Cars 2 is not another kart clone (Game Review)

Disney took up a good amount of real estate at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles this month.  Along with a new Disneyland Kinect adventure game, a Cars 2 game was also on display.  Cars 2 marks the second Disney/Pixar tie-in game made with assistance from Pixar.  Like last year’s Toy Story 3 hit game, Cars 2 succeeds on many levels.  What this game is not, is a Mario Kart clone.  Cars 2 is a deep racing game with a deep career mode, lots of unlockables and a good amount of multiplayer battles.  While the movie has been criticized by some as being too much for kids, this game seems to be targeted at more competent racers.

The work with the original animators really paid off as the graphics and animations are near the same quality of the movies.  The PS3 version auto-detects your TV’s 3d capabilities and adjusts itself accordingly.   The voice acting is all superb, as well.  In the game, your preferred Cars personality travels to exotic locations around the globe.Cars 2 goes beyond the movie’s storyline as players take on the role of one of more than 20 different Cars characters and train to become spies at the international spy training center.

The racing and the various modes from training to free play, missions and multiplayer, this game is amazingly deep.  The cars can flip backwards, drive on two wheels, jump and perform aerial tricks in addition to the standards kart fare of drifting, turbo and weapons.  Besides standard and battle races there are various combat or competition modes to share with friends locally.  Unfortunately there is no online multiplayer to race against people that aren’t on your couch.

Overall, it’s difficult to rate this game.  The overall quality and polish in everything including the menus is unprecedented for this type of game.  While it excels on many levels as a racing game, the difficulty may be too high for the most eager fans of this franchise.  Older kids will however love how much there is to do and unlock as well as being able to annihilate their family and friends on the track.   Disney has also found a way to tie it into an online service, World of Cars Online, where your in-game achievements give you virtual perks and of course, you can always buy more in micro-transactions.

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