The Crew: Motorfest

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The Crew Motorfest (Closed BETA) – Preview

Ubisoft Ivory Tower is back again with the third installment of The Crew Series, and with this latest title, “The Crew Motorfest,” there is a completely new feel, and the content so far is very exciting. Thanks to Ubisoft ANZ, MKAU was lucky enough to gain access to the “Closed BETA” and even in this early access, it is still pumped full of content to explore.

The Crew Motorfest is based on an absolutely beautiful island by the name of O’ahu, the jewel of Hawaii, and home of their capital, Honolulu. The attention to detail put into the environmental aspects and the vehicles is amazing, to say the least. Whether you’re racing around the map, watching other live racers, or drifting down the side of a volcano, the options are endless, and like all racing games, it’s a whole heap of fun.

For all the car lovers out there, this year’s title is proving to be the biggest one yet, with 600+ vehicles to choose from – the most vehicles in any The Crew game to date. Being the biggest catalog to date, you will see some new categories and new brands making an appearance, and like always, you can drive cars you could only dream about driving in real life.

The developers have not forgotten about their loyal player base either, with the option to import your collection from The Crew 2, though once it’s been done, it’s irreversible, if you decide not to do it straight away, it can be done later on. If you want more of a breakdown from a Q&A session you can find more information (Here).

If you have a group of friends you want to play the game with, you have the option of starting your own “Crew.” This puts you in races with your friends, and from what I can see, you can have four people in the session’s Crew. This made for some “friendly” fun during races, pushing each other off the track and into walls to try and gain the upper hand. Even though you are racing together, it added another level of difficulty with friendly competitions between friends wanting to come first.

The Crew Motorfest introduces Playlists, and in the Closed BETA, Ubisoft gave us access to five of the fifteen Playlists that will drop on launch. The Playlists are a series of short tailored campaigns that are unique and offer a new look into different car cultures. The developers left no detail out with these, starting them off with a cinematic video that pulls you in before you head to the first event that needs doing.

You can do anything from racing Porsche 911s around in the 911 Legacy: A Porsche Story, to rolling around in a 1950s-themed race in a Cadillac with Rock Around The Clock’ playing, down to racing a Lotus Evija, a fully electric supercar. There is a playlist designed for everyone.

While you are driving around the beautiful island, you will be prompted from time to time when a live event is beginning. There are currently four live game modes in the title, with the first being Grand Race, a 28-player free-for-all race that takes intensity to a new level. It’s bad enough racing with your friends in a crew, let alone 27 other randoms.

The second live game mode is “Demolition Royale,” which is a 32-player demolition derby, more or less, where you are split into 8 crews, and the last crew remaining at the end wins. This game mode pops up all the time and is a lot of fun when you are involved in it, but again, it’s intense.

The last two events are community-based events that take place over a long period, with the first being “Summit Content,” but unfortunately, I did not get time to look into it. The second is “Custom Show,” which allows you to put your custom cars up on display, letting everyone playing the game see, and at the end of the week, whoever has the most votes will win a prize. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to see the end results during the Closed BETA weekend, but it will be cool to see after the full release.

The audio in these types of games is always the make or break, and in our current age of gaming, the technology available to developers can make the games feel real and immersive, and needless to say, the cars sound absolutely amazing. I’m still yet to find a title that gets the sound of a rotary correct, but it’s close enough. Unfortunately, modifying a car’s exhaust didn’t change the way they sounded, but their stock form was still incredible.

While your character doesn’t have any spoken lines, the other NPCs do, and the voice acting really helps to deliver the excitement of the races. The environmental sounds, such as when you’re sloshing through some mud or hitting water at 200 km/h even sounded realistic, and it really helps to put you in the driver’s seat, and I loved what the developers did with things like the soundtrack.

Aside from the music that plays during the Playlists, I don’t think there is anything that would potentially cause issues for Streamers and YouTubers, and it had a really strong EDM feel to it, but there is something awesome about rolling around in the Cadillac and listening to Bill Haley singing Rock around the Clock that makes you feel like a badass.

The gaming community is becoming more and more demanding when it comes to visuals, and developers are starting to see that, really utilizing the power of the current generation of consoles. Racing games have come a long way from the pixelated messes they once were to the beautifully textured and defined cars you are seeing in games today. The developers left no details out on this title, with everything down to the exhaust having movement physics, so every little bump or burst of nitrous will cause it to bounce around, and if you’re playing in first-person, you’ll get to see the needles moving on the cluster.

The attention to detail on the inside of the vehicles looks incredibly authentic, and the technology around 3D photography really helps to capture all the curves on a car, and it has brought the car community well and truly into the gaming world. I remember games like Midnight Club, which back in the day, looked remarkable, but it does not hold up graphically compared to current games.

The amazing graphics did not stop there, with multiple biomes to discover while you are cruising around, all of which look absolutely stunning. The weather added a lot to the environment, in that you could be driving around in the pitch black of the night, or drifting around a mountain during a thunderstorm. It was magical, and being a Crew game, it doesn’t stop at cars, with racers having access to boats and planes, which again, look absolutely stunning.

The controls were your basic racing controls with you using the Left Analog Stick and the Left & Right Triggers to make the car accelerate, brake, and steer, and spamming “A” once the nitrous tank had filled up. I was a little disappointed there was no option to make the vehicle manual, which is something I love in racing games, but being a Closed BETA, it might not have been activated just yet. It’s something we will hopefully see in the full release, as I know there are plenty of racers out there that love using the manual gearbox for those extra difficulty rewards.

I did love the car handling as it kept you on your toes – you constantly needed to adjust how harsh you were on the controls. I also liked that with the lower horsepower cars, you really needed to throw them into the corners if you wanted to slide, but with the higher horsepower, you could go in, do a quick handbrake pull, or brake and accelerate, and you were into a beautiful looking drift.

The Crew Motorfest is looking to be a very promising game, with gorgeous graphics, beautifully rendered cars, and amazing gameplay. We only got to try out a fraction of what it has to offer, but so far, it’s looking like it’s well worth the wait.

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Written by: Hayden Nelson


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