Trial: Cars 2
Developer: Avalanche Software
Release Date: 6/21/11
Platform(s): PS3, 360, Wii, iOS, OSX, PC, DS, 3DS, PSP
Review by: Shane Roberts
Trials are a feature of Playstation Plus membership. The consumer downloads the entire game with a 60-minute timer attached. If the player chooses to buy the game digitally at the end of 60 minutes, all progress carries over, including trophies earned.
Cars 2 was the 12th Pixar feature film, and the first to receive zero Oscar nominations. Considering that movie tie-in games are almost universally terrible, it’s quite a surprise that Cars 2 is one of the more enjoyable racing game trails I’ve played.
Getting the obvious out of the way, the bizarre anthropomorphic cars, mediocre writing and storytelling, and annoying voice work carry over from the film. Graphically, the game is very subpar, both for a 2011 racing game and for something with the Pixar name attached. Between the repetitive quips of the cars during the races and a lack of any memorable music, you’re likely to be playing this one on mute.
I don’t like racing games, so anything the developer can give me to do besides make turns is always a blessing. Cars 2 is packed with these additions, pulling the stunt and drift mechanics from games like Pure and franchises like Ridge Racer, as well as the weapon pickups and chaos from Nintendo’s Mario Kart. Everything is made as simple as possible to maximize fun, and having so many options at any given time keeps things from getting stale. On the offensive side, the player can horizontally ram other cars, as well as pick up weapons like missiles or oil slicks. Many of these weapons don’t have a homing ability, making them more interesting and requiring a bit of skill when it comes to aiming. You can even drive backwards to fire at cars behind you.
While the racing environments are uninspired and not much to look at, there are a whole lot of ways to boost your turbo. The standard jumping into stunts and drifting are accounted for, but there are also turbo-filling pickups to drive through and turbo-filling objects like signs to crash into. Courses are also littered with shortcuts, and you can drive on two wheels to pass through tight spaces.
Cars 2 won’t satisfy hardcore gamers or hardcore racing fans, but it’s an enjoyable kids game, and a great alternative for people who hate racing games but want to like them.
Will I buy it? No.