Race events can cause a few swear words youngsters playing Cars 2 probably shouldn't even know about, but the Survival and Hunter events can be plain dull. Survival gives you a shield and an ever-depleting energy meter. Collect energy pick-ups to replenish the bar, but if it runs out it's game over. Hunter asks you to shoot enemy cars in fairly open levels using the various weapon pick-ups scattered about. Survival can be mildly exciting as you attempt to gain a few precious extra metres before your shield runs out of juice, but Hunter is tedious in the extreme.
Being a fun arcade racer the included four-player split-screen works extremely well and is something of a rarity on the Xbox 360 and PS3. As is the case in the classic Mario Kart games, you're able to take part in standard weaponised races or opt for battle arenas if you want to focus purely on the combat side of things. Sadly there's no online play included, so local split-screen is the only way to get your multiplayer Cars 2 fix.
Outside of the main mission mode and freeplay there's really little else included in the package. Unlocked cars can be viewed in a virtual garage and there's a way to link up your game to The World of Cars Online website (giving you a reward for doing so), but that's about it.
Toy Story 3 looked great, aping the movie brilliantly. Cars 2 isn't quite as close to the movie it's referencing, but on PS3 and 360 the visuals are still pretty impressive. Tracks aren't the most detailed and on the whole the package is a step down from the beauty seen in Disney's ill-fated Split Second, but some neat motion blur and bright, bold colours give things a modern feel. Whenever Professor Z appears on his helicopter the low polygon model and basic texture work look particularly ugly and out of place, but on the whole Cars 2 is a nice looking game.
If you want a genuinely ambitious video game based on a movie license, check out Toy Story 3. If, however, you or a family member really loves Lightning McQueen and the movie's cast of characters, this simple but fun arcade racer won't disappoint.