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Why I bought it
I bought this game to break up a couple of 'serious' games I was playing (Sleeping Dogs and The Last Of Us) and for the easy trophies in it. I got it for a reasonable price, it had relatively good reviews and it looked fun! It is, however, a very short game with full completion achievable in around 10 hours. Within those 10 hours, was it worth it?
What is it based on?
The game is loosely based around the film of the same title. The game brings players inside the international training center C.H.R.O.M.E (Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage), where they choose from more than 20 different characters and train to become world class 'spies'. As part of their international training, they will participate in simulated hazardous missions using high-tech gadgets to evade and slow down adversaries.
The basic controls are very straight forward; accelerate, brake, shoot, sharp brake, turbo, jump and turn. To do spins or flips, you have these mapped to your controller but aren't required to actually play the game in its basic form.
There are various types of race; a straight out race, a race with the use of weapons, a destruction arena and a checkpoint game (where you have to get through the next checkpoint before your time runs out). My favourite of these is the straight out race because it is quite authentic and is fast paced.
The graphics for the game aren't world class but they are atheistically pleasing for the audience. The colours are bright, everything stands out with very little getting lost with colours blending in and you get very little lag (which is at the expense of the quality in the graphics). I think the bright colours make this game enjoyable for children, it makes a difference for me playing a colourful game anyway.
=== Special features =
Unfortunately, there aren't very many special features within the game which was a bit disappointing for me as I'm used to playing games with lots of high quality graphics and features. It is effectively a racing game which you play by yourself or with a friend (in split screen). As with most franchised games, you are buying for the brand and that's what the kids get attracted too. There isn't any DLC (downloadable content) either which in some respects is good (as you aren't forking out more money to add to the game) but as the game is so short, it could use some extra additions for the die hard fans who enjoy the game, it does make it feel as though it is lacking a little, a few extra additions would have been welcomed.
=== Is it for adults or children? ===
As you would expect, the game is mainly aimed at children but by no means can adults not enjoy playing it with children! The game is easy to control for children and pleasing for young peoples' eyes. Whilst I don't always agree with children playing computer games, this one would be ideal for those who want to/are allowed to. There is, however, the use of weaponry which some may not agree with but there is no 'blood and guts'. It is more harmless 'good car destroy bad car'. Because of the weaponary I would be a bit wary of allowing children to play it who are young. The Mrs doesn't allow me to play any games except football ones in front of the children and although this is a child's based game I still wouldn't play this with them around but my children are only little.
This game has come out with generally very good reviews and you can see why. However, it is very short and if you do pay anything over £10 I feel you would be paying too much. It is appealing to play for all age ranges (it was a good gap filler for me) and is simple enough to understand without it being too challenging so again great for the younger ones and nice for adults who are wanting to play something a bit more relaxing. There isn't anything really outstanding about this or really special because the graphics and special effects are rather limited. This doesn't always matter with a game though as you can still enjoy it without being bombarded with options and high tech images. The sound is good for kids as it's cheerful and also provides tension which adds to the enjoyability of the game. Overall I would give this 3 stars, it's nothing special, it's not my favourite game and I can see ways in which it can improve. However, saying that I did find it enjoyable to play and I can see that children would enjoy playing it. I recommend that you look out for this under £10 and then you have a good purchase, any more than that then I don't think it's worth it.
@ Gameplay, Longevity, Difficulty @
I bought this game as a bit of a joke not really knowing what to expect, thinking it would be an easy to way to get a ton of trophies and to see what all the rage is about with the cars series. The gameplay loosely follows the movie storyline but with multiple gaps, and only short cutscenes. For example, hunter challenges, and survivor challenges where you have to collect juice for your shield never appeared in the movie.
So if you're buying this before the movie, then don't worry there are no spoilers just a few missions which make no sense at all. This can be a good thing and a bad thing : bad because the gameplay is terrible in this respect, they should have called the game something else given that it does not relate to any other cars games or movies.the gameplay generally is just for kids and is not meant to be taken seriously.
The difficulty of this game is shocking, for a kids game i was surprised that some of the trophies require turbo controllers or a seriously good button masher for perfect starts and things like hudson hornet which are the hardest achievements for children. Some of the races are impossible without cheats because no matter how fast you go the computer AI will always win, or will always be right behind you.
The cars themselves are the ones from the film and you can unlock new characters when you unlock new tracks and courses. The best of these are the ones you saw in cars 1 which are all the main characters but there are quite a few missing. You get mater and lightening mcqueen, but you don't have hudson, ramone, etc which did all appear in the film as pit crew.
@ Graphics, Sound, Physics @
Graphics are PS2 quality, helicopters look like they were taken with a 1mp camera, cars don't move their mouths correctly and for some reason despite crashing into things bits don't break off and fall to the ground, they just disappear in mid air. Sound quality is actually good and where i would credit the game, all voices are those from the movie and they don't use rubbish sound editors. You also don't get any glitches in the game, i have yet to find one after playing for many months now. Physics are a little poor because cars seem to defy gravity quite a lot and there is no damage. It is a kids game but there should have been just a little effort to make it easier to get used to the physics especially where drifting is concerned.
@ Overall @
This is a highly difficult, low graphics kids game that children probably would not understand since it doesn't relate to the film very much and its too hard for them to progress through it anyway. Not recommended.