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Calling All Cars! review

Run over convicts, bash your friends and race for points in this simple cartoon crook chase

If playing bumper cars doesn't work, you can try one of the weapons littered around each level. There's a heat-seeking missile to knock your opponents off-balance, a giant wooden mallet that'll bounce anything close to it into the air (and, more importantly, out of the passenger seat) and a giant magnet that'll suck a captive right into your car.

The game comes with just four levels - a city, an alpine run, a trainyard and a suburban neighborhood - but they all vary wildly, and they're all packed with destructible buildings and challenging little obstacles, like cliffs or moving trains that you'll need to bash through or jump over.

If playing bumper cars doesn't work, you can try one of the weapons littered around each level. There's a heat-seeking missile to knock your opponents off-balance, a giant wooden mallet that'll bounce anything close to it into the air (and, more importantly, out of the passenger seat) and a giant magnet that'll suck a captive right into your car.

The game comes with just four levels - a city, an alpine run, a trainyard and a suburban neighborhood - but they all vary wildly, and they're all packed with destructible buildings and challenging little obstacles, like cliffs or moving trains that you'll need to bash through or jump over.

What's more, each level's jail is unique, with three separate entrances that award more points the harder they are to reach; there'll be a one-point entrance that'll be easy to drive into, for example, but then the three-point entrance might force you to drive up a narrow path or jump to it by using a fast-moving train as a ramp. One jail actually freezes over periodically, forcing you to hurl yourself into the back of a moving van to drop off your criminal. And in the suburban level, there's no jail at all - just speeding vans and helicopters that you'll need to catch up to while everyone else is breathing down your neck.

That's really about all there is to it; you get four levels, three weapons, exactly one game type and 18 cars, 10 of which need to be unlocked and none of which handle any differently from the others. It's an almost painfully shallow experience, and if you're playing by yourself, you'll want to play it in short bursts. Otherwise, you'll either get bored with the repetition or frustrated by how cheap your opponents get at higher difficulty levels.

What's more, each level's jail is unique, with three separate entrances that award more points the harder they are to reach; there'll be a one-point entrance that'll be easy to drive into, for example, but then the three-point entrance might force you to drive up a narrow path or jump to it by using a fast-moving train as a ramp. One jail actually freezes over periodically, forcing you to hurl yourself into the back of a moving van to drop off your criminal. And in the suburban level, there's no jail at all - just speeding vans and helicopters that you'll need to catch up to while everyone else is breathing down your neck.

That's really about all there is to it; you get four levels, three weapons, exactly one game type and 18 cars, 10 of which need to be unlocked and none of which handle any differently from the others. It's an almost painfully shallow experience, and if you're playing by yourself, you'll want to play it in short bursts. Otherwise, you'll either get bored with the repetition or frustrated by how cheap your opponents get at higher difficulty levels.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionA side project from the creator of God of War, David Jaffe, the four-player runabout has more in common with his early Twisted Metal games.
PlatformPS3
US censor ratingEveryone
Release date3 May 2007 (US), (UK)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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