It’s always easy to compare games to each other. These comparisons don’t always mean the similarities are a bad thing, nor do they mean you know what to expect. In the case of The Crew Motorfest, it feels like Forza Horizon 5 in a lot of ways, however, it also has potential to rival, in my opinion, the greatest racing game in recent years. This is dependant on one huge factor, though. Yes, from what I played in the preview, Ubisoft looks to have nailed the balance between arcade and simulation, but it is in the events and opportunities in exploration where we’ll know for sure.
Regardless, The Crew Motorfest feels like a dream to play. Not only does the variety in vehicles I raced in feel different enough to challenge you on various terrain, they all offered superb handling and control. While the Lamborghinis zoomed around the tracks at breakneck speed, they were also tight around corners and responsive when turning. The street cars had great drift when tearing it up around the Japanese-inspired streets lit up in neon, and the jeeps across the forests all controlled as good as they possibly could.
In the preview of The Crew Motorfest, I spent a short amount of time with each of the vehicles on offer. This section was more of a taster of what the various vehicles were like and how they felt to race with. It’s too early to tell how they’ll control when taking them across Hawaii, but as of right now, I’m so excited to try them all out and understand what they’re capable of. Once I’d tested them out in a short tutorial, I was able to pick one of the playlists (featuring a dedicated car) and participate in a couple of races.
It was like picking a favourite child, but I decided to go with the Lamborghinis over the vintage cars. As much as I liked the style and class that exuded from them, the Lambos were like racing on air. While you can use nitro to reach great speeds, the acceleration felt perfect, and reaching higher speeds never impacted how much control I felt like I had over them. One of the courses had me reaching certain checkpoints within the time limit, and utilising nitro made all the difference as some sections weren’t as forgiving as others.
I only had 30 minutes with The Crew Motorfest, but it feels as though the influence of Forza is in Ubisoft’s latest is clear, and that’s a great thing because of how accessible it felt to players of all skill levels. I’m not the best racer, but Motorfest was so balanced in its racing that I never felt out of my depth. The visuals are stunning, and the environments within Hawaii were vastly different to one another, yet equally as impressive.
When my time was up, I just wanted to go again. I wanted to explore the island and see what else The Crew Motorfest had to offer. It’s a testament to how good the handling was, and how well-presented everything is. There’s so much more to see and do, but what wasn’t really on my radar before sits now firmly near the top. The playlists are going to give players plenty of opportunities to try out a range of events across the island, and there’re various unlockables and more to discover, including some popular American vehicles (I spied the DeLorean!!) set to arrive. Roll on release day, whenever that may be.