Test Drive Unlimited 2 Review for PS3

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Test Drive Unlimited 2 screenshot
Test Drive Unlimited 2 screenshot

Ever dreamt you had it all? Beautiful partner, sweet crib, stylish clothes, good-looking friends, a garage full of fast cars, and more money than you knew what to do with. That life appears to be yours at the start of Eden Games' Test Drive Unlimited 2. Sadly, after a short cruise around Ibiza in a shiny new Ferrari, reality hits home and you're just a daydreaming valet - that is until you drive a moody TV presenter to an appointment, as if she's incapable of driving herself, and are then given a place in a massive televised racing competition for your efforts. It makes little to no sense, but get used to it, as you're going to have to suffer a lot of nonsense in order to see all Test Drive Unlimited 2 has to offer.

Putting TDU2's problems aside for a moment, the idea is that you get to live the life of an up-and-coming racing celebrity and all it entails. So you're driving lots of flash cars, but also buying new clothes, getting cosmetic surgery and expanding your property portfolio. You'll start off on the gorgeous island of Ibiza before eventually being able to cruise around Oahu, Hawaii, with the goal being to compete in events and reach the distant level 60 - a rank determined by in-game accomplishments across four areas: Collection, Social, Competition, and Discovery.

The wonderful open environment is the star of the show. Whereas the recent Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was open for exploration, it was essentially a series of connected freeways without any normal streets. In TDU2 you get a complex road network complete with everything you'd expect, from dull but essential motorways to tight streets that snake between old town residential buildings.

When free-roaming you can earn money with a fairly clever risk/reward system called F.R.I.M. (Free Ride Instant Money) that sees you building cash before banking it - slip up before banking and the counter will return to zero. You are also rewarded for exploration and finding hidden items (encapsulated within the Discovery section of your overall rank), but the real meat of the experience lies within the racing championships. These are groups of races, time trials, speed runs and more, with a tiered points system for placement eventually resulting in a final leaderboard. You earn more money the better you perform, alongside points which go towards your overall rank.

It's not just racing slick sports cars on tarmac, either, with plenty of off-road racing also available. Racing on city streets can take some getting used to, as the racification (thanks PGR4) of the courses is minor, leaving you to rely on the GPS rather than massive great signs with arrows on. Dirt racing, on the other hand, feels more natural, with a far gentler learning curve. Things do eventually become easier on tarmac, but you'll always need to have your wits about you, as corners aren't nearly as obvious as in other genre titles.

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thompo555's Avatar

thompo555

Great review - as usual a 7 has put me in two minds about this game.

One major thing: If I had a decent wheel, would it be fun (and can you get a decent power-slide going)? That's the main attraction for me, weirdly. I just want a game where you can have an expensive car and be able to power-slide it around a completely free-roam world.

I have to say, I'm intrigued by the leveling system too. Sounds different and fresh!
Posted 17:16 on 15 February 2011
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Have to make comment on a game that I am practically enjoying at this moment in time.

TDU2 does have its 'flaws' but they aren't big flaws by a long shot. The only 'major' downside to TDU2 is the online functionality which will no doubt cause some speculation before the game was due to release that a problem was to occur, though not expecting the level of the scale as to what is preventing its online to be its 'social experience' which they kept on banging on about in developer trailers for the game. Take note Eden games and Atari, a PC beta only isn't going to make the game have justice. Beta's for all platforms should be enforced as each platform is different. ;)

I'm enjoying TDU2 regardless of the online problems but credit needs to be said. Eden games are doing a good job on fixing these problems and keeping people up to date about the situation. I have recently spent $1.3mil on a Pagani Cinque. Fastest car in the game? No. One of the expensive cars in the game? Yes. The Cinque has very good torque and handles like ***** on a blanket (good ol Crackdown 2 reference there) in what I mean there. The handling of the car is great, plus I do like the minor details which Tom hasn't said in his review. Obviously how big TDU2 is. Ibiza is incredibly big and rather daunting at first as to what you have got yourself into and being oblivious that you still have another island which is just as big to race around. There are going to be moments you are going to thrash the hell out of your car and tight corners just jumps out in front of you, the disc brakes glow red hot. Due to the friction of the brake pads onto the disc thus heat (main purpose of the braking is to convert kinetic energy (You) into heat energy) which is a rather nice touch.

The other 'minor' detail which I liked was when I stopped in the middle of a field to go off and have a slash to come back and see the weather effects. Wind blowing the grass and tree's, when raining hitting your windscreen and hearing the rain hit your car, plus being able to put your left & right indicator's on and open your windows and closing them.

Very nice game and I can't wait to play some TDU2 with some of you chaps. I do agree with Clockpunk, that come 24th. See a lot of TDU2 copies in the preowned section, so maybe there 'offer' might just backfire on them as of people not buying the game who knows.

Right now to return lurking in the Pro-G shadow I mean VG shadow. >_><_<
Posted 17:16 on 15 February 2011
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive@ FantasyMeister

both playing on xbox360 fella
Posted 12:56 on 15 February 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ FantasyMeister

360. I can't say its a perfect experience, but I am enjoying it very much. Eden say they'll listen to what fans want and adjust some game aspects towards these desires - and I really hope they do. But I'm finding it much better value than Dead Space 2 already! There are a lot of changes from TDU1, and in some respects I think that could be the slightly better game of the two, but that shouldn't diminish the value of the new title in any way. The car selection is pretty damn great, and the focus on adding Special Editions is a good angle, in my opinion!

I have a nasty feeling Game are going to be inundated with preowned copies, come the 24th... but as with any multiplayer-orientated game, I guess it does take time to find its groove.
Posted 12:40 on 15 February 2011
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

Seems like it's ticked all the wrong boxes.
Posted 11:45 on 15 February 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

@ xboxlive/Clockpunk which platform are you playing TDU2 on?

I haven't bought TDU2 yet, figured it would be 'more of the same' but as I enjoyed the original I was dithering over it. If it's 'more of the same with extra bugs' I might just skip it.
Posted 10:45 on 15 February 2011
Roland_D11's Avatar

Roland_D11

I'm sad that Eden didn't learn anything from the bug disaster in TDU 1. I bought it on PC and it was awful to play, disconnects, crashes, corrupted saves.

TDU 2 seems to have the same problems, so I'll wait a few months to see if Eden keep their recent promise to iron out the bugs.
Posted 10:40 on 15 February 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

I'm really enjoying the game, as is Wid069.

Looking forward to Eden adding more exploaration/discovery things and Special Edition cars, but otherwise a really fun game. Just needs the bugs ironed out. They SHOULD have had a console-based beta, not just a PC focused one...
Posted 09:29 on 15 February 2011
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

Full of bugs also,ive got to start the game for the third time now,as the game dont know how to save its self!
Posted 08:49 on 15 February 2011
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Does not sound compelling in the slightest.
Posted 08:16 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: 4,163 124
Check Price