Review by odino
Cars was a cool animated movie in 2006 and THQ went out to milk as much out of the franchise as they could, with this being the first game. Most of it involves driving on circuits around the area the movie takes place yet there are also a lot of mini-games including Sheriff, Luigi and Mater and so on.
The story sort of continues where the movie left off, with McQueen being the main "protagonist". Pretty much all the events that take place now are races, challenges or some kind of side story involving one of the support cast. Overall your goal is simply to win all the main cups and then you also win the game.
The game uses a seemingly sandbox atmosphere where you can collect trophies from winning cups which are spots around the area, there are also postcards scattered in the world which pretty much is just worth it if you care about 100%ing the game - else they are just far too annoying to try and find. As for the actual racing, the controls are not what I would call made for racing and give you are more Mario Kart feeling, albeit much much worse. Speaking of arcade games, that is the kind of racing you need to expect from this game too. Bumping into other cars does nothing but slow you down, trying to muscle anyone off the track is futile although the other drivers often manage to do that to you even in their smaller cars. This also means you are outnumbers and outgunned, since trying to get past a pack of drivers who do not actually want to win but are all against you in some way takes away all the fair racing motto. Next up we have the tracks, they are designed with nothing but powersliding in mind. Powersliding is as exciting as trying to pull your teeth out one by one. Most of them have crap all over the place that slow you down a tiny fraction or even worse just get you stuck outright. Of course this doesn't happen to the AI drivers. Most tracks are the same with some variations, overall I almost felt like re-playing many tracks since the area around town does not change enough. You can a boost too, with more boosters won in subsequent races should you even make it there, as those can be painfully time consuming. In the end I would say it's just not worth trying to win all these courses since there are much better driving games. The camera is all right for driving but a pain in the ass when trying to look around in town. Then the place is also mighty confusing to get around with multiple areas in between having loading times too. Speaking of loading times, this is one of those games that doesn't have auto-save for some reason, always giving you 5-6 prompts about saving your game. I just have to say that no developer should be allowed to create a modern game where this kind of annoyance is in the basic of features. Yes, I want to save the game in Story Mode after winning a course, who would not??!!
This must be a tie-in with the movie since they got the cast to reprise their roles which is probably the best part of the game. Problem lies in the voice clips always repeating and soon getting boring. You dry around town and another car will greet you, after 5-6 time the same greeting you kind of want them to go away please. The music is also all country, not that it is my kind of music and I respect if others like it, the banjo music will soon get on your nerves in the races. Fine so you can tune it out if you want but I would take EA's trax over something like this any day of the week.
It's an olderish game and cartoony too, so I did not expect much. It looks good on HD there is nothing really to complain, the details are lacking in many places and I wish they would not think night driving is fun because frankly you cannot see anything sometimes, and the glare of the sun does not help either. If this was an attempt to bring realism into the game or is just a feature they thought it was cool, not sure. Well, if you are into the movie then you will enjoy seeing all the characters again.
Not enjoyable really, and once the driving gets more challenging you might just put down the controller and move on to another, better game - and you really should. It is nice to check this in companion with the movie but they should have done a better job at a core driving engine for me to really recommend playing this one more than an hour.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 11/15/10
Game Release: Cars (US, 10/23/06)
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