It should be fairly obvious what the gameplay in Cars 2: The Video Game is going to be like. Based on Pixar's movie property starring Lightning McQueen, a talking bright-red racecar, the video game sequel will take place after the events of the upcoming film. So it's not exactly just a video game based on the movie. It's a four-player kart racing game that just happens to be set in the Cars 2 universe where you can train to become the next world-class CHROME (Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage) agent.
While the movie centers around superstar racer Lightning McQueen and his dopey tow truck sidekick Mater, who somehow gets involved in international espionage, the video game will be focused more on racing with your friends locally in a variety of different modes. Not only is the tutorial mode designed to teach you the ropes of racing and how to use the wide assortment of gadgets in the game, but it unlocks new modes, cars, and tracks that you can play. As you complete training levels, it will progress the story. All six modes across 15 racetracks and six battle arenas in the game can be played with up to four players split-screen with the ability to customize the difficulty, weapons, and field agents (AI) beforehand. Like in the movie, the tracks will take you to various parts of the world, such as Tokyo, London, and Porta Corsa in Italy.
Battle Race mode is similar to Mario Kart races--you race against friends and AI on the track to come in first. You'll have access to weapons that you pick up along the track to hinder your opponents and give you an advantage. Oil slicks, missiles, and Gatling guns are just some of the toys you'll get to use. There are some differences to note, though; for example, at the start line you press the right trigger or R2 to rev up your meter, which determines how much boost you get when the race begins. Drifting around corners, driving on two wheels, driving backward, and jumping into blue and white signs add to your turbo meter for some extra oomph. In Attack mode, you play cooperatively with your friends while you all chase down enemy AI on the track. The goal is to fire at and disable as many vehicles as you can. Arena mode is basically a free for all, and Disruptor is similar to Capture the Flag--you have to snag the disruptor in the middle of the arena and dump it in your opponent's base to blow it up. The final mode is Hunter, where you work with your teammates to defeat waves of minions in an arena with a final boss at the end.
There will be more than 20 cars to choose from, including familiar faces from the first movie as well as the newcomers in the sequel, such as Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell. We were told that DLC is planned, so even if your favorite car doesn't make it in this time, there's a chance that you can ace as that random side car in the future. Most of the voice actors from the movie have reprised their roles in the game, so expect some chirpy one-liners as you battle head-to-head in the different game modes.
As it did for Toy Story 3, developer Avalanche has worked closely with Pixar to ensure that the game stays true to the movie world. Cars 2: The Video Game has lots of lively characters and vibrant tracks and is full of the charm that the movies are known for. The game is clearly aimed at a family audience, but like the movies, it's for everyone, so there's fun to be had zipping around the track as your favorite racecar (or tow truck). The game will be released on June 21 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo DS.