The Crew Motorfest Final Hands-on Preview – Tropical torque

Posted on July 20, 2023

We’re still revving up our engines after our initial hands-on with The Crew Motorfest, as the highly anticipated sequel to The Crew 2. We had the chance to get three and a half hours with the game at Ubisoft’s Sydney studio with all sorts of cars and game modes.

Festival vibes

Clearly taking inspiration from the acclaimed Forza Horizon series, The Crew Motorfest brings a fresh and light-hearted festival atmosphere to the racing genre. The characters you’ll meet along the journey are all very “chill” and “cool”, with their own quirky quips and radical experiences racing all sorts of different vehicles across the tropical landscape.

“…a fresh and fun environment to explore in a car, boat, plane, or on a motorcycle.”

Venturing outside mainland USA for the first time, The Crew Motorfest transports you to the stunning Hawaiian archipelago. O’ahu is the home of Motorfest and the entire festival is themed around the beachy atmosphere and towns of the island. We had the opportunity to fully explore the open world of the island, driving through many different terrains, including dense rainforests and a volcano that centres the map. It’s a fresh and fun environment to explore in a car, boat, plane, or on a motorcycle.

A mixtape of racing

The Crew Motorfest introduces Playlists, offering a range of diverse events. With a line-up of 15 playlists available right from the launch, there’s something to ignite the passion of every racing aficionado.

“Each had its own distinct feel and tone, adding variety to the overall experience.”

One of the standout Playlists we had the opportunity to dive into was Made in Japan, where the vibrant streets of Tokyo were brought to life in the stunning backdrop of transformed Hawaii. Neon lights illuminated the race tracks, and holographic dragons soared overhead, creating a mesmerising atmosphere.

The intense electronic vehicle Playlist provided a unique twist, featuring pink turbo strips that charged cars with nitro boost, fundamentally changing the dynamics of the races. It introduced missions that required reaching checkpoints without damaging the vehicle excessively, adding an extra layer of challenge to the other races. Additionally, we explored a beachy, off-roader and an old-school gearhead Playlist. Each had its own distinct feel and tone, adding variety to the overall experience.

The characters in each Playlist share great attention to detail and technical knowledge of these driving machines. All the bubbly and excited personalities can’t stop talking about their passion for motor vehicles, describing all the different mechanics, nuances, and even explaining to you abbreviations during your races. That extra element of history and understanding tthrown in from the dialogue is a nice touch for those interested in the background.

Show off your style

With over 600 vehicles featured in the game, including new brands, car categories, and models, you have a vast selection of cars to acquire and add to their collection. From exclusive hypercars like the Lamborghini Revuelto to iconic classics like the Toyota Supra, there’s a car for every racing enthusiast. As you progress through the game and complete various challenges, races, and events, you’ll earn rewards that grant you access to new and coveted vehicles.

“From exclusive hypercars like the Lamborghini Revuelto to iconic classics like the Toyota Supra, there’s a car for every racing enthusiast.”

The Playlists also serve to unlock exclusive rewards. By successfully completing the challenges and races within each, you can earn unique cosmetic items, performance upgrades, and other bonuses.

Unlockable items come with their own rarity and sometimes include selectable performance bonuses, like 5% more nitro boost or 2% more credits gained. You’ll be getting random green, blue, purple and orange drops as you complete races and find hidden caches in the open world.

These items, including performance upgrades to your car, are also available to be purchased in the game shop using real-world currency or credits earned from races. We’re curious to see how this is properly balanced when it launches. The good news is you can import all your existing unlocks from The Crew 2 into Motorfest!

Road to mastery

The Crew Motorfest features live game modes as part of its Main Stage content. These modes provide ongoing activities and a continuous roster of cars to compete against. By participating in intense races with up to 28 players or engaging in competitive events with up to 32 players in 8 crews, you can climb the leader boards and earn prestigious rewards.

There are also random activities around the open world to complete as part of Main Stage if you prefer to drive solo and enjoy the ride. You may be tasked with driving as far away as possible to outrun an exponentially growing zone or make big jumps. Throughout the open world, there are also secrets to uncover that will unlock items and cosmetics of varying rarity.

Weekly ranked events offer a chance to prove your skills and aim for the top positions, while the Custom Show allows you to impose your personal style and win exclusive rewards on a regular basis.

What we found in our hands-on was the Main Stage activities were not entirely engaging or rewarding as hoped. Albeit this content was a snippet of what the live service rotation would feature and we played offline, too. We’re looking forward to trying it out with the rest of the world to see how exciting these events can be.

The Crew Motorfest launches on 14 September 2023 for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. We’re looking forward to driving around Hawaii and learning more about car culture when it finally releases.