As part of the Cars 2 media event in New York City yesterday, Disney Interactive Group unveiled a playable version of Cars 2: The Video Game. Due in June 2011, the game, which will be available on the XBox 360, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS, and the PC and MAC, allows players to take control of the various characters in the Cars universe and undergo simulated missions. I had the pleasure of seeing the game in action, and I am pleased to report that it looks to be a fun experience.
The basic storyline is that the Cars characters join up with an agency named C.H.R.O.M.E. (Command Headquarters for Recon Operations & Motorized Espionage) and participate in missions that have been simulated, which opens up the game to many exciting new directions. This allows for the game to remain faithful to the story of the Cars films, which the developer (Avalanche Software) and Pixar seem intent to do.
In my conversations with those working on the game, Pixar has once again taken an active role in the development of the game. Similar to Toy Story 3: The Video Game, both Pixar and Avalanche have worked closely together to bring gamers a high-quality extension of the Pixar film universe. This is what is most exciting about Cars 2: The Video Game – Avalanche is back at the helm after releasing the Toy Story 3 game, which surprised many with its immersive experience. Clearly, the development studio has the chops to create another great game.
In my first eyes-on the Cars 2 game, it was evident that Avalanche has again worked hard to release an exciting product. The game was unfinished, as the release date is still a few months away, and I was unable to get a hands-on, so final judgments will be reserved for when I am able to play the completed game. However, here are a few observations about the gameplay:
- As the missions are simulated, firing weapons are not limited to those who possess them in the film. Watching Lightning McQueen blast away other characters was more thrilling than I thought it ever could be.
- Players can charge up “turbo” by performing difficult maneuvers such as driving backwards and going up on two wheels. Once charged up, with the push of a button, players can receive a boost and whizz by other characters. If you manage to hit another player while in turbo mode, they go flying. Dangerous but satisfying – two words that go great together in a game.
- There are various power-ups scattered throughout the levels, which can be utilized to get a leg-up on fellow players. These come in very handy in multiplayer levels (e.g. capture-the-flag).
Looks like gamers are in for another treat this year! We will have more coverage of the game as it approaches its release.
You can read more of the official details for the game on the press release released yesterday.
Note: The game remains unfinished so any screenshots above are not final.