Test Drive Unlimited 2
Gameplay 8
Graphics 7
Sound 6

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is one of those games that start off great but the longer you play it the more the faults become apparent. There are plenty of challenges and races but in the end you are just repeating the same things over and over. The online aspect is nice and overall the game is good but it is certainly not going to appeal to everyone.

Gameplay: A huge gameworld with plenty to see and do but very repetitive.

Graphics: Lots of rough edges but the scale is admirable.

Sound: Terrible radio stations and annoying voice overs

Summary 7.0 Good
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Developer: Eden Studios | Publisher: Atari | Release Date: 2011 | Genre: Racing | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Despite its faults and flaws I quite enjoyed the original Test Drive Unlimited. It might have lacked polish but it more than made up for all the rough edges with sheer ambition. Test Drive Unlimited 2 follows very closely in the footsteps (or should that be tire treads?) of its predecessor but unfortunately once again falls short of greatness.

While the island of Oahu makes a return, you initially start off on Ibiza as a lowly car valet who daydreams about racing all the exotic cars entrusted to you. As luck would have it your characters gets drafted into the “Solar Crown” which is a racing competition, shortly after being fired. While it’s not much of a story it at least provides you with a good excuse for racing around the islands.

Like the first game, the emphasis is very much on the social and multi-player aspect of the game. As you drive around the island in free roam mode you’ll encounter other races from around the world that can be challenged with a flash of your headlights. You can even set up and join racing clubs for exclusive cars and events. While setting up custom challenges and taking part in online chase modes can be fun, players who prefer a more solitary experience are catered for as well. While driving through the open world you’ll encounter plenty of races, cups and challenges to take part in. The payoff is money which can then be used to buy new cars, houses, clothes, furniture and haircuts. The wealth of customization options for your avatar returns but this time you can at least modify your vehicle’s appearance with some stickers.

A new addition is the licenses for the car classes which are a series of tests that have to be completed before you are allowed to drive those vehicles. These can be a pain but at least allows you to get to grips with the different types of vehicle classes. Races can take place on and off-road so you’ll be driving asphalt, classic and off-road cars. This opens up the island even more and provides you with an even larger playing area. While the locations and cars look pretty good the same cannot be said about the character models. It’s surprising how poor the models look considering how much emphasis is placed on customizing them. You can even visit plastic surgeons to alter the appearance of your character but this doesn’t help much. Your competition in the Solar Crown cup is equally uninspiring and all fall victim to the usual stereotypes. If the goal was to create an utterly unlikable set of NPCs then the developers definitely succeeded. To make matters even worse is the poor voice acting which sounds amateurish at best.

While the game starts out very fun the longer you play it the more repetitive it becomes. After a while you will have seen every type of race there is and taken part in it multiple times. You still have to manually drive to each location once before you can jump to it instantly again but at the least the free roaming has been made a bit more interesting. Apart from challenging other online racers you can now also discover hidden car wrecks or take photos of scenic locations. The car wrecks allow you access to exclusive new cars if you find enough of them while the photos earn you some extra cash. Both of those elements as well as the amount of roads you covered also factor into your “Discovery” level. There are also “Social,” “Competition” and “Collection” levels which all factor into your overall level. This feature makes the game feel even more like an RPG. The new F.R.I.M (free ride instant money) also makes driving between locations more fun as you can earn extra cash along the way. The day/night cycle as well as the different weather effects also enhances the experience.

The vehicles in the game are a mixed bag with some definitely controlling better than others. Fortunately, you can test drive each vehicle before committing to a purchase. Each car is once again rendered in detail, both inside and out making them a pleasure to look at. Due to the narrow roads, civilian traffic and dodgy car handling you can be sure that you’ll be involved in a few scrapes and bumps. Fortunately car damage is purely cosmetic and you can never total your vehicle or even bang it up that much. A pretty powerful PC is required to crank out all the details up to maximum and while the game can look pretty plain most of the times there are also moments where it looks gorgeous. This all depends on the time of day, weather conditions, location and car that you are driving of course.

Exploring the island and finding all the shops and events can be fun but like I said the game becomes very repetitive later on. The whole Solar Crown cup story is not very gripping and having to listen to the same voice clips before each race just makes matters worse. The radio stations on offer have some decent tunes but are marred by the deeply unfunny adverts and annoying DJs.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 had a very rocky launch with servers not working and all kinds of other issues that thankfully have been fixed at this point. You even get two free DLCs adding a couple of motorbikes (for multi-player racing only) and new missions free of charge. The “Casino” DLC still has to be bought with “Atari Tokens” however. As fun as the game is, it still suffers from the same problems as its predecessor. If you can look past the rough edges you’ll find a very ambitions game. To enjoy it to its full potential you will have to put up with all its annoyances however.

*Review originally published 2011.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP SP2, Vista SP2, Windows 7
  • Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz or AMD Athlon X2 4400+
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800 / ATI Radeon HD 3870 or faster*
  • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 14 GB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible
  • Peripherals: Keyboard, Mouse or 10-button controller such as Xbox 360 or Logitech Dual-Action
  • Other Requirements: Internet Broadband Connection, Microsoft .NET 3.5 required
  • Note:* Integrated video cards, such as the ATI Radeon HD 3200 or Intel HD Graphics, are not supported.
  • OS:Windows XP SP2, Vista SP2, Windows 7
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz or AMD Athlon X2 4400+
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 / ATI Radeon HD 4870
  • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 14 GB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible
  • Peripherals: Keyboard, Mouse or 10-button controller such as Xbox 360 or Logitech Dual-Action
  • Other Requirements: Internet Broadband Connection, Microsoft .NET 3.5 required
  • Note:* Integrated video cards, such as the ATI Radeon HD 3200 or Intel HD Graphics, are not supported.

Related posts

Solstice Chronicles: MIA

Solstice Chronicles: MIA

Solstice Chronicles: MIA is a twin stick shooter where the odds are very much against you. Faced with waves of deadly enemies, your only chance for survival is to play a bit more tactical than what is expected from you in most of these types of games. Using your drone companion to manage your threat level is essential and sometimes knowing when to make a run for it is just as useful as standing your ground. With four character classes, different skill trees, a story mode and survival mode, this is the type of game that can keep you busy for ages. The lack of online co-op sucks, but nothing beats setting up two controllers and playing with a friend next to you on the couch. Gameplay: The game is intense,even on lower skill levels, and requires you to do more than just spray and pray. Graphics: Not a very colorful game, but the top down visuals packs plenty of detail. Sound: Surprisingly good voice acting even if the background music is nothing to write home about.

Icebound

Icebound

With its Steampunk fantasy setting and fleshed out characters Icebound is a Western visual novel that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. The writing is for the most part very good and the story features plenty of intrigue. The visuals are a bit rough in places, but the excellent soundtrack deserves a special mention. It is a must for visual novel fans, but the puzzle elements and great story will appeal to other players as well. Gameplay: Icebound features a great story, interesting setting and even some nice puzzle mini-games. Graphics: Good, but rather uneven. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is superb.

Epistory – Typing Chronicles

Epistory - Typing Chronicles

Basing an entire game around typing is not a new idea, but Epistory does it extremely well and never feels like it is an “edutainment” title. It has a vibrant game world to explore along with plenty of enemies to kill and puzzles to solve. Seeing as the entire game is keyboard driven and requires lots of typing it is a bit of a niche title, but definitely worth the effort. Unless you absolutely hate typing or still get by using only one finger Epistory should not be missed. Gameplay: Expect plenty of typing as you explore, fight enemies and solve puzzles. Graphics: The origami style visuals look great. Sound: Great soundtrack and the narrator does a stellar job as well.

Jettomero: Hero of the Universe

Jettomero: Hero of the Universe

Jettomero is a stylish looking game where you get to guide a giant indestructible robot as it attempts to save humanity. This involves clumsily stomping around small planets while battling the occasional giant monster and collecting fuel. The fact that Jettomero is invincible and battles play out via quick time events means the game doesn’t offer much of a challenge, but makes up for it with some relaxing gampelay and a neat story. It can become repetitive as you are required to do the same things over and over in each new procedurally generated system, but doesn’t overstay its welcome and offers a unique experience while it lasts. Gameplay: A unique and relaxing experience despite the amount of on-screen carnage that can occur. Graphics: One of the most stylish looking games that we’ve seen in a while. Sound: The soothing soundtrack sets a great tone for the game.

Pinball FX2 – Aliens vs. Pinball

Pinball FX2 - Aliens vs. Pinball

If you are a fan of the Alien license and enjoy pinball then this pack is a no-brainer. It features three tables that not only look great, but are a lot of fun to play as well. Zen Studios also made sure that the tables stay true to their source material in regards to audio and visuals. Even amongst all the other excellent titles already released for Pinball FX2, this pack stands out. Gameplay: The Aliens vs. Pinball table is the most fun, but the other two are great as well. Graphics: Great use of the source material. Sound: Once again the source material is used to good effect.

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta is absolutely the definitive edition of this great game and an essential purchase for fans of the raising sim/visual novel genre. The plot might not be very epic, but it makes up for it with wonderful characters and gameplay that is a bit more involved than simply clicking through lines of dialogue. With titles such as this and the equally superb Steins;Gate JAST USA is really on a roll. Gameplay: Some great scenes, characters and a very addictive dice mini-game. Graphics: Excellent artwork from the very talented Oyari Ashito. Sound: Great tunes, sound effects and the original Japanese voice acting.

Leave a comment

one × two =