We honestly presumed, when embarking on this third outing for perhaps the most charmless Pixar franchise of them all, that it wasn’t THQ’s fault. There is, insane though it sounds, a new Cars movie in production, and of course a tie-in videogame is a must (even if we were already charmed quite enough by the first one, thank you very much). So that’s why we’re having to play through yet another game starring the shiny little red jack-exhaust Lightning McQueen – it’s a tie-in!
Then we noticed that Cars 2 won’t be out until 2011 (no doubt with yet another THQ title in tow), and our piddling little pipette of the Milk of Human Kindness evaporated. We found ourselves speeding through the motions yet again, in another kiddie racer with only the slightest tinkering under the hood, and the experience didn’t feel that akin to ‘fun’.
Well, maybe that’s overstating the case; the anthropomorphic high jinks of Lightning and co. had always been quite fun, racing around cactus-strewn tracks perfectly pleasantly, going ‘Ow’ when you bump into other cars or the side of the track… But it’s not fun enough to be worth recycling to this extent – this is the third entry in the mediocre franchise, and too little has changed to make it worth a revisit.
This time there may be a few more characters to ineffectively crash into, and more to do in terms of souping up your bodywork, personalising your character and perfecting your new drifting ability, plus there are additional minigames as the tiny shreds of plot (which sees you preparing a team of rookie talking automobiles for the Race-O-Rama Exhibition) unfurl.
But these are miniscule potatoes. Because, from the second you speed out into the overly-familiar opening hub before taking part in loads of easy semi-karting-style races, it’s patently clear that this is just more of the same. For a hefty price tag.
Nov 11, 2009