Test Drive Unlimited 2 Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PC  Check Price
Test Drive Unlimited 2 screenshot
Test Drive Unlimited 2 screenshot

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.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ Clockpunk

Well ..... that's just stupid! I did think that the 2Mb patch was too small, but what they should have done was made it so that the very first thing the game does after that update is to tell me about the Mandatory patch. Otherwise, what the hell did I actualy update?

How is it possible that these things never occur to people in the industry?
Posted 11:19 on 17 March 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ CheekyLee

... you *did* download the Mandatory01 patch from the marketplace, right...? Because the patch is over the auto threshold, we have to manuall d/l it...
Posted 18:35 on 16 March 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ Clockpunk

I tried to join. Put the disc in, updated, pressed start, and was told that "The Test Drive Unlimited Server is unavailable." So much for patching...
Posted 17:09 on 16 March 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Now the Clubs have been activated, I can announce that a videogamer.com Community Club has been formed - look for 'La Jeuxvideur de Point'! Or send ame a msg over Live, if that's easier... :D Three of us are currently members, but there are plenty more space. After all, an active Friends List is what makes this game great.

(A club needs a French name, and I couldn't fit the additional 'de com', but it sounds better as is! ;))
Posted 20:10 on 15 March 2011
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

This game would be alot more fun with online play,but they say the up and coming patch should sort this out,when it comes.
Posted 09:17 on 10 March 2011
EISPower's Avatar

EISPower

I think TDU 1 was more adictive & had much better cars + i realy miss the bikes.The game gets very dull after you ve unlocked all the roads,found the junk cars,done all photographs & completed all challenges.The racing part is short (boath imposible and to easy).Its allmost imposible to controll some cars from the racing schools.But the races even chekpoints with cars of my choise were extremely easy and are no real challenge. If there is something diferent & good in TDU2 its that there are 2 islands with a great weather change & SUV cars for offroad races.Worst thing about this game is that there are no easy money like in TDU1 you can just get 1/2.5/5 milions once (even if you try replaying entire championships) and its tops (20000/Final championship) per race even after you ve compleatly finished the game.I think there is much less money here than in TDU1 & the only way to complete some archievements (50cars/15houses) is to buy cheep cars/houses & not upgrade your cars at all.
Posted 08:54 on 10 March 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

An interesting point... I wouldn't necessarily say I found it offensive.

After all, should you wish to change an in-game character's appearance, how else would you have it done? Magical pixie-dust sprinkled over their faces while they sleep? Especially as the game provides six basic pre-rendered character models at the beginning of the game.

But on the other had, requiring such a procedure to attain a few of the points necessary to level up/attain an achievement or Trophy is a bit... funny.

Perhaps if they didn't assign value to customization, and allowed an intial level instead so people wouldn't have to pursue that line of the game if they didn't wish to, would have been a better solution.

Or perhaps the French dev team didn't think it that much of an issue, seeing as how the lifestyle being touted within the rest of the game focuses on glitz and glamour of celebrity racing, of which plastic surgery is a large part outside the world of the game.

It's a tricky area to philosophise over, but I can't say it bothers me in the least to be honest.
Posted 18:57 on 19 February 2011
IamBugged's Avatar

IamBugged

Was never that interessted in the first place but the plastic surgery thing just sounds offensively stupid.
Posted 15:15 on 18 February 2011
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

And just adding to that - this game looks so friggin' cheesy that it'll provide loads of laughs. Every review I've read points out that the character stuff is dreadful, but none of them say how hilarious it is!
Posted 14:13 on 18 February 2011
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

I still might buy this. I didn't finish the first game but I find open world games too hard to resist.
Posted 14:11 on 18 February 2011
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio

Anyone else genuinely offended by the message this game is sending about how you need to have plastic surgery to be successful? Casual misogeny in Duke Nukem is clearly a joke, but here the message feels much more serious and disturbing. Just my thoughts.
Posted 10:49 on 16 February 2011
clangod's Avatar

clangod

I've read a couple of the available reviews for this now and I'm still siding with the non-purchase leanings I had when I was less educated about the game. The highlight across all reviews I've read seem to be that the biggest achievement of TDU2 is its online offerings in variety and community interaction, which is nice, but I've read few comments relating to the driving itself. Or at least they seem to be a bit levelled and full of insinuation to the mediocre or "not quite right" feel of it all.

I'm still determined to play it and learn first hand what if any appeal the game has for me, but I will not be rushing out to buy it off the shelf based on what I've read collectively so far. One particular review stated that the wheel support leaves a lot to be desired which in itself is a warning sign for me and racing games now. Also, I have had little chance to decipher what the gameplay might be like as all video I've seen so far is in third person which I never use for driving games. I find this view very hard to stomach even in the more accomplished racers. It always looks, just... wrong.

I've commented already that the avatar customisation doesn't appeal to me. Nor does the virtual assets facet of the game as a whole. I like the idea of a virtual garage and the ability to congregate with other players to create and execute challenges. I also like the idea of huge open - world playable areas with 'sometimes' breathtaking views but ultimately none of that holds any sway with me unless the user input in the driving control translates into a challenging, precise and rewarding driving experience.

For those of you currently enjoying TDU2 I ask you:

What racer if any would you compare it to with regard to the driving alone?
Posted 17:53 on 15 February 2011
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ TomO

Thanks for the quick reply (and apologies for the apparent inability to write when I posted)!

I can understand and didn't think of that to be honest. I'm not a fan of the feel that I get from Hot Pursuit; although the idea of having to "make do with the layout of the road network" does interest me somewhat.

Did you, or has anyone on the forum, played this with a wheel?
Posted 17:38 on 15 February 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ TomO

I don't know about that last point thee, Tom - the Spyker Paris-to-Peking is one beautiful and stylish Off-roader!
Posted 17:24 on 15 February 2011
TomO's Avatar

TomO

Others might disagree, but I don't think the on tarmac stuff in this is well suited to power sliding. Generally the roads aren't wide enough or there's traffic in the way. Whereas Hot Pursuit was clearly designed to be ideal for power sliding, here you have to try and make do with the layout of the road network, which clearly wasn't invented for racing. Driving off-road is more satisfying in this regard, although the vehicles are less flashy.
Posted 17:21 on 15 February 2011

Game Stats

7
Out of 10
Test Drive Unlimited 2
  • Excellent online integration
  • Huge islands
  • Awful story-like elements
  • Dated visuals
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 11/02/2011
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: Eden Games
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 4,009 37
Check Price