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.