Cars review

Race against the motormouthed residents of Radiator Springs

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Cars isn't a very difficult game, but its computer-controlled racers are just cheap. They use shortcuts a lot, which is OK, but their ability to keep pace with you seems a little more artificial than usual. More than once, we slammed on the turbo boost to pull ahead of an opponent we were neck-and-neck with, only to have them match speed with us like nothing had happened. Another time, we were pulling ahead of the pack when we suddenly saw two other competitors literally appear out of thin air in front of us. Did we get too far ahead for the computer's comfort, or were they just being re-spotted after slamming into an obstacle? We're not sure, but either way, we didn't like it.

If that weren't enough, the most inferior-seeming cars in each race often took the lead, which just made things even more frustrating. We realize this is supposed to be challenging, but we just can't swallow that a racecar like Lightning McQueen could ever lose first place to Luigi the Fiat or Lizzie the Model-T.

Problems with computer-controlled racers disappear during the four-player wireless ad-hoc matches, which makes multiplayer the best thing Cars has going for it. You'll still have to play through the story mode if you want to unlock new characters (you'll start out with just Lightning, his love interest Sally and - ugh - rusted-out tow truck Mater), but it's worth it to be able to lap your friends as one of the four neon street-racer "boss" cars.

More info

DescriptionA harmless, enjoyable racer that lets players explore the town of Radiator Springs, play minigames and race against characters from the movie.
Platform"PC","DS","Wii","Xbox 360","GameCube","Xbox","PS2","PSP"
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"","","","","","","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Mikel Reparaz
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.