Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

Test Drive Unlimited 2 promises to expand on the traditional racing experience providing gamers with Massively Open Online Racing.

Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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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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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Technical Specs
Test Drive Unlimited 2
Out of 10
Test Drive Unlimited 2
  • Huge islands
  • Excellent online integration
  • Awful story-like elements
  • Dated visuals
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 11/02/2011
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Eden Games
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 1,542 15
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