Lightning McQueen, Mater and the rest of the Cars characters are back for a new racing game, Cars 3: Driven To Win. A fun kart racer at its core, this game brings all the playfulness of the Cars franchise into a nice little package, that proves that licensed movie games can still be enjoyable and worth checking out. While many might have written off all licensed movie games as rubbish, Cars 3, proves that there is a place for these type of game and perfect for its target audience.
Cars 3: Driven To Win is the first title to be released following the closure of Disney Infinity and it does feel like a sequel to the Cars Playset and Toy Box Speedway, which I was a big fan of. The Cars handle exactly how they did in Disney Infinity, which did mean I was at home with the controls within minutes of starting. Cars 3 does feels like it was going to be a Playset for the cancelled Disney Infinity 4.0, with lots of improvements added from its predecessors and it built upon the lessons learned.
This game doesn’t just feature simple racing, as there are many different modes available, a Stunt Showcase, Playground, Takedown and Battle Races. Again most of these modes have been brought over from Disney Infinity, but polished up and tweaked to give lots of replay value, especially with local multiplayer.
I love the Battle Race mode, the weapons bring much more chaos to a race and can change a race in seconds. Playground is a free roaming area, which again brings back those Disney Infinity feelings and is easy to just kill time messing about in. And Stunt Showcase is a much better experience than we’ve seen in the Stunt park areas in the past, bringing huge ramps into the race track locations for massive jumps. These additional modes really boost how much time can be invested in the game.
The game features lots of different locations from the movie, all of which look very impressive, and seem rather similar to Pixar movies as a whole, featuring over the top bright colourful characters with a realistic backgrounds. There are plenty of extra visual effects that caught my eye such as the sunset on a beach, a icy waterfall in Radiator Springs, planes landing at the airport, driving through piles of leaves and water on the windscreen when driving along the beach. These little touches make the locations much more interesting.
One of the drawbacks of the game is the audio, the tracks background songs are a little generic and the interactions between the characters in the race can become a little annoying, especially as the game doesn’t feature voices from the movies, which is the only thing I could complain about.
There are plenty of additional unlockables to encourage getting a better place, with additional characters, tracks and more to obtain. Getting some of the achievements is going to offer a serious challenge to the best players. All of which again brings replay value up and reasons to keep playing.
It might be a Cars 3 movie tie-in, but it could have very easily just be a “Cars” game since it has nothing to do with the movie as it doesn’t include any story mode and it’s a much better experience without it. It’s a simple arcade style kart racer that does it well.
Since I played the recently re-released Mario Kart 8 on the Nintendo Switch, comparisons are only natural and Cars 3 certainly isn’t as polished but it’s still a very enjoyable game and I’d easily recommend it to Cars fans and to players who just want a fun kart racer. It’s a solid experience and if you enjoyed Disney Infinity’s racing options, this is a easy recommendation.
It’s easy to put licensed movie games in a box, but this game is worth considering, especially for younger gamers or for family gaming sessions. I was impresses with how it took all the best bits from the racing aspects of Disney Infinity and improved it across the board. Cars 3: Driven To Win is a fun kart racing game to pick and play.