Over the past couple of years the racing genre has been having a difficult time grasping the audience they need to really thrive. It’s tough to say what exactly will work and what won’t. Test Drive Unlimited 2 is one of those very ambitious games that pushes so much at you that your not sure what to do with it all. While it does something that no other racers do it somehow misses the mark at the core gameplay of simply having fun. Racing enthusiast may find many things to love about Test Drive Unlimited 2, simple players may find it hard to immediately get into.
The game starts you off as a valet who day dreams of living the high life and is abruptly woken up to only be fired for it. Your given a second chance however as the person that got you fired gives you the opportunity of a life time. Get her to the studio as fast as you can and be entered into the Solar Crown event. Winning races will earn you money and sometimes vehicles. This will also allow you to buy property across the island to place your cars in as well. You will have to get class licenses to progress to higher difficulties and luxurious cars.At this point you should know how this story plays out from here. This all takes place in the open island of Ibiza which is about double the size of the original Test Drive Unlimited island.
While the races for these events sets the story in motion as you progress it doesn’t make it the foreground of what to do. Where TDU 2 shines is that it takes almost everything from its predecessor and doubles it. There is twice the amount of land to race on, twice the amount of challenges and a slew of new features. Cars can now be fitted with decals and all types of customization options. Characters can not only be customized with clothes, hair cuts and accessories but you can seamlessly interact with other players online with the avatar you created.
The online for the game is also some of the best integration there is. Essentially taking the entire island and making it online (of course when you are actually online) and will bring the nearest eight players in your view to interact with. Like the first game I’ve met great people by just exploring the island and coming across a group that were together. You can also challenge players online into a head to head by flashing your headlights at them. The games audio is also above average featuring its own radio stations and a good amount of tracks from different genres.
TDU 2 throws a ton at you and that’s where some of the problems come into play. The game doesn’t know how to manage all the game modes and types of play it has in it. At times it will literally seem like your the most popular person on earth with your cellphone constantly ringing off the hook for new missions that are separate from each other. Making decisions on whether to buy that nice property off the coast or get the car for that next license are only some of the things that will leave you scratching your head on which to do first. The games character models are also not great and while shouldn’t be a big focus, the fact that it does become a representation of yourself (or however you want to make them) along side other online players could have been worked on.
The game has also been experiencing some issues and while being addressed, it shipped with players not knowing if they should continue their play through in fear of errors. Overall it does feel overwhelming at times and while not all games should hold your hand, a good run down of everything one by one could have been a big help. The games story is also not very engaging as its only real means is to advance you in the game itself. With that said when the game is at its best it’s a hell of alot of fun. Racing others, getting together with a car crew, talking trash or just exploring the island feels great.
With a game as big as TDU 2 it’s easy to overlook some of its faults on execution. There is so much to do that it’ll have you busy for a long time. Other racing devs should take note that the starting point on features should start here and not to be light on them. For those that are into racers will feel very much at home but at the same time might find frustration on its downfalls. Others will have to take caution but keep an open mind on how different this game is to other racers.
[starreviewmulti id=2 tpl=20]
Overall = 7.7