The racing genre in the open-world has long been dominated by Forza Horizon. However, The Crew Motorfest is finally starting to provide worthy competition. While Forza Horizon 5 seems to be a disappointment with a lack of new ideas, Motorfest brings fresh energy to the genre and is a true joy to play.
One of the main improvements in Motorfest is a change in location. Instead of the vast USA maps that were characteristic of previous parts, Motorfest takes us to the beautiful Hawaiian island of Oahu. The map remains bigger than any Forza Horizon part, but it is still accessible and doesn’t require driving through huge areas.
The driving physics in Motorfest have also been significantly improved. The new car handling model combines the features of Forza Horizon and Need for Speed, offering solid yet dynamic driving experiences. Drifting and nitrous boosters add a sense of speed and excitement during races. The developers at Ivory Tower deserve praise for their dedication to improving the driving mechanics.
Progression in Motorfest resembles that of Forza Horizon, with multiple objectives appearing after completing races, missions, and exploring the island. The “Playlists” system adds focus and diversity. Each playlist is a collection of events related to a specific theme and includes different types of races. One standout playlist is “Vintage Garage,” which takes players on a historical journey with unique types of races reminiscent of postcards.
However, one downside of Motorfest is its economy. While many playlists provide cars for temporary use, the game is stingy when it comes to allowing players to collect and own vehicles. The in-game currency earned is not enough for significant progress, and the option to replenish it with real money seems to be an encouragement for additional purchases.
Visually, Motorfest is stunning, with a colorful and beautiful open space to enjoy. The game runs smoothly on Xbox Series X, and the 60 frames per second mode provides an even more immersive racing experience. The density of traffic and NPC activity could be improved to make the world feel more alive.
The animation work in Motorfest is commendable, especially in the case of external and cockpit views. Driving in the cockpit is incredibly immersive, with full 360-degree steering wheel rotation. This is a significant step forward compared to the previous game and even surpasses what the Forza Horizon series offers.
Similarly to its predecessor, Motorfest includes boats and planes, but these elements still feel somewhat unfinished. The game shines, however, in street and off-road races, and the rich vehicle list offers many dream cars for enthusiasts to enjoy.
In conclusion, The Crew Motorfest is an astonishing and well-deserved competitor for Forza Horizon. It brings new ideas, improved driving physics, intriguing progression, and a stunning open game world. This is only good for competition in the genre, pushing both series to deliver even better experiences in the future.