On the parallel track to Cars, the movie, is a game that doesn't give away the story line. Should you get behind the wheel?
A general rule of thumb while buying a new videogame is to avoid ones based on movie franchises. Though there are a few exceptions, most franchise games deserve their place in the dustbin.
Full disclosure, we embarked on this game without watching the movie first. But, fortunately, that wasn't a problem, because the storyline in the game is wafer thin.
It also seems like the game takes place after the events of the movie, which is great — no spoilers. The focus of the game is on arcade style racing and so it doesn't dwell much on details of the story. There is some witty banter by Chick Hicks discounting the achievements of Lightning McQueen through the game, but there isn't enough variety to keep it fresh and you will find him passing the same snide remarks over and over again.
The game progresses very beautifully, the car seems solid and the controls have a high degree of accuracy which lets you perform some pretty insane stunts, provided you manage to get enough air. The drift concept is a little different from other games but you get used to it pretty quickly. The AI also never lets up. Even in easy mode you have to keep outdoing your best if you want to land in the top three. For example, if you playing the Stunt Showcase mode, where you are scored on the stunts you perform. Imagine you lost the round. Technically, the highest score in that round would be what you would need to make to win that event, right? This is not the case in Cars 3. If you achieve the target fairly quick and start slacking, the AI will out do you, forcing you to pick up the slack. It's an interesting way to ensure you are always at the edge of your seat, but it does seem a bit unfair.
The graphics are not great. The game looks decent, but with the processing power of next-gen consoles, it ought to give us more.
Cars 3: Driven to Win has several racing modes that emulate some of the best and most fun racing games out there. There is Race where you just race against other opponents, Battle Race which is racing but like Mario Kart where you can temporarily incapacitate another driver with weapons, Takedown has you destroying waves of opponents before the time limit runs out, Showcase is a playground where you can hone your stunt and racing skills without the fear of losing and as mentioned the Stunt Showcase mode. The modes are a great homage, though there is a lot of child friendly tweaks to appease parents, the essence is not lost.
The game features over 20 tracks based on iconic locations in the franchise. These tracks are well crafted with a lot of shortcuts and interesting jump points for stunts. You can also play 20 different characters, each with a unique driving style. You can customize the car to your liking, but the options are very limited, being a movie franchise, the cars need to look like they belong in the movie.
Cars 3: Driven to Win is not a bad game, it won't win any awards but it is still fun and kids will love it, especially if they are into the movie franchise. Though there are some things that are a little bit annoying the game definitely deserves to be on your shelf.
Cars 3: Driven to Win
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Platform: PS4, XBO, PS3, X360
Price: PS4/XBO: Rs 2,499; PS3/X360: Rs 1,999
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