LifeisXbox’s Paw Patrol: Grand Prix review | Being a father of 3 children, there is never a shortage of Paw Patrol going on at my house. Paw Patrol has almost become a family member in itself given how much merchandise, stuffed toys, and clothes my youngest has. So when I told her that daddy & her get to play a new Paw Patrol game her eyes lit up like the soon-to-be Christmas decorations my wife is eagerly anticipating putting up. This is why Paw Patrol means a lot to me as a parent, it’s a wholesome show about a pack of dogs each with their own unique trait who are led by a small boy who goes around rescuing villagers from incidents in their hometown. It has morals, lessons for our young ones to aspire to, and a decent amount of funny moments that will sometimes get a laugh out of us adults. Paw Patrol: Grand Prix, is a deviation from the other games that have come before. Whilst not entirely a Mario Kart clone, it does borrow some of the tried and tested formulas we all know and love today, whilst introducing some new takes on the competitive racing genre.
Paw Patrol: Grand Prix is developed and Published by 3DClouds.
Most Memorable Moment
The most memorable moment for me was unlocking some of the higher-tier outfits for the Paw Patrol characters. There are some really goofy ones like a traffic cone that sits on the pup’s head. This also comes with vehicle modifications as well. Things like being able to change your vehicle’s burst effect to have stars shoot out of it gave the game a level of personalisation and uniqueness.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The Graphics | The graphics in Paw Patrol: Grand Prix are really good. The characters are a perfect creation of the characters from the show meaning kids will instantly recognise each character and have fun choosing who they want to play as. The additional level models also look really nice and carry that Paw Patrol iconic look. Palm trees, vehicles, and non-playable characters are all fully modeled and don’t use any scaled-back methods to save performance. Whilst it isn’t a demanding game by any stretch, it was nice to see a more realised world when driving around the various locations.
- The Audio | The music and sound effects in Paw Patrol: Grand Prix are surprisingly faithful. We not only have the iconic Paw Patrol theme song, but each character has reprised their role from the show to bring the characters to life. Whilst there aren’t any full-on animated cutscenes there are storyboarded comic-like cutscenes that are fully voiced by the characters from the show.
- Own take on Vehicle Combat | A lot of Paw Patrol: Grand Prix is borrowed from games such as Mario Kart. The premise of the game is to race against your fellow pups in order to win the Paw Patrol Cup. To help you with the competitive edge you must launch things like Pies, which cause other players to slip on the road, and whirlwind generators which surround your vehicle with gusts of air and cause them to slip up and slow down much like the banana from Mario Kart. There are also the usual perks like speed-ups and bursts of speed that will also generate some pushback on the other players. Where Paw Patrol: Grand Prix shines in this area though is how they have given each character their own individual special move. Rubble launches a giant boulder behind which can cause other players to smack into it and slow them down. Chase has a radar that opens up and slows all other players down. It’s a good take on the racing combat and it’s good to see that they are at least adding to the formula that made Mario Kart so appealing.
- Split Screen Co-Op | Paw Patrol: Grand Prix offers up to 4-player split screen co-op. It is rare to see split-screen co-op these days so it’s good to see this added. Having 3 children myself who have all grown up with Paw Patrol means that they can all play together. They did, and they had a great time playing it.
- Repetitive Tracks | The real limitations and lack of design come through quite early on when you start to notice tracks being reused. In the adventure mode, there are 17 tracks you need to complete in order to finish. These tracks are repeated by just changing the time of day or reversing the track. That’s it. There are 5 maps in total so you will see these tracks repeated quite often. It’s not so much of an issue for a child I suppose, but as an adult who is taking the time to go through this with his family, it becomes quite noticeable and obstacles quickly become a non-issue.
- Carbon Copy | Whilst I praised it above for having its own take on vehicle combat, this is just one thing that makes it stand out as unique. For everything else, there are quite a few surprising copies that don’t feel original enough for me to warrant picking this up as opposed to just sticking with Mario Kart. For example, the squid ink that blocks your screen in Mario Kart is present here in the form of confetti which obscures your view. The speed boosts built into the track are present along with the drift boost also. Whilst I am sure not everyone will mind, it’s worth mentioning that these are all present in games you most likely already own for your children or yourself.
What we Disliked
- No Online Multiplayer | There is no online multiplayer available for Paw Patrol: Grand Prix. It’s a little disappointing since many of my kid’s friends play this game and would have been a great addition to having them play together online.
- Performance Issues | For a game that doesn’t look graphically intense, Paw Patrol: Grand Prix suffers some serious frame drops. There are multiple issues on each map where the frames will drop down to the low double digits. Performance tanks and sometimes it will happen in the most random of places. As I mentioned earlier, there really isn’t a lot going on in the world and there aren’t crowds of people hogging up the background either. My guess is there isn’t an effective use of culling going on which means the entire map is technically in view the whole time along with effects, shadows, and lighting, putting a strain on the hardware.
- It’s hard | Yeah I said it. It’s hard. A kid’s game is hard. What makes this specifically hard is that there are two main issues that I think can make this rather disappointing for children and also cause a lot of frustration. Firstly, the AI of the other racers is staggeringly challenging. They almost constantly keep up with your speed, and unless you are constantly barraging them with weapons from your vehicles, it will always be a close call for first place. The second issue is you MUST come 3rd place or higher in order to progress. If you come in 4th place or higher, then you have to redo the entire race again. Unlike Mario Kart which still gives you an overall score, you can still claw back to first place.
How long to beat the story | 1 hour for adventure mode and 1 hour for additional modes
How long to achieve 1000G | 12- 15 hours
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.