The Crew Motorfest marks the latest installment in the renowned The Crew series. This updated version presents a mix of advantages and disadvantages, which warrant careful consideration if you’re pondering whether it’s the right game for you.
Motorfest impressively holds its ground, even when compared to the likes of Forza Horizon. The attention to detail within the game is truly mesmerizing, although this intricate design does come at the expense of a somewhat condensed map. Motorfest revolves around the theme of car culture enthusiasts congregating in Hawaii to celebrate their passion. While the majority of the game aligns with this central theme, it may occasionally frustrate certain players.
Commencing with the prologue, it’s a true work of art. During this introductory phase, you’ll be warmly welcomed to the island and provided with a taste of the various “playlists” you’ll encounter throughout the game. A notable feature is that each playlist centers around a specific facet of car culture. For instance, the LBWK playlist delves into the world of JDM modifiers, offering races featuring heavily customized vehicles in terms of both performance and aesthetics. Meanwhile, the JDM playlist caters to underground JDM car racing culture, featuring drift events and challenging hairpin turns in every race. These playlists are thoughtfully designed to cater to every type of car enthusiast, whether their passion lies in off-roading or classic cars.
However, a downside to these playlists is the requirement for a specific car for each race. Even if you manage to obtain the required car, the game essentially “borrows” it from you for the race, nullifying any personal modifications you may have made. Navigating races with an unfamiliar car, not knowing how it handles turns, brakes, or accelerates, can be quite a challenge. Your own car collection starts to feel like a fleet of taxis merely transporting you to your next race in a playlist. It’s only after successfully completing a playlist that you regain the ability to race with your own car. On a positive note, each completed playlist rewards you with a car associated with that specific culture type, incentivizing exploration and mastery of various car cultures.
Let’s now discuss the map size, and it’s apparent that it has undergone some significant changes. The expansive map of the previous installment, The Crew 2, which required a substantial amount of time to traverse, has now been condensed into a single island. This transition to a smaller map size represents a noticeable downgrade, particularly for those who relish the freedom of a vast open world.
The primary reason behind this reduction in map size is the developers’ unwavering focus on enhancing graphics quality. The visual landscapes are undeniably breathtaking, surpassing the standards set by the previous game. Their graphics prowess puts them in direct competition with FH5. As evident from these photos I’ve managed to capture using the in-game photo mode, the visuals are truly captivating and have won me over.
Game mechanics have seen significant improvements, including the addition of customizable braking and acceleration graphs. However, it’s important to note that these graphs are offered as presets and cannot be further adjusted. The vehicles now exhibit a livelier feel, responding promptly to throttle inputs. While the braking performance might still leave room for improvement, it becomes more manageable with the application of upgrades. On the other hand, mastering the handbrake mechanic can be a bit challenging, as even a slight tilt of the car can trigger a drift.
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 predominantly focuses on the automobile aspect, doesn’t it? Let’s now shift our attention to boats and airplanes. When it comes to the boating experience, it left much to be desired. It leaned towards the unrealistic side, with boats seemingly defying physics by jumping over waterborne ramps. It felt a bit suspicious, to be honest. While the boats did a decent job of keeping pace with the competition, gaining access to the planes and boats playlist necessitates a boat purchase. Some decent boats were available for sale, but the game’s loaning mechanism prevented access to them.
My aerial escapades weren’t any better. All the airplanes felt painfully sluggish. Interestingly, even my BMW M4, with some initial upgrades, outperformed the Nitro-powered planes in terms of speed. Moreover, the limited hangar options discouraged me from taking to the skies, making sticking with cars the more appealing choice for the time being.
Drifting posed a significant challenge in the game. It demanded unwavering dedication and intense focus because deviating even slightly from your intended line could send your car careening into a wall, making it frustrating to reinitiate the drift. However, once you master the art of drifting, it becomes an enjoyable experience, closely mirroring the movements of real-life drift cars. The game even offers an entire playlist dedicated to drifting, so if you’ve honed your drifting skills, this playlist should be a breeze for you.
Character customization, on the other hand, felt somewhat limited. This limitation is understandable since the avatar you create is only visible when you win or lose a game or when you’re in a lobby with friends.
The AI assistant in The Crew Motorfest is undeniably prominent, and she consistently fills your ears with chatter about anything that piques her interest. This can be quite vexing, particularly in the initial stages of gameplay. However, as you delve deeper into the game, this issue gradually diminishes.
Another aspect that left me somewhat displeased was the NPC talk show that accompanies races. While casual conversations among groups added an enjoyable layer of immersion, I found myself less interested in receiving a history lesson about my car. What I truly needed were more tips on effectively managing the vehicle. As a moderately skilled player of such games, I found it relatively easy to grasp the fundamental driving concepts in the game. However, I witnessed instances of excruciating frustration among novice players who lacked guidance on when to brake, when to accelerate, and when to employ nitro – all fundamental elements of the game.
Now, let’s delve into some miscellaneous aspects of the game. The game’s interface is somewhat user-friendly, especially if you’re well-versed in these types of games. Navigating through it should pose no significant challenges for experienced players. However, a recurring issue arose for beginners who struggled to locate even the most basic settings and events.
One particular aspect that bothered me about The Crew Motorfest was that achieving the ideal feel for your car required some tinkering with the settings. Personally, I found greater comfort in taking control of certain parameters, such as opting for a sequential gearbox and disabling drift assist. This approach provided me with much more authority over the car, preventing those frustrating random slips. If you attempt to drive with the default settings, it tends to feel more like a drag race, and your best bet for success will be hugging those corners tightly. The handling has undoubtedly improved from The Crew 2, yet there are still uncharted territories and room for further enhancement.
The multiplayer mode is a whirlwind of chaos, and truth be told, I wouldn’t have expected anything less. In this realm, you’ll encounter a mix of novice drivers and an abundance of adrenaline, both of which are prime ingredients for veering off your racing line and, in some instances, experiencing catastrophic crashes. On the whole, the server quality has proven to be reliable, assuming your internet connection isn’t plagued by persistent ping issues around the clock.