The Crew Motorfest Review – High Octane in Hawaii

The Crew Motorfest on PS5

Ubisoft have returned with yet another fun, online racing experience with The Crew Motorfest. Boasting a roster full of cars and other vehicles, the journey is one that is likely to make most racing fans happy, and has proven to be a great gaming road trip. Oh, and it just happens to be set in beautiful Hawaii as well.

A volcanic landscape in The Crew Motorfest
Image Source: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

The game may contain similar aspects to other racing games, but manages to hold its own while also incorporating some more old school mechanics. Realism is definitely not Motorfest’s aim; however, it is an experience that is graphically pleasing and faithful to the history of car culture with a broad spectrum of vehicles to choose from.

Without further ado, let’s look at what The Crew Motorfest has to offer.


The playlist main screen from The Crew Motorfest
Image Source: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

Playlists are the racing events that you will compete in throughout the game. These are offered up as soon as you start playing. Although the game initially directs you to begin a specific playlist to get started, once you have access to the menu you can essentially choose any playlist that you like (as long as you have the right vehicle for it).

American Muscle, Made in Japan, and Vintage Garage are just a few of the playlists that you will be able to play through. In these races you will be driving in cars that fit the theme of the playlist title. This allows the player to experience lots of cars with great variation.

The game also manages to teach the player some of the aspects of certain car cultures without making it feel like attending class. The little factoids provided are interesting, and set the game apart from other rivals of the same genre.

With the Made in Japan playlist for example, each race within the selection takes a look at a different type of Japanese street racing, and the culture that has been cultivated over the years. From the modification of all types of cars, to the invention of drifting, the playlist gives you a clear idea of what it is like to take part in a Tokyo street race, even though the game itself is not set in Japan.


The custom Liberty Walk BMW awarded to you in The Crew Motorfest
Image Source: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

The handling of cars has definitely been taken into consideration, and each vehicle has its own handling system that can be felt while driving. Although it is a virtual experience, it is still like you can feel the weight of the car as you are putting your foot down, and bringing pedal to the metal.

Despite Motorfest not being a driving simulator, care has notably been taken to have the vehicles feel as good and true to form as possible, while still keeping the arcade-like nature of the game. The inclusion of nitro reminds the player that it is all about fun over realism. It acts as a call back to earlier racing games of the 2000s, and is a blast to use.

Unless you are in a classic car, nitro is available on pretty much anything. Before playing, my bet would have been that nobody had ever driven a Lamborghini and thought it would be improved with a bit of nitrous. Well, I’d be wrong – as you can find it on Lambos as well.

Motorfest is definitely geared towards being the fastest driving experience possible, but despite the nitro it still provides a good amount of focus on how each car is individual and performs differently from others. Even cars that appear in the same class have nice distinct feelings.

Take Flight and Sail on the Seas

The Crew Motorfest sets itself apart from the pack with the inclusion of boats and airplanes. Rather than sticking to just one vehicle type, the game allows you to explore land, air, and sea allowing you to fully take in Hawaii in all of its glory.

Out of all of the modes of transport, I would say that the boating sections are my least favorite, but they do add a little something more to the game that I would probably miss if they were to be removed. Boats usually end up clambering on top of each other, which can add to the adrenaline and excitement, but the sections feel just a little slow sometimes in comparison to the car races.

The plane sections are satisfying, and in a way hark back to the flight lessons of games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto V. It also quite hectic fun, when you see someone go to start their playlist by swooping down in a propeller plane and landing (rather clumsily) on the start point.

The map view from The Crew Motorfest
Image Source: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

Taking flight does allow you to see the map from high up, and arguably creates more appreciation for the detail that the developers have added in order to make Hawaii seem as full of life as possible.

The map also happens to be spectacular. Its detail, and ability to zoom in while remaining in 3D is a welcome addition. You instantly gain a sense of where you are heading around the island, and it is about as visually compelling as you can get when showing players where to head.

Ubisoft are not strangers to including multiple transport methods in their games. 2021’s Riders Republic followed the same formula of having many players roam around the map on their chosen vehicle for getting around.

Although it could be viewed as Ubisoft rinsing and repeating a formula that was proven to work last time except with cars, Motorfest is still very enjoyable, and is just as effective this time around as well.

Skills and Challenges

A ramp around Hawaii in The Crew Motorfest
Image Source: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

Similar to other racers, there are challenges to participate in outside of the main racing events. There are seven events that you can choose to try, and these span all vehicle types as well.

Speedtrap, Escape, Aerobatics, Low Altitude, Slalom, Bull Eyes, and Buoys are what you will find dotted around the map as you make your way around Hawaii.

They are easy to encounter and easy to trigger. They focus on elements such as getting to top speeds, outrunning expanding walls, and testing your driving and flying skills to get through markers. They add more zest to the game, and also put spins on side quest classics that have been around for a few years now, so that they remain fresh for Ubisoft’s pitch to the racing world.

A treasure box from The Crew Motorfest
Image Source: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

Motorfest has its own version of barn finds as well, which are treasure hunts. When in the vicinity of a treasure box, a radar will start sounding from your mini map. These are great little side finds that will net you experience points and car parts as well.

Repetition is unavoidable in games such as Motorfest, so it’s nice to see that there are other ways to pass the time, and other competitive ways to go head to head with other players that have completed the same challenges.

You Can Upgrade Your Car with Ease

In my opinion, the upgrade mechanic in The Crew Motorfest is a nice midpoint between full control of every single part of your car, and using auto upgrade. By winning races, you will receive parts to make your cars perform better. The better the part, the higher number it will have as a grading. All you need to do is update your car with the improved parts as you go along.

Some parts will improve some aspects, and decrease others slightly. The process is so uncomplicated that it feels satisfying enough for you to feel as though you are manually upgrading your car, and not so tricky that you dread going to the upgrades screen.

Players that are also gear heads may find the system to be a little too simplistic. If you are used to being in complete control of the minutest of details and part changes, then it may seem lackluster. However, given that Motorfest is more of an arcade game rather than a driving sim, I think it does well at balancing this components out.

Is Motorfest the Motor…best?

It is admittedly difficult to create something that feels completely new in today’s gaming climate. There are now so many games on the market; that it’s hard to find something that is truly original.

I believe that Ubisoft went into the making of The Crew Motorfest knowing this, and instead just set out to make something that is as fun as possible.

With the wacky challenges and amazing location, I can’t deny that Motorfest is not just a fast ride, but a good ride. With your car stereo blasting, and your engine roaring, you will most likely find at least one thing to enjoy about the game. It may not end up being game of the year, but it is a game worth your time.

The Crew Motorfest

Reviewer: Hannah Townsend

Award: Editor’s Choice