Sadly, some of this unbearable posing makes its way into the online component of TDU2, which is tightly woven into the core experience. If you're signed into your platform's online service, you'll see other players driving about in your world, and they'll appear in the hub areas wandering about in their mostly awful outfits - if they bother to get fully dressed at all. It might be an unlucky experience on my part, but most of the other players I've come across have been annoying to the extreme. For some, it seems as though they alter their personality to match their hideous in-game avatars.
A big chunk of your level progression is reserved for online interaction, which is a shame as playing solo was generally a lot more fun. Setting up an in-game clubhouse and making friends with people all adds to your rank, while competing online, either directly against others in race events or in custom-made competitions, gradually contributes to your overall score. Instant challenges, initiated by flashing your lights at a passer-by, are designed to seamlessly get you racing with fellow players, but all too often you're in completely mismatched cars, making the result inevitable and the race pointless.
TDU2 isn't on par visually with the best of the genre (it may well weep slightly when looking across at Hot Pursuit), but the two huge, open islands impress due to excellent lighting and massive scale. A snapshot of the game in action would reveal a title many years behind the curve, and in motion the frame rate drops far too often, but for some reason it's got something about it. If you enjoy watching the Top Gear trio drive fast cars around roads that seem to disappear into the horizon, this might be the closest you'll ever get.
Accompanying you on your journey around the islands is music from two radio stations, and while tracks are easily changeable on the fly the music starts to repeat very quickly. There are some reasonably big names on the soundtrack, including Deadmau5 and Ellie Goulding, but much is forgettable.
There is every chance you'll hate Test Drive Unlimited 2. While I've grown to almost love the freedom and sense of exploration, the driving takes a lot of getting used to and the developer's attempt at making the experience cool falls completely flat. Add to that a progression system that doesn't really let you play how you want, forcing you to take part in every aspect of the game's Collection, Social, Competition and Discovery elements, and it seems as though Eden is actively trying to make the experience tedious.
For whatever reason, though, it's possible to become hooked, eager and willing to explore the island and collect as many cars as possible. It's just a crying shame that you're going to have to spend a fair amount of time being the egotistical spanner Eden clearly thinks you want to be, paying for countless haircuts, face lifts and fashion lines. Please Eden, next time just focus on the driving.