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Review: The Crew Motorfest wants to be Forza Horizon so bad, but just can't catch up

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

In a race with Forza Horizon, The Crew Motorfest comes up a bit short

Image: Ubisoft
Image: Ubisoft

The Crew Motorfest

Developer: Ivory Tower

Publisher: Ubisoft

Release Date: 9/11/2023

Review Score: 7.5

Quick Verdict:

The Crew Motorfest is a fun game but doesn’t quite live up to the source material that inspired it. If you are a fan of these open-world racers though, at least download the demo to give it a chance.


  • Hawaii is beautifully represented in the game.

  • A lot of different activities will keep you busy for a while.

  • Evolving weekly content will keep the game fresh.


  • Intermittent server connection issues.

  • Can't pick up where you left off if you leave the game.

  • It can take longer than it should to log into the game.

A key was not provided for this review by the developer.

The Crew Motorfest was released on September 11, 2023. It is available on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The Xbox Series X version is what was used for this review.

The Crew Motorfest is the latest iteration in the popular franchise. In the past, with the first two games, you have been able to race across the United States. Being confined to one location in this game removes some of the allure of the originals..

Once you are able to do so, bring up the world map. This is the hub where you will find all of the events. Interestingly, the map is interactive as you can see cars racing down a road on the map. Activities in the game will include either a car, boat, or plane.

Follow Along the Multiple Stories with Playlists

Image: Ubisoft
Image: Ubisoft

For starters, there are the Playlists. Different playlists represent car cultures from around the world. Despite the game being in Hawaii, they found an excellent way to give this international flavor. One great example is the "Made in Japan" playlist.

In addition to the Japanese one I just mentioned, there is one for "Dream Cars," another for "American Muscle," "Hawaii Scenic," "Rule the Streets," and more. Each has its own vibe, with the "American Muscle" category giving you a history lesson on American muscle cars as you complete activities.

Every playlist that is available in the game is available from the beginning. However, some of them might require that you buy a specific vehicle.

Challenge Yourself Throughout Hawaii

Image: Ubisoft
Image: Ubisoft

These playlists are only one part of the equation. You will also see different "feats" available as you explore the map. Feats are a part of the free driving experience. They can begin automatically by passing through a gate with a suitable vehicle.

In addition to those different "feats" available to you, there are also thematic challenges. If you are going through the Japan playlist, for example, you might encounter a challenge called "Nihon No Hashiriya." In this challenge, you must drive 15 minutes above 150 Km/h in freeride at night.

Battle It Out Online in Multiplayer

Image: Ubisoft
Image: Ubisoft

If you want to test your skills against other players, you can do so with a couple of different modes. There is the "Grand Races," which are races with up to 28 players. These are in three separate sections and will take approximately ten minutes.

The second option is the Demolition Royale. This is a battle royale for The Crew Motorfest. You "fight" in crews of four and have up to eight crews, meaning there can be up to 32 players here.

The Crew Motorfest is accessible in other ways as well. You can have it on the easiest mode, where there isn’t a challenge. On the flip side, you can put it on the hardest difficulty available and have to fight for every inch as you battle it out.

Other accessibility options include subtitles and controlling how they look. There is also a color blind mode, a high contrast mode, a chance to change the text size, and more.

It Isn’t Always A Smooth Ride Through Hawaii

Image: Ubisoft
Image: Ubisoft

One issue I had is that since you do have to always connect to Ubisoft's servers, the quick resume feature on the Xbox Series X doesn't matter. Another irritation for me was not being able to select your starting location. Ideally, I would like to pick up the game where I left off, but you always have to start in the same spot.

Unfortunately, you can't freely use the fast travel system until after you have completed ten playlists. There was an instance where the game got hung up and could not stay connected to the server, but that was a rare event in all of my time with this game.

If inactive for too long, you will get booted out of the game and sent back to the menu. I understand this is probably to manage server load. Chances are I will get kicked out of the game though if I have to get up to do something.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, The Crew Motorfest is a fun game. If they could fix those issues I discussed with a patch, I would enjoy the game more.

I recommend downloading the demo and checking it out since this is a departure from the standard Crew formula.

Do you have any thoughts about The Crew Motorfest? Tell us in the comments below, or talk about it on X, Bluesky, Threads, Mastodon, Instagram, and HIVE Social. Don’t forget to tag us in the discussion! And don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Patch Notes!

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