Test Drive Unlimited 2 published by Atari is the sequel to the 2006 driving simulator Test Drive for the Xbox 360. What strikes you instantly is the scope of this game, the map is huge and the challenges combine both offline and online challenges so there are numerous races and tasks to complete.
Unfortunately, what strikes you after you take in the scope of the map is that there aren’t any people walking around this huge city, and the cars that share the road with you are mindless and boring.
If you are looking for an accurate driving simulator that features real-time physics and ultra-real environments then this game is not for you. The controls work well, and while all the cars feel somewhat unique, you can basically drive into other cars and objects without worry of damage or destruction.
The hand brake operates like a very arcade-like driving game from the beginning of the decade, and the storyline woven into the game is a bit hammy, but does add a bit of intrigue and motivation to keep playing the game.
The online and offline modes are pretty much indistinguishable, you can either find an offline mission or race to accomplish, or you can just free roam the huge map, or you can enter into a competition with the up to 32 other multiplayers on the map.
The multiplayer aspects of this game alone make for a decent purchase, not a wise purchase, but a decent one for anyone who put down $60 for this title. There have been some server issues but the game has only been out for a week so I’m sure there will be an upcoming update to help square away those issues.
You can also form a car club online where you and other multiplayers can share the road, challenge one another or just act as a car gang playing follow-the-leader. While this is momentarily cool and adds additional value, the online bug and server problems make the option not worth it at this time.
If you are really jonesing for a driving game, I would suggest waiting until Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed comes out later in the spring; I would only suggest renting Test Drive 2 Unlimited.
I give Test Drive 2 Unlimited a 4.1 / 5.
Graphics – 4
Sounds – 4
Cars – 4.25
Map – 4.25
Online Options – 4.5
Replay Value – 4
Video Game Magic* – 3.5
* Video Game Magic is the video game’s ability to transport you the player into the game experience – usually the effects this has on the human condition are, severe loss of time management, extreme video game jonesing, and an extended altered state of reality.