In a console like the PlayStation 5 that has no games published by Microsoft because, well, it’s made by Sony and they’re rivals, it’s nice having an option to play something that with eyes half shut could very well be Forza Horizon. The Crew Motorfest is Ubisoft’s answer to that series for both current gen consoles and PC, but it’s especially a nice bet for PlayStation 5 players looking to enjoy what’s far and away the best entry in the The Crew franchise.
After a less than great sequel to a game that we at Entertainium found to be okay, seeing something like The Crew Motorsfest is somewhat of a relief, even with how closely it follows the Forza Horizon bingo card. Set in Hawaii, it offers plenty of events to partake in and vehicle choices that can be different from Microsoft and Turn 10’s effort, featuring bikes and even boats, but let’s not try to paint this as anything other than it is, for as well as they pulled it off.
The Crew Motorfest is well delivered and offers plenty for PS5 owners to enjoy, and those who are locked to a single console should definitely not feel like they are missing anything out by playing this game. It’s got loads of content to get lost in, it’s quite beautiful to look at and even though the voice in your radio might be a tad too annoying, you’ll probably be too busy trying not to crash to care.
Right off the bat, you’re taken for an island-wide tour of the world the game takes place in, and it can be a little jarring to be pulled away from a vehicle just when things are getting interesting in order to try something else; it’s the flavor of the game, for the sort of player that wants to taste a bit of everything in their tray, and it’s certainly what happens here.
Once you land back at the helm, you get to pick a series to stick to for a while, and those, for anyone who’s played any of the more recent Forzas, it’s pretty much the same delivery, where races and other forms of events are funneled into a central theme and spot in the world, as well as the type of ride you’ll be driving or piloting. Normally, these take not a whole lot of time to complete, and once you are done, you are free to pick whatever next one you choose.
Driving from event to event works the same way as Microsoft’s game, wherein you’ll actually follow GPS markers in order to start your next activity. During your comings and goings, you’ll see other cars driving around as well, which could be ghosts for what you’ll care, since they have no physics to speak of.
Now, not having any form of interaction with anyone else while playing would certainly make this game feel barren and desertic, but thankfully you can form a party and enjoy playing with friends, family or even random folks fresh off matchmaking. Then again, they only show up in your game when an event begins and are gone once it’s over, which would’ve felt far more of a group activity if you would drive around like Burnout Paradise, the ultimate online party game.
Still, even with that hands-off approach to bringing your buddies in, it’s still a fun time. The vehicle physics are simpler than your usual driving sim and you’re free to ride on rails to your heart’s content and still win races, your car intact. The Crew Motorfest is the sort of game that wants you to jump in and get going right away, and thanks to its overall simplicity of play, it sure delivers.
Now, in terms of overall playability and how long you’ll want to stick around, it’ll depend on how much you usually manage to enjoy this sort of game. It’s a product that’s meant to keep you around for hours and hours, but on the flipside, it’s something that has little actual staying power in the grand scheme of gaming. Sure, if you’re the sort of completionist that needs to see absolutely everything a game has to offer, you’ll find plenty to sink dozens of hours, even if the stuffing isn’t exactly as tasty as – the very pretty, but thin – outer shell.
If you are only privy to a PlayStation 5 and none of the other current gen platforms, you are bound to get more out of The Crew Motorfest since it’s the only game in town of this kind. Those that own a capable PC and/or an Xbox Series machine can get to pick between this and Forza, which overall are strikingly similar and offer basically the same experience. It’s a matter of choice in the matter that won’t really have you losing much in the process since in the same manner, Forza Horizon is equally a throwaway experience.
With all its bells and whistles and hours of content to sift through, The Crew Motorfest is an attempt by Ubisoft to squeeze in yet another of its franchises into their usual brand of open-world shenanigans, one that’s surely well made and enjoyable, for sure; but still, it is what it is.