Game tie-ins to movies have been around for a very long time. Most of the time however, its not very good, with games hastily made in order to cash in on the success of the movie. But sometimes it works, especially if the movie in question is related to sentient cars that like to race around a lot.
It’s a racing game, did you expect something else?
Cars 3: Driven to Win is a arcade, kart-type racing game. It has a bit of a story tied into it which I assume is somewhat related to the film, but it’s really of no importance, since it gets lost somewhere along the way and it doesn’t really matter. The story (for lack of a better word), follows Lightning McQueen on his quest to restore his name and reach the Hall of Fame in order to challenge the newer, faster, Jackson Storm. That’s about it. You are never forced to race as Lightning McQueen in order to further a plot or anything in that sense. If anything, it’s only an excuse to get racing, which is why we are here anyway.
I assume there’s a brake button, but I don’t think I ever used it.
As stated earlier, Cars 3: Driven to Win is a very arcadey kart racer. There is an acceleration trigger, a button to drift, a button to boost, a button to jump and a button to fire weapons in Battle racing mode. I assume there’s a brake button, but I don’t think I ever used it. You also use the right analog stick in order to bash other racers, flip around and drive backwards or drive on 2 wheels. Driving backwards, on two wheels or drifting over specific booster pads helps fill up your boost quicker.
The game is really as easy as you want it to be, which is great if you consider it’s core target market, which is children. Racing is fun and simple on wide open tracks with a lot of shortcuts. The cars handle exactly as you would expect in a game like this. It’s not perfect though, since it can feel a bit slow sometimes.
It’s got some meat, but it gets a bit tedious
Cars 3 really does have a bit of content in terms of modes and events to play in. From normal races, battle races, stunts, takedown and fast laps, there’s enough to keep you busy. Battle races give you weapon pickups which you can direct forward or backwards to take opponents out and slow them down. Stunt races are exactly that, you take ramps, do stunts with flips and rolls. Fast laps can get interesting if you’re the type of player that is after perfection, and trying to better your times. Takedown is a bit different in that you have to take out a bunch of crash karts in order to score points before time runs out. The mode is a bit dull, but it is fun to see how much destruction you can sow in the allotted time.
Cars 3 feature a skills unlock system, which awards you with XP of sorts that progress you through to the different things you do, like winning races, championships or landing backwards from a stunt jump. So all kinds of things that you need to do. It’s the only way you can progress in the hall of fame, and some of them can be a bit tricky, but nothing is too strenuous. The Hall of Fame progress have a few “boss” races which unlock as you go along. These races have slight variation to the normal modes that it represents, but it’s nothing too out of the ordinary.
It also has quite a few characters that you can race as. They all feel and play the same, so it doesn’t matter which one you choose. The main reason you might want to swap them out though is the repetitive dialog of the cars while racing. They all repeat their few lines over and over and over again, which can get too much after a very short time.
On top of all this, you can do single events which unlocks new racers and tracks, as well as Championship events, with a set of three Rookie, Pro and Championship races for each available mode. So it can keep you busy for a while.
Cars 3: Driven to Win is a decent child friendly racing game that ties in with a film that is made for children
One of the biggest drawbacks is that there is no online gameplay. It has local multiplayer, which is great, but it lacks any form of internet based gameplay. It might be a good thing, since I really cannot see a lot of people using it, but it does feel like it shortens it’s lifespan a bit.
It knows who it’s made for, and there’s nothing wrong with that
Cars 3: Driven to Win is a decent child friendly racing game that ties in with a film that is made for children. If you’re looking for something to give to your kids to keep them busy over the holiday period, then this would be perfect. There’s enough there to keep them busy for quite some time. It looks good enough, though there’s nothing spectacular about it. And that is not really the point. It’s fun and entertaining to the right crowd and that is all that matters.