The Crew Motorfest is the most recent entry in the famous The Crew series. Overall, the newer version has quite a lot of pros and cons that need to be looked at if you want to know if this is really the game for you.
Motorfest is the best example I have seen so far in competition with Forza Horizon. The level of detail is just mesmerizing but it comes at the cost of a shortened map. The main theme of Motorfest is a bunch of petrol heads gathered in Hawaii to celebrate car culture. Most of the game is relevant to the main theme as well but it can also put quite a few people in frustration mode.
Starting off with the prologue, it is truly a piece of art. During the prologue, you will be welcomed on the island and given a taste of all the “playlists” you will be playing in the game. The main thing I loved about this feature was that every playlist focused solely on one type of car culture. For example, the LBWK playlist concentrates on the JDM modifier culture all around. You will be racing around in heavily modded vehicles in performance and aesthetics. The JDM playlist focuses on the underground JDM car racing culture with drift events and sharp hairpin turns on every race. These playlists are designed to hit every kind of petrol head, be it off-roading or classics.
The bad thing about these playlists, however, is that you will need a very specific car for every race. Even if you manage to obtain one, the game will just “loan” you the required car, and the modifications you personally added will be gone. It is quite a challenge to play on a completely unidentified car with no idea of how it handles turns, how it brakes, and how it picks up. The unlocked cars you have in your inventory will feel like taxis available to take you to your next race in a playlist. You will only be able to race your own car after you have successfully completed a playlist. One more good thing about these playlists is that completing every playlist will reward you with a car associated with that playlist culture type.
Moving on to the map size, it has definitely seen better days. The map is reduced to just an island, whereas the last game, The Crew 2, had a map that took quite a good amount of time to get around. Being a free-roam world, this was quite a bad downgrade. The main reason for the map being so short in size was that the developers went rage mode on the graphics quality. The scenes are mesmerizing to look at and are a lot better than the last game. Their graphics game quite understandably competes directly with FH5. These are some of the photos I managed to grab in the photo mode, and I’m in love with them.
The game mechanics have also improved quite a bit with the additional customization option of braking and acceleration graphs. However, these graphs come as presets and cannot be modified any further. The cars feel more alive and are responsive on the throttle. The brakes are still quite under in my opinion but are manageable with upgrades. The handbrake mechanic is quite hard to master as they can initiate a drift if the car is even at a slight tilt.
Talking about upgrades, the game is quite generous with the upgrades in the initial stages. You can receive quite a lot of upgradable items, making your car the ultimate track day weapon, be it any track.
This review feels much more on the car side, doesn’t it? Well then, moving on to the boats and airplanes next. Talking about the boating experience, it wasn’t much good for me. It is to the non-realistic side a bit. I mean, boats jumping over ramps placed in water? Kinda suspicious if you ask me. The boats were fine for keeping up with the pack. However, you will need to purchase a boat to access the planes and boats playlist. There are some decent boats for sale, but they cannot be accessed due to the loaning mechanism of the game.
I wasn’t much better in the sky, either. All of the airplanes were too slow. Funny enough, my BMW M4 was quicker with some slight initial upgrades than the planes on Nitro. The hangar choice is also too limited, so staying on the cars is better for now.
Drifting was the biggest headache in the game. It requires some serious dedication and extreme attention as if you miss an inch of your line, the car will plummet into the wall, making it quite hard to reinitiate the drift. But once mastered, drifting is quite fun in this game as it closely imitates the movements of real-life drift cars. There is also an entire playlist dedicated to drifting, so you have honed your drifting skills; this playlist should be a piece of cake for you.
The personalization of characters was also limited but it is understandable, as the avatar you create will only be seen once you win or lose a game. Or if you’re in a lobby with your friends.
The AI assistant in The Crew Motorfest is quite noticeable as she will be constantly in your ear, blabbering on about anything she finds interesting. This issue will gradually decrease as you explore the game more, but at first, it is quite annoying. Another thing that upset me was the NPC talk show during the races. Casual conversation between groups was quite enjoyable, but I did not need a history lesson on my car. What I should need is more tips on how to handle the car. Being an average player of such games, it was easier for me to grasp the driving concept of the game, but I have seen shows of unimaginable suffering and frustration by amateur players because they have no idea how and when to hit the brakes, when to accelerate and when to use the nitro, all of them being the basics of the game.
Moving on to some miscellaneous details, the interface of the game is somewhat player-friendly. If you know your way around these games, then you should have no problem getting through them but the same issue again: amateurs were confused about how and where to find the most basic settings and events.
The one thing that bugged me about The Crew Motorfest was that your car will only feel right to you if you play around with the settings. What I felt more comfortable with was taking matters into my own hands, having a sequential gearbox, and turning the drift assist off. That way, I had much more control over the car, and it did not just slip out randomly from underneath. If you try to drive on the default settings, it will feel more like a drag race, and cutting corners will be your only ray of sunshine. The handling is still far better than The Crew 2, but it still has some unexplored areas and room for betterment.
The multiplayer option is full of chaos, and naturally, I would’ve expected nothing less. Amateur drivers and the sheer adrenaline are the two main factors bound to set you off your racing line and, in some cases, have devastating crashes. Overall, the server quality has been good, provided your internet doesn’t suffer from ping issues 24\7.