Reader Review: Test Drive Unlimited 2

I missed out on the first Test Drive Unlimited, and have yet to check out the sequel released last week, but thankfully Senor Fistbeard McTavish is all over the game like fist on beard. He's also written a reader review on the game which you can now sample below.

Thanks to Madman – the best written Reader Review receives a selection of the latest DVDs and Blu-rays from their selection.

Take it away Fistbeard.

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Well, with me being a fan of the original TDU, I snatched up TDU2 over steam and jumped right in a few days ago. But is it new and flashy like a gorgeous Italian sports car, or is it your grandpa’s rusty Volvo with a racing stipe?

Hated Voicework – The characters in this game sound horrible, and I figured out why: They all sound like announcers. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it sounds like they were recorded really poorly, and for some reason I think of an arcade racing cabinet announcer whenever I hear anyone talk in the game.

Online – What? You hated online? Well, yes and no. Online is integrated really well into the game, but it’s the smaller issues that crop up to make you think “Why wouldn’t they include this?”. I was co-driving with a friend, and we wanted to go from free roaming to admiring his new apartment. I had to re-join his session, as moving from one area to another, be it a showroom, house, or anywhere else breaks the connection. We were unable to see each other’s stickers we put on our cars, and a few times we couldn’t even connect to each other because it still thought we were doing races.

Bugs – Aside from how long it took for me to actually get the game working, I encountered a fair few glitches. Connection issues, I had cars going invisible, one point my car looked like it was about to phase into another dimension (shaking and blur everywhere), and even 3 times when the audio turned into screeching static.

Loved Driving Cars– And yet with all these issues, I still love this game. Driving the cars around the huge islands is incredible, and the attention to detail (outside noises getting muffled when you have windows up or down) is awesome. Driving along roads to discover new car dealerships is fun, and seeing a gorgeously rendered car in a showroom, giving it a test drive and realising you want said car badly is a great hook to get you racing and saving cash. So many times I’ve found a new dealership, hopped in a new car for a test drive and went “Oh god, I WANT this car!”.

Online – Despite me not liking the online section, it’s hard not to be impressed at how well it’s integrated into the game. Browsing showrooms with other people talking is impressive, and a few times while I’ve been cruising around I got phone calls from the police informing me that another player has been causing havoc, and wanting me to go take them down. That blew me away the first time that happened.

Overall, despite the bugs and weird decisions in terms of online play, I’m really enjoying Test Drive Unlimited 2. Some parts could be much better, namely the bugs and some weird consistency issues with the online model (Constantly having the session broken by area transitions), but despite all this, just hopping in your car and driving into the sunset makes you forget about all the problems and realise why this game is so fun: Just going out and driving.


Comments

    URGH! Couldn't agree more. The bugs are driving me nuts. Not only that, but there is a poor decision on the money payouts, you have to choose the cars carefully, and once all the major races are done, if you want that 2 million dollar apartment, you have to earn it by doing 3minute $5000 payouts. That would take a lifetime (time frame may not be accurate).
    You should be able to redo the championships to earn better money. Its a weird decision..

    Also, it cheats. In races, the lead car can slam head in to traffic, you think GREAT, but at impact, the other car vanishes so it can continue uninterupted.

    The handling is pretty horrible, some of the rear wheel drive cars are nigh on impossible to control. but i have found a few cars which have been fun.

    With all the negativity it has, it still pulls me in. At times it is really stunning, the driving once going is a real hoot too. I've loved cruising. At times the graphics look very dated, other times nicely done, but the enormity of the islands makes up for that.

    Hopefully the issues get fixed, quickly, cause it has soooo much wasted potential. :D

    totally agree with everything in this review.

    I've shamelessly played the crap out of this since its release, looking forward to the bugs being ironed out so they can focus on new content. This game has a massive amount of potential.

    To quote my friend: "This game could have been so much more if it just had another 6 months in development". It's another one of those games where you can see a really great game hiding underneath a thin layer of bugs and unfinished design decisions.

    Why put in a passable decal system like in Forza 3 and not have it show up for other players? Why can't I connect with a buddy and stay connected through area transitions?

    While it has lots of bugs, I sitll love this game. It's deifintely a great game for just playing when trying to relax. It's fun, easy and it's awesome to be able to drive around in so many luxury cars.

    I wish they'd fix all the problems though, like the servers going up and down, the casino not working, not being able to sell the cars you've won (keep your damn pink car miami!), and also have an option to turn off the phone.

    Not sold on this just yet.

    Still not sure about wheel support, specifically G27. With all of the bugs as well this may well be a bargain purchase down the line.

    It aint worth a full ticket...

      Works fine with the G27 and the game is pretty cheap. $40 on steam. Worth the coin if u have a g27.

        If at all I'll be picking it up for the PS3.

        Might have another look when unwanted copies start hitting ebay and the pre-owned shelves...

    On the 360 version I've lately had championship challengers suddenly phase into being in front of me at the start of races, the lead car similar spec'd as mine but performing completely different. I've seen NPC cars pop in and out.

    They've apparently temporary shut down the clubs and challenge sharing due to exploits and what not. As for the casino, I've yet to have it work for me.

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