[UN][ORL] FWD news article - keyart

12 June 2023

7 Min Read

ubisoft forward june 2023

The Crew Motorfest Release Date Set for September 14; Beta Upcoming

The Crew Motorfest will launch on September 14 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC through the Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store. Players can also get the game three days early by pre-ordering the Gold or Ultimate Edition: this Premium Early Access is also included in the Ubisoft+ subscription on PC via Ubisoft Connect, Xbox, and Amazon Luna. Also, players looking to get an early taste of The Crew Motorfest’s high-speed action can sign up for the Closed Beta, which will run from July 21-23 on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X.

An all-new open-world motorsports game, The Crew Motorfest is set on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, where players can freely explore Honolulu’s streets, off-road down volcanoes, and race more than 610 vehicles (at launch) through rainforests, beaches, and winding mountain roads. A central part of The Crew Motorfest is the introduction of Playlists – multi-event campaigns built around a single car-culture theme, which players can tackle at any time, in any order.

In our first hands-on with the game, we had a chance to sample two Playlists, as well as an introductory event that let us sample five of their themes in turn (the full game, meanwhile, will feature 15 Playlists at launch). Beginning in nighttime city streets drenched in pink and blue neon (as well as featuring a ton of giant, vapor-breathing dragon sculptures), the event first introduced us to Made in Japan, a street-racing Playlist focused on Japanese cars.

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After we got a taste of drifting and turbo-boosting through Honolulu’s tight turns, the race shifted gears to Off-Roading Addict, tossing us into a free-form race through muddy backroads and beautifully realized hilly terrain. This quickly gave way to the Motorsports Playlist, which put us behind the wheel of a Formula One car (without the previously mentioned turbo boosts) and pushed us to drive precisely while monitoring tire wear (and pulling in for a pit stop when necessary). Vintage Garage invites players to discover classic cars with a mid-century soundtrack, a “nostalgic” camera filter that evokes old photos, and no GPS minimap. Finally, the Lamborghini Playlist is exactly what it sounds like: a chance to race Lamorghinis against other Lamborghinis, and a showcase for The Crew Motorfest’s official cover car: the Lamborghini Revuelto, the automaker’s first V12 hybrid plug-in super sports car.

These races were also a chance to try out another new feature: the rewind function, which lets players run back the clock and undo up to 15 seconds of the race. Some events don’t feature it (and instead let players return to the track with a button press if they go off-course), but it’s a handy way to erase any mistakes if you flip your ride, plunge off a cliff, or otherwise need a quick do-over.

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We then had a chance to dip into two of the full Playlists for ourselves, beginning with the Made in Japan Playlist. Each Playlist begins with a custom video featuring real-world footage to set the tone for the specific subset of car culture you’re about to dive into. For Made in Japan, the video was a fast-paced montage of cityscapes, busy streets, and a bright-red Honda NSX racing down nighttime roads. The first race in the Playlist introduced us to a group of Japanese street racers and put us behind the wheel of one of their own Honda NSXs. While the race itself proved to be a lesson in drifting up and down mountainous switchbacks, our competitors also provided a valuable education in car culture. One of our fellow racers, Hayato, told us that the Honda NSX we were driving was far from a regular streetcar – it was built back in the early '90s to stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. Another racer, Hinata, let us know that “ NSX” stands for “New Sportscar X-perimental.” They’re small details in an otherwise thrilling race, but they help illustrate the ways in which The Crew Motorfest embraces and even encourages car culture.

Jumping to the last event in the Playlist, our character had been welcomed into Hayato and Hinata’s group as they all raced along the neon-infused streets of Waikiki. We were also behind the wheel of not only a new vehicle, but a new car brand for The Crew franchise, the Toyota SUPRA Ryūjin Edition. The multi-lap race was a rush of bright pinks, blues, and purples punctuated by the aforementioned dragon sculptures, and put our street racing skills to the test. Again, the crew we raced chimed in to teach us a lesson about the car we were driving, highlighting that the Toyota SUPRA was specifically designed to rival their cars: Nissan Skyline, Honda NSX, or Mazda RX-7, all of which you’ll drive throughout the course of the Playlist. Of course, that didn’t stop them all from boasting and declaring that their choice of ride was obviously the superior ride.

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Next, we tried Vintage Garage, which focuses on the classic cars (and aesthetics) of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. The first event, Back in Time, set the tone immediately by putting us behind the wheel of a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado, tuning the radio to rockabilly, taking away our GPS, and challenging us to use snapshots of landmarks (with drawn-on circles and arrows) to find our way to Hau’ula Forest. Kai, a woman born on O’ahu, was our remote guide for this segment, and she filled us in on the significance of the Cadillac Eldorado – one of the most expensive production cars of its day. This was a refreshing change of pace that pushed us to pay careful attention to the scenery, keeping an eye out for the next billboard or natural feature that would open up the next phase of our journey.

After that scenic jaunt, we were jumped ahead and placed behind the wheel of a Ferrari F40 for the Vintage Showdown, a race that brings the Vintage Garage Playlist to a close by pitting some of the best cars from its four decades against each other. Accompanied by roaring synths and electronic beats, we took advantage of the ‘80s supercar’s superior handling and nitrous boosts to speed down a twisting mountain track, where we outmaneuvered and outpaced (six of) our seven opponents to claim second place. Completing the Vintage Garage Playlist granted us a classic Shelby Cobra – and a ticket to the Main Stage, a monthly series of four weekly events all built around a central theme.

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While the Playlist events put us behind the wheel of loaner cars, The Crew Motorfest – like previous The Crew games – is a chance for players to earn and customize their own fleet of vehicles. In fact, The Crew 2 players can import almost all of their car collection into The Crew Motorfest using the free Collection Import feature, which will be detailed in a dedicated Summer Showcase later in June.

You’ll be able to discover O’ahu and the Playlists for yourself when The Crew Motorfest launches on September 14 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC via Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store. For more on the game and other announcements from Ubisoft Forward 2023, stay tuned to Ubisoft News.

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