Paw Patrol: Grand Prix preview (Gamescom)

Continuing our coverage of games that we got to see during Gamescom, we’re looking at the upcoming Paw Patrol: Grand Prix from Outright Games.

What we know

After a few Paw Patrol titles that offered different takes on the platforming genre, Outright is returning to the IP with a Mario Kart-inspired racer for all ages. Coming out soon (September 30th) for all major systems, it’ll support local four player multiplayer and a variety of familiar locations, with 11 different tracks to race on.

Also included are many of the show’s familiar characters, including Mayor Humdinger, and you’ll be able to play with Ryder for the first time in the series. Other fan favorites also return with their vehicles, which come with character-specific power-ups as well – like Chase’s ability to slow down his opponents by turning on his siren.

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What we saw

During Gamescom, we met with Outright in order to take a look at their upcoming lineup, and one of the games we went hands on with was Paw Patrol: Grand Prix. We played a few races in split screen multiplayer mode with both human-controlled and AI characters to get a feel for the game and how the different characters play.

What we thought

The change to a kart racer-like formula seems extremely well chosen shift in direction, as the previous three games in the franchise were starting to blend together and the vehicles were underused in simple minigames. They’re incredibly popular with kids and feature heavily in the associated toy lines, so kids will be excited to control and race with them.

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Outright’s worked with developer 3DClouds on previous games as well, including a couple of racing ones that include Blaze and Fast & Furious: Spy Racers. Paw Patrol: Grand Prix definitely leans more towards a mature kart racer than Blaze did, with more of a sense of speed and more advanced mechanics, including the character-specific abilities that really make a difference and add some more personality to the races.

The game does scale down to the youngest of players as well though, with an auto-drive mode that essentially gives any kid able to hold a controller the sense that they’re playing along. We can see this being quite popular with kids when it launches soon, so we can’t wait to try out the full version with all the characters and tracks included.

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