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The big differences between The Crew Motorfest and The Crew 2

There’s five years difference between The Crew Motorfest and The Crew 2, so what big differences can we expect from the open-world racing franchise?

The Crew Motorfest Vs The Crew 2: A racer can be seen alongside a car

How different is The Crew Motorfest to The Crew 2? With the racer here, The Crew Motorfest is about to become the newest addition to Ubisoft Ivory Tower’s epic racing franchise releasing on PS5, PS4, Xbox, and PC. 2023 marks five years since its predecessor, The Crew 2, came out. That’s a lot of time for things to change and what does The Crew Motorfest vs The Crew 2 look like?

As we await The Crew Motorfest release date, we’re going to take a look at the key differences between the new open-world racer to the franchise versus The Crew 2. While technically the next in the series, The Crew Motorfest is, quite clearly, not numbered as such. So, is it a step in a new direction? How far have the graphical capabilities come since 2018? Here’s everything we know based on our hands-on gameplay preview, the Ubisoft Forward showcase, gameplay trailers, developer diaries, and more.

The Crew Motorfest vs The Crew 2

The main differences between The Crew Motorfest and The Crew 2 will be discussed in each category below

  • The Crew Motorfest has a larger car and vehicle roster
  • The Crew 2 had a story-focused campaign – The Crew Motorfest focuses on unique playlists to work your way through
  • The Crew Motorfest has a version of the Hawaiian island O’ahu instead of the full United States that was in The Crew 2
  • The Crew Motorfest has been developed with community support through an insider program. It also has destructible environments as you race, unlike The Crew 2
  • The Crew Motorfest has vastly improved visuals and physics over The Crew 2
  • The Crew Motorfest has improved sound design for old and new vehicles, as well as brand-new music

The Crew Motorfest Vs The Crew 2: A car can be seen revving

Vehicle roster

First up, as a racing game, it’s no surprise that the vehicle roster is a very important aspect in both titles. For The Crew Motorfest’s cars and vehicles, Ubisoft Ivory Tower has included more than ever before in the franchise, including new brand partnerships, new car categories, and dozens of new models.

Whereas The Crew 2 has over 500 vehicles, The Crew Motorfest will have over 600 with 80 brand-new additions to the roster such as the Lamborghini Revuelto, Toyota Supra, and electric car, the Lotus Evija. We’re talking hypercars, drift, drag, racing, rally, motocross, and street racing alongside the planes and boats The Crew is known for.

For any The Crew 2 players wondering if they’ll lose their hard-earned and customized garage, fear not. The Collection Import feature allows players to transfer all the vehicles from The Crew 2 over to The Crew Motorfest. For anyone wishing to start afresh, the feature is totally optional. It’s also a feature not offered by The Crew Motorfest’s main competitor, Forza Horizon 5.

The Crew Motorfest Vs The Crew 2: Multiple cars can be seen

Gameplay and story

Unlike The Crew 2, The Crew Motorfest is not focused on a story progression but instead opts for a progression system based on Playlists. Playlists invite players to take part in races spanning different car models and themes and explore unique car cultures. 50’s themed, Vintage Garage, the Hawaii Scenic Tour, and American Muscle are just a few of the fine examples on offer. So, for any The Crew enthusiasts who have imported their garage to the game, there’s still a lot left to play for.

The clue is in the name with this title too. The Motorfest is the name of the all-year-round festival set up by Ubisoft Ivory Tower across the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. But, the Motorfest acts as the main area and hinge for all the racing on the island, giving players a chance to access various events, similar to that of the Forza Horizon franchise.

The Crew Motorfest Vs The Crew 2: O'ahu can be seen


Unlike The Crew 2 and The Crew, The Crew Motorfest does not take place in the contiguous United States, but instead in a scaled-down version of Hawaiian island, O’ahu. From our gameplay preview, we’re talking 10-15 minutes of driving to get across The Crew Motorfest map in comparison to the hours of driving available in The Crew 2.

As Ubisoft Ivory Tower’s co-founder Stéphane Beley explains during ‘The Inside Story of the Crew’ developer video, there’s a good reason for this. “For The Crew Motorfest, we decided to decrease the size, but improve a large density of stuff around you, improve a lot of quality through everything that we’ve mastered, [as we’ve] mastered the old gen, we’ve mastered the next-gen.” For this, The Crew Motorfest map resembles more Forza Horizon 5 than its own predecessor.

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All these map detail improvements focus on differing landscapes from the neon streets of the city to the ashy volcanic slopes to the lush rainforests, offering a more in-depth experience. According to Ivory Tower, one of the main requests from The Crew 2 players was a new map and more freedom to explore the world, so here it is.

Destructible environments and community support

Ubisoft Ivory Tower also decided that for The Crew Motorfest, unlike The Crew 2, everything would be destructible to enable “freedom of movement” around the map. And, while not necessarily a feature directly in The Crew Motorfest, the developers did run an Insider Program with avid players of The Crew 2 onboard to help improve and develop The Crew Motorfest inspired by dedicated hours and hours of time spent in-game bringing a community aspect front and center.

The Crew Motorfest Vs The Crew 2: The map can be seen

Visuals and physics

When it comes to the visuals and physics of The Crew Motorfest, it’s a step up. Considering we’re talking 2018 vs. 2023, this should come as no surprise. During our gameplay preview, we experienced the different vehicles in the roster and with that, the variation between their unique driving physics. We also experienced the seamless switch between car, bike, boat, and plane, which was also seen, and enjoyed, in The Crew 2. Similarly to The Crew 2 is the ability to adjust physics like the tire grip and suspension in the Pro Settings menu, enabling an even more custom experience.

And, when it comes to the visuals in particular, Nicholas Pliatsikas, technical art director, explains the focus of the dev team in the Behind the Wheel series. “In The Crew Motorfest, we have a volumetric 3D cloud system that is a fantastic compliment to the vertical landscape of O’ahu. It adds a whole new dimension to flying your airplane or driving your car.” The addition of a layered complexity from blades of grass to the clouds in the sky showcases how Ubisoft Ivory Tower has heavily redeveloped its terrain systems to support virtual textures and higher precision.

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Music and Sound Design

When it comes to sound design, we’re talking about the music you blast on your stereo, but we’re also discussing how the vehicles sound. Whilst you can use the Collection Import feature to bring your garage from The Crew 2 to The Crew Motorfest, the sound design has been updated to boot. This means yes, you’ll have the same cars, but you’ll also enjoy them with upgraded sound mechanics.

And, as we said, when it comes to the music in the vehicles, as with the Playlists each having their own theme, the music fits the vibe. Loud vibrant music to suit the cityscapes, for example, is a genre-specific soundtrack similar to that experienced in The Crew 2.

The Crew Motorfest Vs The Crew 2: Racers can be seen

So, that about sums up our The Crew Motorfest vs. The Crew 2 comparison guide. Given all of the above, will The Crew Motorfest end up on our best racing games list? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, there are plenty of high-speed or casual cruising experiences available in our best PS5 racing games and best Xbox racing games guide to peruse at your speed demon leisure.