No more than a Test Drive
No more than a Test Drive
Test Drive Unlimited 2 is a game that looked to make the start of 2011 a brilliant one. We already had LittleBigPlanet 2 and Dead Space 2, but can TDU2 (Test Drive Unlimited 2) deliver the goods?
I'll start where the game starts: Every thing is 'hunky dory', your in Ibiza partying in the sun. Your asked which of the six characters you want to play as. All of them are downright ugly so I just chose the first one. Your quickly put into a cut-scene and you'll notice straight away just how terrible the voice acting is. Your given a red Ferrari. For some reason this woman called Tess says "I was a bit daring in my choice of colour." No. No she was not. A red Ferrari. RED! Ferrari's nearly always come in red!
Anyway, once you've passed all that, you can finally get into some driving, which thankfully, is very good. Handling is fine and you'll notice that it changes depending on the car your driving. Unfortunately, their are no motorbikes but the could be included in upcoming DLC.
Once you've passed all the introductory stuff (you've got a car, a house and an ugly face), you can finally enter the bulk of the game. You'll start off with some licenses you have to pass, these are enjoyable because you try different types of cars, techniques and road surfaces, but they can become a bit repetitive. Once you've passed these, there are championships aplenty. All championships are in a certain category which your car needs to be in, this can be a problem sometimes as finding the right car can prove difficult. Once you've done enough championships in a certain area, you can enter cups. This is where your long hard work pays off. There is an exotic car at stake if you can win the cup. The final race in the first cup is an endurance race lasting 54 minutes! Yes, real minutes! I got so tired that after 26 minutes I stopped for a cup of tea and then carried on afterwards. This single-player is going to last you a VERY long time if you want to complete it.
Onto the graphics. They are good. Just good. They can be great in some areas with mud flying off the back tires of your 4x4, but at other times, you will notice a lot of trees popping into view. The weather effects are actually quite superb. Rain, sun and lightning are all in the mix. Hearing thunder clouds crash and seeing the lightning flash is all very dramatic, it's like Alan Wake all over again. The game has a constant day/night cycle. The middle of the night can be a little frustrating as it's sometimes difficult to see where your going and before you know it, out comes the airbag, you've crashed into a lamppost. You may recall that in TDU1 you were on an island called Hawaii. Once you've reached level 10, you can head to an airport and travel back to Hawaii and re-experience it with updated graphics and new championships to win. Sure it's pretty cool to see it again, but I prefer the more modern, sun and the sea, Ibiza.
There is a lot to this game. Unfortunately, not all of it works so well. If you can see past the terrible voice-acting and the sloppy animation and if you can just concentrate on the driving aspects of the game, you'll find an enjoyable racer with, at times, stunning visuals.
A solid racer, let down by some minor flaws.
- A huge collection of cars.
- Flawless handling.
- Bitchy, whining opponents.
- Islands take a long time to navigate.
- Your character, no matter how much plastic surgery you have.
P.S - Homefront review coming soon...