Tuesday, 04 July 2017 14:32

REVIEW: Cars 3 Driven To Win (Xbox One)

Written by Brett Hale
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There have been six Cars games since the first film debut in movie theatres. They have always been fun and directed towards younger gamers. The newest game ties in with the latest Cars 3 film and it’s the best Cars game to date.

Unlike the three films, this game isn’t story driven. It’s nothing but flat out racing across a vast number of tracks with familiar characters. Boasting 20 tracks and 23 cars, from the moment you start the game, there is already a good amount of cars available to race. The rest of them are locked and require you to unlock skills or do certain racing events to unlock them. It is all pretty easy to achieve in just a few hours. The Cars you’ll most certainly know of are Lightning McQueen, Mater, Chick Hicks and Mack. But there are many other cool cars to race with.

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There are many events to take part in. Standard races, battle races, stunt showcases, takedown, best lap challenge and a special event type called master-level events. There are also several cup series that involve multiple racing events and the top three point earners come 1st, 2nd or 3rd overall. There is also a “muck around” mode called Thomasville playground where you can do challenges or just cruise around doing whatever you want. It's here you’ll need to collect 10 of Mack’s red caps to unlock him as a racer.

There is a two player only mode which has events to do with friends but when playing in this mode with friends or any of the other events it’s strictly local multiplayer only, no online racing for Cars 3: Driven to Win.

Prior to each race start you can tap the accelerator as quick as you can, up to four boosts can be earnt for a super quick take off, it’s not a must but I found myself doing it almost every time. Unlocking cars isn’t all there is to be unlocked while playing. You can also unlock colour packs for cars, which include their own horn sounds, turbo flame colours, undercar neon lights colours. I happened to unlock green, purple, pink and yellow but I’m sure there are couple more colours to unlock.

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What makes the game fun to race in is the modes, and the tricks you can do. You can jump your vehicles into the air and if you get enough air and you can use the right stick to perform a trick. This can earn a bar or two for boosting. Modes such as stunt showcase thrive on doing tricks to win. Some tracks have hidden shortcuts you can take to get the edge on other competitors. There are three difficulties easy, normal and hard, for young kids it’s best to start on the easy option till they get use to the controls but adults shouldn't have an issue playing on normal or hard.

A major part of the game is the Hall of Fame. It's here you’ll have a lot of skills to unlock by completing certain actions whilst racing across the many events on offer. Its these that once you unlock enough skills you'll earn yourself cars to race as. There are 136 skills and some will challenge you but don’t let them beat you down as some require a couple of goes to achieve.

Now besides the cup series being points based, all other events are based on earning stars. Three is the most you can get and it’ll depend on the position you finish in if you get one, two or all three. Trails of blue arrows are on certain parts of the tracks, these when drifted on give you boosts. There are many forms of these some you’ll drive normally over them while others on two wheels or even driving backwards. Also on track are boost fuel cans either in rows on the sides of tracks or in the forms of signs you'll have to sometimes jump to crash through them.

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Takedown is a mode not like the others. It’s about driving through diamond question mark objects that give you weapons to shoot at AI opponents. Once they’re destroyed, more will spawn in front of you till time runs out. While playing with friends, you can still hit each other which can be funny or annoying depending who's handing out the assault. This is a mode based on points to win and score high enough on each track to earn those stars.

Battle race is much like takedown but AI doesn’t disappear and respawn after being hit, it’s like a normal race but with weapons. Maybe you don’t want to race with others because sometimes you just want to beat your fastest times... Well with the best lap challenge, you can do this. Be sure to do give each mode a go as it will help you unlock all those extra cars.

Local multiplayer only, meaning no online features what so ever are in Cars 3: Driven to Win. Local multiplayer is great when playing with friends. My kids loved playing the game together, hooning around tracks that they recall from the films. You couldn’t ask for a better local multiplayer experience. At least with local, there is no lag so that's a plus. Multiplayer can have up to four players.

Creating a fun kids racing game isn’t overly hard to do. Cars 3: Driven to Win is most certainly fun & on top of that, the visuals were just as fun to look at. All characters look authentic, but do lack some of the original voices from the films (Owen Wilson AKA Lightning McQueen). The many locations you’ll race through also look like their counterparts from the previous films and soon to be released Cars 3 movie. Radiator Springs is there and some tracks are even from the Cars 2 game. Some of the tracks feature a day/night variation also. I did notice a slight blur effect around edges of the vehicles while racing. it's nothing to write home about and it may be due to the track visuals or porting. Either way it’s nothing to be concerned about, it’s something I just wanted to mention.

The music does a pretty good job of getting you in the racing mood and is as expected for a game of this style.

Most kid’s will want this game which makes it a good thing it’s available on almost every platform. This will be good for parents or younger kids not yet playing on the newest generation of consoles. This is a must have if you like a fun racing game. It’s not cutting edge but you’ll forget games like Forza or Gran Turismo once you’re hooning around in Cars 3: Driven to Win. It’s not cheap, shopping around it’ll be priced between $60-$89AUD but the price of happiness isn’t always cheap...

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Jun 13, 2017
  • Platform: Playstation 3, XBOX 360, PS4, XBOX ONE, Wii U, Nintendo Switch
  • Age Rating: ESRB 10+
  • Content: Cartoon Violence
  • Developer: Avalanche Software
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Genre: Racing