While TDU2 prides itself as being a game for car fanatics who can think of nothing better than collecting loads of expensive motors, the handling model employed is nothing like you'd experience in racing sims like Forza and Gran Turismo. There are three handling options, with the Realistic setting being the most difficult, but no matter what you choose TDU2 feels like it's got two of four wheels stuck in an arcade racer. The result is a game that I didn't really click with until I'd invested a lot of time racing around the islands - and even once I'd accepted the handling and grown to like it, something still felt a little off.
Buying new cars is semi-enforced by car restrictions, so for example, to enter an asphalt level 5 championship you'll need an A5 level car, whereas to enter an off-road level 6 championship you'll need to have a B4 class car. It's simple stuff, but it does mean you'll always be hopping between vehicles.
You'll also need a license to take part in each class, meaning even more driving through cones - something you'll never have to do in the main game. These are dull affairs under the pretence of teaching you how to drive, but in reality they're incredibly easy time trials which do little more than confirm that, yes, wet roads are slippery. They're completely tedious, outdated and frustrating.
TDU2 was no doubt meant to be an aspirational experience, giving everyone a chance to cruise around beautiful islands, but that sense of cool and style is almost entirely ruined by the way Eden has tried to wrap up the driving in a glossy, yet low-budget TV show that's bloody awful. This embarrassing attempt at making the game cool makes everyone in the story, including your character, seem like a vain, personality-free poser who cares more about the colour of their shoes than the health of whoever was driving the car they ploughed into a few moments earlier.
Every time my completely gormless, plastic-wannabe model opens his mouth it's impossible not to die a little inside, knowing that in order to progress I have to suffer what can only be described as an AmDram recreation of The Hills, or something equally as detestable and shallow. Outside of the driving everything is painfully wooden. Everyone, including the poor sods that have to stand around looking cool at driving schools, is essentially a shop-window mannequin brought to life, reading from a script that would have been looked down upon by the writers of Saved by the Bell.