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Mainstream Copy Group

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Siegfried Kiselev
Siegfried Kiselev

Cars 3: Driven To Win

Parents need to know that Cars 3: Driven to Win is an arcade racing game that lets players drive as their favorite cars from the film franchise. The game also includes using weapons in two of its modes to take out rival racers, including machine guns, missiles, mines, and lasers. But this violence is cartoonish and not bloody or gory at all. The game is based on Disney/Pixar's Cars franchise, and is a clear tie-in to the recently released movie.

Cars 3: Driven to Win


CARS 3: DRIVEN TO WIN lets fans of the movie franchise climb behind the wheel of their favorite cars and compete in several races against rivals. Inspired by Cars 3, this game lets you play as more than 20 customizable characters -- including Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez -- as they prepare for a rematch against rival racer Jackson Storm. The game features more than 20 different tracks (including familiar locations from the film, including Radiator Springs and Florida International Speedway), and includes multiple game modes. Drive over power-ups to unlock special movies, earn a high-score not just by being first to the finish line but by performing stunts like barrel rolls and two-wheel driving), and in some modes, use weapons like machine guns and missiles to take out competitors.

Unlike other games based on movies that are usually bad marketing vehicles, this racer is a fun, surprisingly good game. It doesn't have all the features one might expect from a racer today, but it's nearly there. The game boils down to three core gameplay elements -- racing cars, performing stunts, and unleashing kart racing-style weapons -- plus there's a lot of selection in the characters you can play as, all of whom are customizable. And there's a lot of breadth in the type of game you want to play, too, with a half-dozen modes to choose from, between the straightforward "Race" and "Best Lap Challenge" to the tricked-out "Stunt Showcase" and "Playground" to the weapon-centric "Takedown" and my favorite mode, "Battle Race."

In Battle Race, you'll find longer races to play against a friend or family member beside you, with unlockable cars, levels and Trophies (think Mario Kart, but wrapped in a Cars 3 skin). You'll level up XP points, use nitro boosts at the right time, drift around corners, and more. Too bad the game doesn't offer online multiplayer matches, but perhaps the target audience of kids won't notice this omission. Same goes for the story, which isn't worth getting into here, but your overall goal is to become a Hall of Fame Driver. Visually speaking, the developer did a great job capturing the look and feel of each of the familiar cars from the films, with highly-detailed car models, multiple tracks, and smart-looking effects including lighting, shadows, and explosions. The voice-acting is hit and miss, but younger gamers probably won't even notice. Between its multiple modes, tight controls, and great graphics, Cars fanatics will no doubt want to climb behind the wheel of Cars 3: Driven to Win.

Families can talk about the violence in the game. Do all the guns and explosives seem appropriate in a game based on an animated family film? Does the fact that the characters are cars lessen the impact of the violence?

We suspect the target audience - young gamers and fans of the films - may not mind too much, however. The characters and culture of the series are predominant through standard play, with plenty of unlockable characters and tracks as nods to the films. The personality of each car may not be reflected in their abilities (none are faster than the other, with no visible stats for each vehicle) but they babble a lot of voice lines during and between races. Throw in post-race commentary that loosely follows your performances and there's been good effort with the presentation. For our taste the cars are all too chatty during a race, repeating lines and forever talking, but we suspect young gamers will love that very feature.

All of these abilities come into play in a standard race, and then in a battle race you also pick up a variety of weapons - such as rockets, oil slicks and electric shocks to damage other cars - to dish out punishment. Battle races are predictably manic, and there are some fun ideas at play, including the fact your tyres can be punctured and you struggle along for a few seconds until they auto-fix. If you want to simply enjoy the weapons without being the victim you can also do a Takedown event, in which you destroy as many AI targets as possible in a time limit.

That does bring us to one of our primary issues with this title; a mix of sloppy performance and modest visuals. Visually the game is a par at best, with some odd moments where assets are either extremely low in resolution or aren't being generated correctly. That said it's not terrible looking, but it's just rather mediocre. On top of that there are regular performance hiccups, where too many effects, explosions or other cars can lead to judders and dips below the 30fps target. This is noticeable in both portable and TV play, in solo and multiplayer. It's not game breaking by any stretch of the imagination, but with basic visuals and a 30fps target it's disappointing for those modest goals to be let down by these sorts of issues.

With nothing in the way of bad language, sexual content, or violence, there's nothing for parents to worry about in Cars 3. While certain races give you the ability to use weapons, you never really see any damage being done - explosions may cause cars to flip or fly into the air, but they'll be back on track a few seconds later.

Gamers, start your engines! Cars 3: Driven to Win allows racers to take the driving seat as Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez (or one of 23 total cars from the films), to race, battle, and challenge your way to the Racing Hall of Fame.

Here you can take part in regular races, battle races (which are races with weapons), stunt events, best lap time trials and takedown battles (which see you rampaging through a packed field of drone cars). These different types of events all offer different twists to the gameplay and none of them are unenjoyable thanks to the decent on-track action.

If racing against others isn't your thing, you can try the Thomasville Playground. The best way to describe this would be by saying it's a skate park for cars. It was a ton of fun, and I found my self spending at least an hour in the Playground just trying to find collectibles. It's honestly a great place to practice your skills for the track.

Takedown events require you to blow up enemy cars as you drive. Just keep loading up your turbo boosts to catch them, then dodge left or right to "bash" them. Easiest method is to get right in the middle of a group and then dodge to hit 2 or 3 of them quickly in a row, then do it again when they respawn.

This one is tricky, only because there is 1 character (Smokey) you need to unlock that requires 124 badges to be unlocked. You can get about 115 of them easily, but you will need to work hard to get the remainder. There are 22 total cars to play with.

Cars 3: Driven to Win takes place after the events of Cars 3, and includes six different modes where players can hone their skills in single-player or split-screen multi-player modes. Race Mode puts players onto the tracks to race against Lightning McQueen and the gang and rev up for the ultimate challenge, while Battle Race allows players to collect and use power-ups, putting their cars to the test in races against family and friends to become the Ultimate Champion. 041b061a72


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