Disney is leveraging its well known film franchises in an attempt to present the complete media solution. Not only will you spend money to see the movie Cars but you’ll have ample opportunity to play the game on your PC, console and yes even on your cell phone.
Capybara has crafted a rather open ended game in Cars. You start off in Radiator Springs as the protagonist Lightning McQueen. In the movie, McQueen is heading off to a big race but gets waylaid in Radiator Springs; a kind of desert outskirt that hosts the famous Route 66 freeway. Here you get to play the segment in Radiator Springs.
It seems there a bunch of problems in this backwater desert town. You’ll engage in a number of Fedex style quests as you move (or drive) up to fellow cars who will initiate in some small talk banter with McQueen. Other quests involve mini games and you know since the game is about racing cars, there’s got to be a few races involved. Most of the mini games are easy to finish, enabling you to earn money in the form of bolts, upgrades and bonus abilities (such as turbo). There are a few that can become irksome if you don’t know exactly how to finish them. A little trial and error sometimes helps.
I had a hard time adjusting to the controls of your car. I tend to get mixed up when controls are relative to the vehicle rather than the map itself so I found myself sometimes making bone headed moves because I wasn’t sure which way to turn the vehicle. Sof or me, at least, there was a small learning curve to the game.
None of the missions available to you have to be done in order so you can happily start one and move on to something else if you happen to be frustrated at one part of the game. Unfortunately the game, like the animated movie, seems geared towards children. The level of difficulty certainly reflects that. The subject matter does too. You won’t find any mentions about demolition derbies, drive by shootings or other popular automobile related game material.
Once you’re done the 30 missions, there’s little to do in Radiators Springs anymore but that’s typical of any game. More could have been done to flesh out the sandbox aspect by having more interaction than simply driving up to other characters for missions. But then again, who really continued to play an open ended game like The Godfather after the main storyline was solved. One thing to note is the presentation of Cars is really impressive. There are plenty of colors employed and the look and feel does its best to resemble the visuals of the cinematic counterpart.