Preview: The Crew Motorfest: Hawaii Police State of Ubisoft’s Racing Game

Estimated read time 6 min read

The Crew Forzafest

The first minutes of The Crew Motorfest We were, however, very scared. The introduction projects us on the island of Oahu, spectators of multiple races where the engines roar, revealing the varied landscapes of the pearl of the Hawaiian archipelago. Supercharged GTs take over from vehicles cut for the off-roadbefore the power monsters made in italy take over, then give way to F1 single-seaters. All this in a sequence with a frantic rhythm and a much too choppy editing, which immediately recalls the boosted introduction of Forza Horizon 5. And it won’t be the only time Playground Games’ shadow of the titan comes to play with the light of The Crew Motorfest

To complete the mimicry, The Crew launches us into a race in full cutscene. Between two sequences of drifting, here we are catapulted onto the Made in Japan playlist, at the wheel of a multicolored racing car in a setting of garish fuschia and purple neon lights. Then a new countdown arrives, and it is in Ford Bronco that we defy the competition, before taking the controls of a single-seater F1, to continue with a competition vintage caravan, then to finish with a Lamborghini Revuelto, mechanical colossus with dantesque performance (1015 horsepower under the hood, just that). It is exhausted that we loop this prologue of about fifteen minutes. And with the feeling that Forza Horizon 5 is clearly the target of The Crew Motorfest.

Surfin’ in Oahu

If we could say that it is a losing battle, we will however change our minds to indulge in such intellectual facility. Because if we focus on the sensations controller in hand, and on what the title has to offer, it is impossible not to find The Crew Motorfest attractive. Between conceding the lion’s share to a 100% arcade feeling à la Burnout Paradise (on which the author of these lines has spent far too much time), or leaving for a simracing super realistic, The Crew Motorfest chose not to choose. Nitro-boost and outrageous drifts cohabit with possibilities of very sharp mechanical adjustments. And that’s good. If the regulars of the series will not be disturbed by the grip of the beast, because very similar to the two previous opuses, the driving is all the same much more subtle. The weight of the vehicles is much better returned than in The Crew 2 : a Bronco will not have the same grip as a Lamborghini, and the sensations of braking power and acceleration are much more successful than with the ancestors of Motorfest. But even more, it is in the choice to have opted for Oahu as a playground that lies the real discovery of this new The Crew.

Because the island is a breath of fresh air after two episodes to prowl in the United States weakly represented and rather gloomy graphically. Oahu is a land of diversity. The mountain is a short drive from the seaside, and drift in the high altitude switchbacks before being able to reach a city full of life in a few moments is a real pleasure. If the card is much more collected than in the past, it is for the best. The franchise thus gains in environmental realism, and also gains in personality. The change of scenery is clearly there, and that’s exactly what The Crew needed to establish its identity. Oahu’s scenery is varied and invites exploration. We take pleasure in exploring this island, discovering the variety of its proposals in terms of race tracks and artistic creations. The possibility of being able to extricate ourselves from the cockpit of our four wheels to enjoy an exploration by biplane, motorbike or boat takes on its full meaning here, as the rugged cartography of the places calls for discovery. Between two races, we will be surprised to take the controls of our plane towards the setting sun, or to follow the coasts of the island to enjoy the maritime landscape. These means of transport which were a bit of a gadget (not to say integrated into the forceps) in The Crew 2 finally make sense.

car porn

If these moments of contemplation are possible, it is also, and above all, thanks to the technological gap that exists between The Crew Motorfest and its predecessors. Technically, the title is very solid. Apart from a few small drops in frame rate during orgiastic scrambles on the screen, the whole thing turned very stable during the 4 hours of preview. Although we are still short of the next-gen ejaculation of a Forza Horizon 5 or a Gran Turismo 7, The Crew Motorfest does not have to be ashamed of its graphics performance. Where the title has a real card to play, it is in its content, and in its philosophy which consists in wanting to please all lovers of beautiful bodywork, whatever the geographical origin or the year of production of this one.

The title is organized around a system of playlists, accessible at key points on the map. Each of the 15 playlists available at launch has a particular theme: Made in Japan, the electric odyssey, Vintage, discovery of Hawaii in off-road…Made In Japan brings back racing clichés underground of the Japanese capital in the streets of Honolulu, with an almost retro-futuristic atmosphere. The electric odyssey highlights power monsters with “clean” engines, while the Vintage clearly won our votes. This offers an almost “pure” driving experience, driving legendary vehicles (Cadillac Eldorado, my love). No GPS, no nitro-boost, and with a nice washed-out color filter as a bonus. It’s very simple, it’s like being in Under the blue skies of Hawaiiseated next to an Elvis with slicked back hair, an open floral shirt and gazing towards the azure horizon.

And to satisfy the obsessed with mechanics, know that each race will be an opportunity to win money, new cars, or improvement parts. A passage through the virtual garage, and it will be the door open to an abyss of vehicle customization possibilities, both interior and exterior. The possibilities of personalization are enormous, from the livery of the car, to its mirrors and exhaust pipes, through its suspensions and the grip of its tires, there is enough to waste hours modifying, improving, pampering its supercars… With more than 600 vehicles available, in other words, you could spend the year there. The Crew Motorfest will heat up V8s starting September 14, 2023 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC as well as Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and Amazon Luna.

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