Cars 3: Driven to Win, developed by Avalanche Software and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, is the third game in the video game series, and it is also based upon the third Cars movie.
Cars 3: Driven to Win’s story takes you to iconic locations from the franchise, such as Radiator Springs all the way to the Florida International Speedway, with many other tracks in between, making for a total number of 13 playable locations. Each of these locations are very fun and stay true to the feel of the movies. There isn’t much of a story here; however, there are some huge benefits to this, namely that you can play the game for a bit, leave, then come back and pick up from where you left off without needing to remember what previously happened in the story. Although there are some negatives to the lack of story, I felt this was an overall good thing.
In Cars 3: Driven to Win, you play as a host of iconic characters, including Mater, Lightning McQueen, and Cruz Ramirez, and there were other characters featured that I wasn’t even expecting, like Guido, the little blue guy that changes the tires. The core gameplay consists of different events where players try to get enough Skill Checks to take on Mastery Events, and beating these events allows you to unlock more characters, which in turn helps you to reach your final goal of facing off against Jackson Storm. This is a cool system as it allows you to play any event you would like and still earn Skill Checks. It doesn’t tie you down to only playing story mode, which is cool and is a great feature.
The first type of event is Race. As you can probably tell by the title, this event is just a standard lapped race. The second type of event is called Battle Race (think Mario Kart but with Cars 3 characters), and this is where I spent most of my time because this was by far the most fun event. There are pick-ups in this mode that can help you come back in a race when you are far behind, making it very hectic and satisfying mode, especially when you blow someone up with missiles.
The third type of race is called Stint Showcase. This is where you go around a track trying to perform as many tricks as possible and reach the highest score on the leaderboard. This was fun, but I didn’t spend too much time with this race type. The fourth type of race is called Takedown, and this is similar to Battle Race, except you don’t have to race, your goal is just to pick up as many power ups as possible and destroy other cars. This mode was also fun and very enjoyable. The fifth type of race is Best Lap Challenge, and this is basically a ghost race mode. There isn’t really much to explain here, and I didn’t find myself playing this mode very much. The final type of events are the Master-Level Events, and these are basically like boss battle races where defeating a boss unlocks that character for you to play as in the other modes.
Okay, now that we have all the race types explained, let’s talk about the gameplay. The racing is fun and different, and it’s very arcade-style, which is good. There is a boost bar which fills up as you race by doing tricks on the track. Examples of these tricks include forward tilt, drifting, backwards driving and air tricks. These are all very easy to perform, except for the drifting, which threw me off a little because it is very hard to control your car while performing a drift.
Lastly, the characters and tracks in the game all look and sound as if they were pulled right out of the actual Pixar movies, right down to the little details. It’s all here, so fans of the Cars movies will appreciate the recognizable visuals and sound design in this game.
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Release Date: 14th July 2017