Easy achievements have led me to play many more licensed games than I normally would, but surprisingly, I have not been disappointed. The same goes for this game, Cars, a game based on the 2006 Pixar film of the same name. Let me go on record and say I love Pixar, it seems at this point that everything they touch is gold. But anyway back to the game itself.
Rainbow Studios took a rather unique approach to the story when they made this game. Rather than follow the film, they created a new story that takes place directly after the movie ends, with the beginning of a new Piston Cup season. The story isn't too memorable, but each race and mini-game features cut-scenes before and after, and while they don't look as good as the actual movie they are still enjoyable to watch. I'm not sure if the original voice actors from the movie are present but if they aren't they sound very close to the real thing.
The music features some music from the movie mixed in with a few licensed tracks, my personal favorite being Edgar Winter's "Free Ride" The soundtrack is overall forgettable so this is another one of my "Audiobook" games, where I mute the TV and listen to an audiobook instead.
Gameplay wise, it's a pretty solid arcade racing game, there are a few unique features like the ability to hop up to shortcuts and drive backwards (which is pretty useless actually) There are several races taking place in various locations from the movie (Radiator Springs, various speedways, etc) as well as mini-games featuring tractor tipping, fetch questing, and speeder catching. There's even one where you have to play as the night riders and reenact the scene where lightning gets kidnapped from his truck, Mack, which I find ironic because up to this point, you have mainly played as lightning, so you are basically forced to screw yourself over to keep the story going. I have one major complaint, though, and that is one particular feature of the game advertised on the box: this game has an open-world section as well, allowing you to explore the region. While it is fun to go exploring in Radiator Springs, it becomes very annoying when you have to drive long distances to get to a race when all you want to do is start racing. It suffers from the same problem as Burnout Paradise, only more so because the controls aren't nearly as fluent, and there is no helpful map or compass while you're driving. Open-world driving games can work very well (example, Need for Speed: Most Wanted or Need for Speed: Undercover, where you can go exploring or just warp to the next event) but in this case, expect to get lost, and when you do, you will be very frustrated.
Overall, the game is very easy, there is a difficulty setting you can choose at the beginning of the story, easy or normal, and trust me, you want normal, cause normal is already very easy and you will only unlock achievements in this difficulty. There's only 15 achievements for the full 1000, and the only difficult one really is the postcard hunt, which you can do after the game and with the right guide can be conquered without much trouble. Aside from the game, there's a vs mode, an arcade mode which allows you to play events from the story with different characters, and some bonus content you can buy with points collected throughout the game (through pickups, drifting, catching air, etc) and get new paint jobs, new characters, short clips from the movie, deleted scenes from the game, and concept art. It's a nice little extra feature.
Overall, this game was short, but fun and good for an easy enjoyable 1000 gamerscore. This gets four stars from me because despite its flaws, it was everything I was expecting and wanting to get from this game.