Review – The Crew Motorfest

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I am torn on whether or not The Crew Motorfest is a blatant ripoff or Ubisoft’s honest attempt at turning their ambitious but forgotten racing franchise into something more appealing. Upon watching its reveal, a few months ago, there was no soul on Earth that wasn’t uttering the same words: “this is just Forza Horizon“. Sure, The Crew Motorfest features airplanes and bikes as well, but the damn thing just reeked of Forza Horizon from the millisecond its reveal aired. But here’s the kicker, is there a better racing franchise on Earth than Forza Horizon? I don’t think so. If you want to ride on someone else’s coattails, might as well learn from the best, right?

The Crew Motorfest nitrous

Nitrous Oxide. My inner 2004 kid salutes the nostalgia.

There was another thing that made me think that there could be some additional potential in The Crew Motorfest. This is not an Xbox exclusive, meaning that, if you have a PS5 but are looking for something more akin to Forza Horizon (and not the utterly joyless and overrated Gran Turismo 7, bring in the pitchforks), this could be an interesting prospect. So this review will be based on this version in specific: is The Crew Motorfest an interesting racing title specifically for PS5 owners?

I was thinking to myself, “c’mon, they won’t copy Forza Horizon so blatantly from the get-go, they must have heard some feedback”. Welp, upon starting a new save, I was greeted with an initial event showcasing all kinds of cars you’ll drive in The Crew Motorfest. At a point, an off-road downhill section with “Trouble’s Coming” by Royal Blood being played on the back. You know, the EXACT same event seen in Forza Horizon 5, complete with the same song choice. C’mon Ubisoft, what the hell was that? Giving credit where credit is due, it did not play poorly at all. It is not as fluid as Forza, sure, but the pseudo-arcadey controls were still decent enough.

The Crew Motorfest tune

Don’t tune or put body mods on a GTR. This should be a war crime.

Being set in Hawaii also allows for some bright, colorful visuals, as well as some decent environmental variety. There are sunny beaches, grey volcanoes, urban areas filled with Asian undertones, forests, and the same kind of “motorfest hub” full of fans, fireworks and wacky props… you know, just like the ones in Forza Horizon. Everything runs smoothly as well, with no glitches. The Crew Motorfest is well-put, even if it suffers from some long loading times, especially when you boot it up, as the game demands an internet connection at all times.

Most events come in the form of playlists, each one with a different theme and meaning behind it. You might want to race on a love letter gauntlet to American muscle cars, or race against Japanese tuners. There is variety in each of these events, and the races are well-designed. If it wasn’t for the obnoxious amount of voice acting in each of these events, as characters love to just dump exposition on top of your mute protagonist, this would have been even better.

The Crew Motorfest hub

Wanna hang out at the online hub? No? Figured.

Those events aren’t amazing, but they are indeed fun. There are sprints, circuits, and even additional sidequests scattered throughout the map. I know that the idea of a Ubisoft open world map immediately reminds people of a nearly never ending amount of busy work and icons to remove from your UI, but it’s, for the most part, simple stuff. Go to a place and look for treasure (again, Forza Horizon had that, so I can’t complain), or take a picture in front of a landmark (ahem…). It gives you enough resources to spend on new cars and upgrades, enough to basically ignore the obscenely annoying onscreen ads trying to convince you to spend on microtransactions and the like. Online races and custom events are also featured, of course.

As for what’s different from Forza Horizon, there’s the inclusion of nitrous oxide boosts (which, well, is just something taken from the open world Need for Speed games) and the aforementioned bike and plane events. They all play fine as well, and whilst are different in terms of being separate vehicle classes, their event structure remains mostly the same. There is also a larger degree of involvement with your avatar, as you can walk outside of your vehicle in certain areas and interact with other drivers. It is really useless if all you want is to drive cars in your car driving game, but hey, if you want to flex your social muscles in The Crew Motorfest, by all means, be my guest.

The Crew Motorfest Mustang

The introductory video to the American Muscle Car tribute events was one deep fried bald eagle away from being the most American thing I had ever seen.

It’s hard to ignore how creatively bankrupt The Crew Motorfest is, but it is not a bad game at all. When you’re trying to be a carbon copy of a masterpiece of a racing game, and you do your homework to a satisfactory degree, you need to be utterly incompetent not to be, at the very least, a pretty good time, even if not a jaw-dropping one. There is absolutely no reason for you to give this game a go if you’re playing it on PC or Xbox, but as previously mentioned in the beginning of the review, I wanted to see if this was a decent stopgap if you’re a PS5 user drooling for something more akin to Forza Horizon. It sure is, go for it.


Graphics: 8.0

It is never a bad idea to set your game in a colorful and bright place like Hawaii. There’s enough environmental variety, with good lighting effects, car models, and framerate. On the other hand, the UI is horrendous, with Ubisoft plastering ads and messages onscreen whenever possible.

Gameplay: 8.0

Not as fluid or responsive as other, much better racing titles, but still pretty good. It’s a bit more realistic than your average arcade racer.

Sound: 7.5

The setlist is varied but not always exciting; it gets the job done for the most part. The sound effects are great. There is a lot of voice acting, to an unnecessary degree. It’s not bad, but it gets on your nerves after a while.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It is a shameless copy of Forza Horizon, but here’s the kicker, they decided to copy something that is really, really good. As a result, despite being creatively bankrupt, The Crew Motorfest is still enjoyable.

Final Verdict: 8.0

The Crew Motorfest is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of The Crew Motorfest was provided by the publisher.