Review: Cars 3: Driven To Win (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewed by Thomas Hugh, posted Jul 17, 2017, last updated Jul 17, 2017
Jul 17, 2017
  • Release Date (NA): July 13, 2017
  • Release Date (EU): July 14, 2017
  • Release Date (JP): July 20, 2017
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Developer: Avalanche Software
  • Genres: Racing
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone 10 and up
  • PEGI Rating: Seven years and older
  • Also For: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
Sick of Mario Kart 8? Here is Cars 3!
Thomas Hugh


Gear up!

Going into Cars 3, I had super low expectations. One because it's a movie license, which generally aren't received well when converted into video games, and two because it's a film property geared towards children of a younger age. 

Cars 3 isn't something I would usually play, period, but with the Switch not having many options out right now, outside of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I decided to take it for a test drive. Initially I didn't think much of it, just another kart racer, but the more I played I realised it actually is a lot of fun and has some unique features. Cars 3 turned out to be a pretty solid title!


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Keep it Wheel

Outside of the standard Race Mode, we have Battle Mode, which is the same races but with weapon pick ups. Stunt Showcase, where the idea is to score as many points as possible by collecting aerial pickups and pulling off insane stunts like jumps and spins, driving backwards, or on 2 wheels. I can't say I've ever had to drive my car backwards with reversed controls, or on 2 wheels in a racer before; it definitely kept me on my toes (or wheels!) and certain boost strips on the track require you to be in the correct positions in order for them to activate. Takedown presents you with waves of vehicles to destroy for points before the timer runs out and is probably my favourite mode, especially in multiplayer. Last but not least are the Master-Level Events which consist of various remixes from all of the other modes, and can be quite challenging hence the 'master' moniker.

Racing control felt a bit 'off' at first but I just put that down to me playing Mario Kart 8 so much, but once it clicked, especially the drifting, it felt good to play. You can jump extremely high and do aerial stunts, bash your opponents off the track with a flick of the right stick, boost with gauge gained from fuel pickups or earned from power strips, all in the standard cup race mode. Add weapon pickups to that already hectic formula for Battle Mode and races become extremely fun. Rubber-banding is present but in multiplayer mode it doesn't really effect the outcome and seems to be there just to keep you in the thick of the action.


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Completing skill challenges in races unlocks even more modes to compete in, like the Miss Fritter Battle Race. Alone or in co-op, the object of the race is to destroy the fearsome school bus by using every dirty trick in the book! Firing weapons or slamming into her, anything goes! This along with the stunt modes and wave battles I found more exciting and fun to play than the standard cup races.


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The only real downside to Cars 3 on the Switch is there is no online multiplayer, and some of the stages have awful textures. They aren't that noticeable when in handheld mode, but when docked and playing on the big screen they look pretty bad. Some stages seem worse than others. It's a shame really, because it does detract from the overall experience, or at least it did for me. Apart from that this is a solid kart racer with tons to do, you might just have to wait a bit for it to come down in price though, as like everything else on the Switch at the moment it's very expensive compared to the same game on other platforms.


Cars 3: Driven To Win Launch Trailer

+ Loads of modes
+ Fun gameplay
- No online multiplayer
- Poor textures on most stages
6 Presentation
Bright and colourful throughout, but low res textures on every stage stand out like a sore thumb. In handheld mode it isn't as noticeable but when docked it looks pretty bad for a game in 2017. Especially so when compared to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
7 Gameplay
Whether you are competing for first place in a race or causing chaos and destruction with one of the various battle modes, Cars 3 feels fun and plays well.
8 Lasting Appeal
With many unlocks and modes to complete, including custom cups and 2-4 player local multiplayer, Cars 3 has plenty to do.
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Cars 3: Driven To Win is a good alternative if you are fed up with Mario Kart 8. However, at £63 (absurd current Amazon UK pricing!) it's hard to recommend right now when it is considerably cheaper on other platforms.

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