developer: Eden Games
publisher: Atari / Infogrames
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet
Test Drive Unlimited 2 for PC, X360 and PS3 is another installment in a popular racing series. The game was developed by Eden Studios. The creators extended the most successful elements of the predecessing game and eradicated its most annoying faults.
Similar to its predecessor (2006), Test Drive Unlimited 2 allows mainly to compete online against many other players. However, this does not mean the game lacks a single-player mode, which offers rivalry against AI-controlled drivers.
Interestingly, the single-player mode was enriched with a storyline concerning racing against outstanding local opponents. The tournaments are new as well – they replaced single races. Also, the player obtains special licenses required to unlock subsequent types of competitions.
The island of Ibiza is the new virtual environment the game offers. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands (an archipelago of Spain). Nonetheless, the player gains access to the Hawaiian Oahu island (Test Drive Unlimited) later in the game as well. Both locations feature asphalt roads and off-road pathways (mud, gravel, sand). The less accessible places can be explored behind the wheels of popular, 4x4off-road cars.
The rich variety of cars available in the previous installment was extended. The cars fall into three categories here: the A class (sports cars), the B class (off-road cars) and the C class (classic cars). The game features machines such as Audi S5, Audi RS6, Audi TT-S, Dodge Charger SRT8, Dodge Viper SRT-10, Gumpert Apollo Sport, Pagani Zonda C12S, Pagani Zonda Cinque, Pagani Zonda F, Pagani Zonda Roadster, McLaren MP4-12C, Spyker C8 Aileron Coupe, Spyker C12 Zagato, Spyker Pekin to Paris (SUV), Saleen S5S Raptor, Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, Mercedes SLR 722 S McLaren Roadster, Mercedes SLR Z199, Audi Q7, Hummer H3, Mercedes ML, Range Rover or Volkswagen Touraeg. However, the game does not feature motorcycles, which were part of the previous installment.
Luxury is among the main themes of Test Drive Unlimited 2. Alongside progression, the player purchases not only new cars, but also differen villas with their own garages or underground parking areas. Also, the player is now capable not only of changing the clothes of their avatar - they can also visit a hairdresser or the local plastic surgeon.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 for PC, X360 and PS3 introduces many interaction-related opportunities - these concern both online competition and cooperation. The player is not only capable of getting out of the car to take a look at it from the outside, but they can also check out the exteriors of their friends' or rivals' cars (for instance, before the race begins). It is also possible to take the passenger's seat in a car belonging to one's friend to go for a short trip together. Once casual amusements get old, the player can indulge racing and fighting over fame and money. Trading is also a substantial part of the game, for it features an online store and an auction house - these allow to buy and sell customized cars, properties and such.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 for PC, X360 and PS3 introduces substantial changes to the game engine. For the first time in the series, a day-night cycle was implemented – the player can drive both in daylight and at night. Changing weather conditions (rain, mist or storm for example) contribute to the sense of realism playing the game comes with. What is new here in terms of technicalities as well, is the system of damages including dents and scratches appearing on the bodies of in-game cars. Many improvements were introduced into the physics of the game world, which is more realistic now. Additionally, the game brings a set of minor improvements, such as adding an opprotunity to fluently open and close electric roofs in convertibles.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB (GeForce GF 8800 or better), 14 GB HDD, Windows XP/Vista/7
Microsoft Xbox 360
Uses: Xbox Live