Video games based on movies have always been notoriously bad, for unknown reasons. It’s always a pity to find a good movie and then to discover that the accompanying game is not of the same standard.
Disney Interactive’s Cars 2: The Videogame thankfully doesn’t fall into that category, but it still has a long way to go in order to break the stigma. Users familiar with the movie franchise will know that it’s mainly aimed at younger viewers, with plots and character to match. The same can be said for its video game version.
Although it’s not a bad game, there is virtually no plot at all. Well, there is a plot, but it’s thinly veiled. The premise of the game is loosely based on the film, where players take on the role of various cars from the movie and participate in street races.
With that said, the selection of cars to race with is rather extensive, with almost all the characters from the movies present, each with their own unique voices and mannerisms. That aspect from the film has been captured rather well.
After going through lengthy tutorial levels, the player is guided through the game’s main missions. Don’t expect too much in terms of diversity, as the races are pretty much the same throughout the title.
The premise of the races has been seen before in other games, but with Cars 2 being aimed at younger players, it’s actually great fun. After selecting a vehicle at the main menu, players will have to race around an urban track. Naturally the goal is to end first, but it’s how the player achieves this that is so much fun.
Instead of just racing around and around, all the vehicles have the ability to pick up a selection of weapons such as machine guns, oil spills and rocket launchers. These are then used to stop, bash and slow down other racers. It’s a simple process, but hugely addictive – well, for younger players.
The fact that it’s for younger players need to be stressed as it will become very monotonous, very quickly for older gamers. Although it is fun in the beginning, the racing tends to take on the same tone throughout.
In terms of graphics, the characters and level detail has been faithfully recreated from the films. Everything the game has to offer will be instantly recognisable by film buffs, and it’s the way it should be. Games based on films don’t necessarily have to be carbon-copies, but as long as the spirit of the film is preserved, it will be a hit.
Catering once again for smaller hands, the controls are very easy to grasp. Basic navigation is done with the analogue stick and triggers, while shooting projectiles are taken care of by pressing a corresponding face button. Although there are assigned keys for special moves such as jumping and bumping, these don’t have to be used in the races.
Sticking close to the fun and excitement of the Cars 2 film, the official video game is a lot of fun for fans of the franchise. Although it’s not for everyone, younger players will find joy in all the lovable characters and well as have fun by defeating the enemy cars for first place.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor