The Cars franchise is one of Disney Pixar’s well loved products and rightly so, over the years Lightning and Co. have made it across the line in various videogames, probably most notably in the first incarnation of Disney Infinity.
Here we are in 2017 enjoying the third movie, which incidentally looks like a huge improvement over the second, with Driven to Win – a polished and exciting racing game that picks up after the events of the film.
We’ll just take a pause and speak in hushed tones for a moment, it’s also not just for kids. While the game could be levelled at the younger demographics there is plenty to keep an arcade or avid cart racer fan happy.
Okay, Rev, Rev, Rev – let’s go.
Driven to Win is fun, it really is that simple. The game opens with a cinematic take on a training level to get you used to the basics of racing and basically the controls are exactly like any other cart racer in the last decade. Once that cutscene has played out you get control of the menu, which seems a touch bare at the beginning. Fear not, playing the game will unlock race modes and customisation features pretty quickly, so it won’t take long to have more to do.
Graphically the game is crisp and nice to look at, the textures and models are spot on leaving you no doubt this is a Cars game. As far as the environment goes there is plenty to look at, the tracks are spread out across various locations from the movies and they all fit the bill. Some with hazards and jumps, others with more traditional courses.
All the tracks have bonus features and shortcuts, along with areas that encourage you to use tricks that only Mater would encourage such as driving backwards or on two wheels. Completing these trick zones will give you a bonus turbo boost which in some races is much needed. There are also fuel cans lined up in handy places being instant top-up for your turbo boost, while there are explosive barrels also dotted around which are a pretty and explosive hazard. Although barrels can be towed, dropped or lobbed at other racers – which is nice.
There are ten or so Cars characters to unlock and use, either from winning events or collecting Hall of Fame rewards for performing different feats. For example firing a rocket while spinning in an Air trick and landing safely. The Cars themselves are customisable to the level of changing their horn sound, their undercar lighting and colour of their turbo.
As you progress and unlock more tracks there will be showdown races which are Boss like in there difficulty, in fact they just seem to be geared so highly that even getting near them requires holding constant tricksy turbo skills. This kind of puts a stop to the fun, you need to feel there is a fighting chance.
Overall there is plenty to do and lots of fun to be had, whether it is pulling stunts tricks around an airport or destroying target vehicles there are twists on the simple racing that encourage you to experiment and make the most of the couch co-op. It’s pretty easy call to make this the best Cars game so far – so caving in to the kids after seeing the movie won’t be a mistake.