inzzy's Test Drive Unlimited 2 (PC) review

TDU2: Close but no cigar

As the sun sets over the horizon, I can almost feel the smell of gasoline. I grip the steering wheel so hard that the leather makes a cracking sound, then the countdown starts. 3, I look over to my opponent sizing him up and down, he’s no match for me. 2, tunnel vision starts to set in, it’s only myself and the road now. 1, The engines rev up. GO, I floor the gas pedal and off the car flies. Then the first turn approaches, since I have spent a good amount of time already in this car I know when to break and how hard. But it doesn’t go as planned. The car fails to spot where it should and the car ends up sliding past the turn, the worst part is that a three is rapidly growing larger in front of me. I desperately try everything I can in the short about of time I have before hitting the three, but nothing help. Then I crash. Luckily the car is not only made out of metal and carbon fiber, it also is apparently made out of rubber. As I hit the three my front bumper is slightly damages (which should have fallen off completely) and my car is sent flying backwards.

This is the main fault this game has, it has a personality problem. It’s unsure if it wants to be an arcade racing game or a simulation racing game. While car handling when you have control feels like an arcade game, with long drifts and fast accelerations it turns its ugly head when you lose control. Once you lose control over the car that you are driving you might as well just let go of the gamepad/steering wheel and wait for the car to stop of its own. It constantly feel like you are driving on the ice, be that if you are driving on dry asphalt or a dirt road.

The game has also gone a more “personalize” road then most other games. Here you can buy houses, other cars, buy clothing, you can even have plastic surgery (alter the way your character looks) not a lot of car games can offer this. But at the end of the day this really doesn't matter all that much, houses are really only used so that you can have more garage place for your cars, and the brief moment you see your character in cut-scenes means that he/she might as well go around in a ninja suit (No that is not in the game). At the end of the day this is still a car game where cars are the main focus, it’s nice that they put in this feature but it feel like that they could have spent more time developing the feel of the cars rather than putting random stuff in the game.

Other than main events/story mode races, you can also take on "side missions". Of of these "side missions" are limited when it comes to Offline play where you have to drive a person from point A to point B without driving to fast/driving to slow or drive a car without crashing it. There are also car wrecks that you need to find that are scattered around the word and a "Take pictures of this location" mission. But when you get to the online part the variety opens up a little more, drag race, relay race, keep you distance and the list goes on.

A few bugs have also made it into the game (Like most other games have), for starters when you are out of the car you walk around with the arrow keys (if you are playing this on the PC). If you want to rebind them to WASD you can only use 3 of the keys, that’s right the last key just simply refuses to be input. After choosing to restart a race the cars back wheels sometimes still turn around, and during some “walk into the store” cut-scenes you can see your car randomly drive across the parking lot and crash into parked cars. The game also does not auto-detect devises that are plugged-in or unplugged, this does not classify as a bug but it's annoying when you unplug a device to manually have to change it to a different setting. Settings also does not save for that specifies device, meaning that you have to rebind every time you change a device.

But let’s not forget that this game also has online features. I wish that was all I had to say about that, but I’m afraid there is more. The online feature is just, for lack of better terms, busted. Players have the option to see 8 other players at the same time on the screen, unfortunately you cannot choose to pick who you want to see. This leaves a problem when you want to meet a friend in-game. On numerous occasions when I wanted to meet someone in the game, I wound say “Come to place X and we’ll have a race”. My friend would say, “Yeah, I’m already there”. Problem was we could not see each other, we could however see the same other players around us. This would be a small problem if the Player List feature worked like it should, but it doesn't. Both my friend in I tried to invite each other to a “party”, but this failed as well.

So if you are thinking of getting this game for its Online features and hanging out with your friend then I would suggest waiting until the game has gotten a Patch or 5 before getting the game. If you just want it for the Single player content and you can look past a few flaws here and there, then this game will give you hours of fun.

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