Cars 3: Driven to Win is the latest game based on a Disney Pixar film and has been released concurrently with the cinema release of Cars 3 (2017). Tie-in games are often disappointing, as they often fail to capture the feel of the film, lack quality in terms of gameplay or both. Thankfully Cars 3: Driven to Win looks as though it has inherited some of the magic from the film, as it looks good and the game play exceeded my expectations.
There are 6 different types of game play available:
- The Race: A standard racing game, where you will utilise your drifting skills and boost to be first past the finish line.
- Battle Race: In a race to come first you can collect a variety of weapons from around the course to take out the other drivers and seek the advantage.
- Stunt Showcase: Get points based on the difficulty and execution of your stunts whilst driving around the course in a timed event.
- Takedown: A seek and destroy mission. You need to collect weapons from around the course and try to take out as many of the vehicles driving in front of you to reach your required target number within the time limit.
- Best Lap Challenge: A solo race where you have 5 continuous laps to beat the 3 fastest pre-set times. Once you have completed a lap, you get a ghost car to show your fastest route and monitor your progress regarding your time for each sector.
- Playground: A sandbox mode which is aimed at the younger gamer, where they can race, perform stunts, explore the area or participate in additional mini-games.
The racing itself is good fun and once you get used to the drifting, it has a lot more playability than I was expecting. As well as the ability to drift, there are 4 tricks whilst in the air including front flip, back flip, spin and barrel roll and the ability to do a 2 wheel or switch to backwards drive whilst on the ground. These can be used to gain additional boosts or points on various skill games. It also has an element for those drivers who prefer a physical race like Burnout, where you can side bash opponents, or if you build a sustained turbo charge ram your opponents off the road.
The Battle Race is one of my favourite races which is reminiscent of Mario Kart, even though it does fall slightly short. The addition of weapons to the racing is always fun, especially when taking out your friends and family in multiplayer, but with it being limited to rockets and firearms it lacks the comical creativity which made Mario Kart so entertaining.
With several gaming options available, there is plenty here to explore, although some of the task games can get a bit repetitive despite the change in course. The ability to unlock additional items such as new cars, vehicle customisation (Horn, light effects and turbo) and new maps to race, will give you an incentive to keep going.
The graphics are impressive with a lot of detail taken to make cars and gameplay as close to the film as possible. It’s unusual for a kids tie-in game to capture so much detail, especially during the racing, but it really adds to the experience.
Cars 3: Driven to Win exceeded my expectations, by creating a tie-in game which not only plays as good as it looks, but also manages to replicate a feel of the film. With the various gaming options there is plenty here to keep you entertained and the ability to have up to 4 players makes this perfect for family gaming.
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