The Crew Motorfest preview

Speeding Through Paradise

More than any other racing game series, The Crew seems to be constantly reinventing itself. The first game in the series already stood apart in the genre, with its focus on RPG-style leveling up and a map that encompassed all 48 contiguous United States (albeit greatly condensed). The second game kept that massive scope but mixed things up by adding boats and planes to the mix—and letting you instantly swap between them, mid-race, at the press of a button.

For the third outing, The Crew Motorfest, developer Ubisoft Ivory Tower is tweaking the series even further, and taking it in a new direction. To begin with, the open-world map is narrowing its focus from nearly the entire U.S. to one of the few states that hasn’t made the cut before: Hawai’i. More specifically, Motorfest is set on O’ahu, home to the state’s largest city, Honolulu, and most of its population. While the major landmarks and geographical features are all accounted for, it’s not a one-to-one recreation, with the designers taking creative liberties to make the map more varied and fun to drive.

One of the tweaks Motorfest makes to its O’ahu map is the addition of a massive dried lava flow. Not accurate, but fun for offroading!

You’re a racer who’s come to the island to participate in the titular motorsports festival. Motorfest is broken up into playlists for different disciplines and fandoms. Each playlist unfolds like a mini campaign, introducing you to new characters and working up to a big showpiece event. (For more details on some of the announced playlists, see sidebar “Pick Your Poison.”)

Of course, those playlists are just the beginning. The Crew 2 launched way back in 2018, and it’s still getting regular seasonal updates with new content and challenges five years later. Motorfest will receive similar live-service support, with new playlists coming to the festival’s “Main Stage” regularly after launch. And those RPG mechanics introduced in the first game are back, so you can level up favorites in your car collection to peak performance. What’s more, players who’ve already been busy building up their dream garage in The Crew 2 will be able to transfer their entire collection over into The Crew Motorfest, at no cost.

The developers have also teased the return of boats and planes in some capacity, so it’s a safe bet the game has even more surprises awaiting players beyond what we’ve already seen.

With this latest reinvention of The Crew, Ubisoft Ivory Tower appears to be aiming for a more focused open-world racer with a more defined identity. Rather than shooting for awe-inspiring breadth, The Crew Motorfest is aiming for depth—picking a lane and putting the pedal to the floor.

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