 5 and more recently, LEGO 2K Drive.
I won’t deny that I didn’t have much excitement for The Crew Motorfest leading up to its launch but after spending a good six hours with the game, it far surpassed my expectations. Likely the game’s best feature is its world. Hawaii is an absolute gem and I can confidently say Motorfest has the best-looking and most intricately designed racing worlds I have ever been through.
While the scale of the island is a lot smaller than what you would find in other games, Ubisoft has made up for that with finer track designs and beautiful vistas that cover the entire location. It especially hit me when I was racing through the jungles and across the black sand beaches when I realized “This game is goddamn beautiful”.
But you need to appreciate world design and modern-day technology to really digest what is going on in The Crew Motorfest. The game’s world is brought to life with a stunning lighting system that covers the majority of the island. It fills every location, hits wet puddles makes water glisten and shines brightly off the car hood.
If you are lucky enough to own a decent monitor or TV, be sure to enable the scRGB in The Crew Motorfest. This truly captures all the incredible colours across the island. Not to mention the cars have the next level of visual fidelity with this extended wide colour gamut.
Of course, you spend a lot of time racing in The Crew Motorfest and across the two-dozen playlists I got through, every single race felt handmade and well-designed. I feel like Ubisoft designed the tracks around the island and not the other way around.
One playlist that I specifically enjoyed is the Hawaii Scene Tour which put me in a range of cars and set me off across long-distance treks throughout the island. Some of these events took over ten minutes to get through but the enjoyable journey was filled with tight corners to turn, smart bends to master and tough opponents to keep ahead of.
From the outside, it does look as if The Crew Motorfest has an identity crisis. The whole “racing festival” approach feels familiar and if anything, overly done by now. However, underneath all of that, there’s a pretty decent racing game here with a robust car roster and a beautiful island to explore. Sure, I am only a few hours in but I had no hope this game would pull me in. It has been the complete opposite.
If you want to play The Crew Motorfest before investing in the game, you can start your own five-hour trial later this week. Between 14-17 September, you can play a full five hours of the game and carry your progress over if you decide to buy it. I highly recommend taking advantage of this. Five hours in Hawaii might do you good. You can find out more about The Crew Motorfest trial here. The trial (and game)l is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.