Cars 3: Driven To Win Review

Disney movie titles were once littered across stores with every new film in the 90’s. Fast forward two decades and not only has the industry moved on to more ‘mature game experiences’, but also side stepped away from that guaranteed movie to game tie-ins. However, the Cars franchise which is now in its third iteration, has stuck with us with a game for each film. And that brings us to the latest title – Cars 3: Driven To Win.

An ageing Lightning McQueen is under threat from a new generation of super racer rookies. Particularly the arrogant and boastful Jackson Storm. This new racer now only overshadows our faithful McQueen in the looks department, but he’s also equipped with the latest technology to help him along the way. Driven To Win however, only loosely follows the plot of the film as the focus is more on racing and game modes, than that of a script driven campaign. 

cars screens

If you’ve played either of the previous two entries in the franchise on last generation consoles, you’ll know what to expect from Cars 3. In terms of game modes, you’re presented with six different choices. The standard race is as you’d expect, a pit against a whole range of zany characters both past and present. If you want to ramp up the tension, you can try out the battle mode in which weapons are introduced to take down both friend and foe. Takedown mode, possibly inspired by Burnout but also as far from it, sees you utilise any means possible to wipe out the competition in a bid to finish the highest scorer. Time Trials feature under the Best Lap Challenge along with a Stunt Showcase mode to show off all your crazy skills and tricks. Finally we have a sandbox mode known as Playground. This blends together all the aforementioned into a relaxing atmosphere where you can take to the track, perform stunts or just take your time and enjoy the sights. Along with the range of game modes on offer, there’s plenty of unlockables, customisations and even some classic split screen multiplayer.

Once you dive into Cars 3, you’ll soon realise the mechanics are simple and easy to get to grips with. The handling feels at best, adequate but it’s when you put into action the abilities available, such as driving backwards, you realise there’s some depth to the game, albeit not a lot. Tracks also feature a lot of shortcuts, and the AI is not afraid to utilise them forcing you to use every trick in the book to finish at the top of the podium.

Graphically as you would expect considering this is the first title on Xbox One, this is the best looking Cars title to date. There’s a host of nice looking tracks with some of the twenty plus offering stunning visuals, while others garner an average feel. But what this game does ooze plenty of is colour. The developers have captured a true feel that stays faithful to the franchise. The cars themselves are detailed and run fluid through the lush environments on offer.

cars screens 2

There’s plenty to keep you occupied with Cars 3 in terms of game modes and unlockables on offer. Butthe novelty soon wears thin leading you to more than likely abandon the game before mopping up that 100%. However, as a title aimed more toward the younger generation, there’s plenty to keep them occupied for a much longer period of time.

Overall, Cars 3 delivers on content. Its downfall is that as much as you want to love it, there’s no killer track, mode or feature that convinces you this is fantastic. It is fun for a short period, but that’s where it ends. Movie tie-ins may be less common now, and Cars 3: Driven To Win is proof that gamers and the industry have not only moved on from shoddy cash cow titles, but have grown to expect a much more refined experience when we do get a faithful adaption. For the kids however, this may keep them quiet for a few weeks.

Cars 3 Driven to Win is available now from the Xbox Store, Priced £49.99.

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