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I bought TDU 2 a few months ago, and have to admit that this is a very fun racing game. I usually stay away from this genre, but I decided to branch out a little and give this one a shot.
TDU 2 plays like a racing/rpg game. There are certain things you have to do in order to make your character climb through the popularity rank. There are certain factors that add to your overall rank, like discovery and being social. When you discover new roads, certain places, and wrecks, you are awarded points that go towards your overall level. Also, when you engage in more social parts of the game such as participating in user created challenges and challenging other players, you receive points. All of the objectives to receive points are outlined in an easy to read display on your profile.
The graphics to this game are great! All of the cars are highly detailed, both outside and in. You can customize cars with different paint jobs, interiors, and stickers, so no cars ever look exactly alike! The roads, buildings, signs, and backgrounds are also highly detailed.
The controls to this game are very responsive and accurate to driving a real car. That gives the game a realistic feel that matches the rest of the realistic aspects of the game.
Since the game is rather old, the multiplayer features dont seem to work anymore. I cant ever find a ranked match on my xbox to play with anyone else. Still, if you see someone in the world driving around, you can hit the A button to challenge them to a quick challenge.
Achievements in this game are average to difficult to get. Some of them require a lot of time, so if you're looking for quick points, this isn't a good game for you.
Overall, this game has a lot value to it, and long gameplay. It takes a long time to do all of the challenges, cups, and online play. If you're into racing games, this is a good one for you
== Test Drive Unlimited 2 ==
Test Drive Unlimited 2 is a racing game that has been developed by Eden Games and published by Atari. You basically play the role as one of the six characters you get to pick from when starting the game. Straight after picking your character the game starts. You start at a house party and you then get told by some girl (who's father you work for) to go to the garage as she has gotten you a birthday present. After going to the garage she has bought you your dream car. A few moments later all you hear is her saying wake up, you wake up to find your in fact asleep in the car she had given you, yep it was all a dream. After this she gets told to fire you from her father and she gives you a mission, which is basically a time trial to get her somewhere before the time runs out. This is fairly simple to start with and shouldn't cause any problems. After getting her to the destination you get a cut scene basically stating your one of the new contestants heading for the famed Solar Crown racing series and you have a chance of bringing the trophy back home. Now shortly after this you meet a guy that helps you with your driving licences and he takes you to a used car lot where you can then purchase your first car. Now the game begins.
=== Gameplay ===
The game is set upon two islands one is Ibiza, and the other is the famous Oahu (the setting of the first game). Soon as you start the game there really isn't that much to do except follow the story of the game until you receive your first car. The story of it is pretty simple and pretty straight forward to start with. Basically all there is to do at first is pick your character, buy your first car out of three and do a few times races, yep its that simple. After that your a free man, you can still carry on with the story of the game and the story is actually quite good, almost feels like a movie, however if you don't want to carry on with the movie you can just go on a free roam and search the two massive islands. Both of the islands have been made to almost look identical to how they look in real life, basically via satellite data (technology these days). Each island has its own unique and different road types varying from off-road routes and also asphalt roads. The total amount of roads exceeds 3000 kilometers and that is absolutely huge it is approximately 1,864.12 miles. Just imagine how long it would take to get from one side of an island to another. The islands have some excellent new challengers to earn money and gain levels and there are also loads of races to win to earn money as well.
The thing I have always loved about Test Drive is its uniqueness from other car games. With the character you have picked and whilst exploring the islands in you car, you may uncover some very useful places such as shops. Now some of these shops are really interesting, there are clothes shops scattered throughout both island and each shop has different clothes for sale. So you can dress up your character exactly how you want him/her. There is also a barber shops scattered throughout the islands, where you can get all different kinds of hair cuts/styles and even get some facial hair if you want it. A new place on this game is the Clinic where you can get a brand new face lift to your character or even a nip or tuck here or there. Another great thing about these Test Drive games is the ability to buy house/apartments/caravans or even flats and possibly mansions and now you can decorate them exactly how you would want them to be, your cars get stored in your garage, the bigger and better the house the more cars you can store in your garage. There is also a fair few sticker shops throughout the islands and there you can put vinyl and decals on your vehicles and you can even give your cars paint jobs. Throughout the world of Test Drive there are now a photographer on each island that gives you a mission to go to certain places and take pictures with your camera, these pictures have to be took at a certain time in the day and in certain weather, get all these and you receive something spectacular. A good thing I liked was the new weather system. Each island features the 24-hours cycle and dynamic weather.
The gameplay is possibly one of the best I have seen for a computer game and most definitely is the best I have seen for any car game thats been ever made. This game has rocked me on every aspect, the world is HUGE and you can spend hours roaming around looking at the views or even just racing through the whole world of Test Drive. There are endless possibilities on Test drive Unlimited 2 with tons of gameplay features, your life can literally drift away and the hours fly by on this game. There are also real-estate places to buy new homes. This game is unbelievable in my opinion but does have a couple of downsides which I will mention. The game runs brilliantly, no stutters or anything like that the only fault is a few glitches but Atari have confirmed that a new patch is available for download to sort that problem out, but if your not online like my mother you cant get the patch. All in all endless possibilities to this game and the gameplay is fantastic!
=== Graphics ===
Where to start with the graphics? I was simply blown away by how beautiful the graphics are to Test Drive Unlimited 2. The scenery is the best I have ever seen on any game and whilst zooming along in your car at well over 100Mph the scenery still looks amazing, from trees looking brilliant and real, to the looks of each building varying. The beaches look unique and special and there are loads of view points which make the game look even that more beautiful. Atari have worked on this part of the game brilliantly and constantly and that work has paid off. The detail of each car is done amazingly, each car looks completely like they do in real life, they do look a bit to cartoon like but this is only because the consoles of today cannot run properly if the cars were almost real. The graphics on the characters is a little bit of a let down because they don't look entirely great they look slightly cardboard but to be honest you hardly see your guy as when your walking around the view you have is first person. Also due to the immense scenery and other graphics of the game the characters don't really matter. A thing that really impressed me about the graphics was the look of the different weather effects. For the rain, you could get a little dribble or an absolute thrash down which will make it a lot harder to drive and puddles get left all over, so a bit life like. There are loads of different weather effects and one that impressed me the most was the thunder and lightning storms you occasionally get, absolutely brilliant. All in all the graphics are phenomenal and breath taking, the best I have seen ever!
=== Sound ===
Now the sound is also amazing. Everything about the sound is flawless. Test Drive Unlimited 2 features two in-game radio stations, Hariba Radio and Road Rock, with well over 74 tracks on the game. There isn't any very well known tracks in the game and it would be even better if it had chart music or even music from the 80s or 90s. Another great thing was the sound of the thunder and lightning, that was something special. Each clatter of thunder is different, there will be a little one to start then prepare for the big bangs, storms can last ages. The sound of the rain is another great part to the game, this sounds exactly like the rain when your in your car driving somewhere. Each car in the game has different sounds, each engine is different and when driving the sound is lush. There is however one bad point to the sound but its not really all that noticeable and that is when you crash, the sound isn't great its not very realistic and when you hit the littlest sign posts its even worse, and sometimes you cant even knock them down, even though your going way over 100Mph. There is also good sound effects for the birds in the air, planes in the air or even the gravel when your driving over it. This is a great part of the game, just has a couple of downsides to it.
=== Multiplayer ===
This is brilliant! The multiplayer online is very like the first Test drive Unlimited game, you basically have the choice of going online, where you can see all the people from around the world playing the game. You can view their character, see what they are wearing and you can even interact with them. If you get on well together with someone you meet you can team up and race against others, you can also make clubs to race against other clubs. There are absolutely loads of online multiplayer races that you can do, earn cash and get other rewards. There can be up to 8 people in a race at any one time but on the world map there can be hundreds, thousand or even millions, as the map is that big it doesn't really look like it. You can also do free roam whilst being online. There are a few bad points about this part to the game but nothing to mark it down a bit. You can still do your single player races or story missions, which is a bonus. A bad thing is people online can be rather annoying and have a faster car than you by a million miles and they will do something daft like, keep ramming you off the road or keep flashing headlights at you for a race (you don't need to accept tho). However its not that bad because you can get them banned so there are hardly many people that do that, they just like to take over you and show how fast they can go. Another thing about the multiplayer system is that its only online, if you don't have Xbox Live you cant do any of the online bits, which is a shame.
=== Other Bits ===
The difficulty of the game varies, you can have full assistance on to help you with all the bends which is basically like the green line you get on other racing games such as Forza or Gran Turismo. there are other difficulty levels for the more advanced gamer, sport is another in which half the assistances are turned off and hardcore is with no assistance what so ever. The game is literally long lasting and if our on Xbox Live it can last forever, well almost. probably until everybody stops playing it. There are tons of things you can do on it and as for exploring the whole islands in the game, well that will take months on end itself. I would have to say this game is absolutely brilliant and very value for money. I bought it for £30 pre-owned from ASDA (thats ASDA price) and its totally worth every penny because its huge, beautiful and fast! Its also selling brand new for roughly around £37.99, which its still worth every penny for that price.
=== Final Thought ===
You like car games with lots of things to do? well this is your game. Its absolutely brilliant in every aspect, its fast and furious at times. The cars are beautifully designed and the scenery and weather effects looks special. This game is by far the best racing game I have ever played. I have this game a few days and I haven't even explored a tiny little part of the first island. The graphics are lush, the sound effects are also pretty good. It can be quite difficult as you get further in the game, but don't all games? The multiplayer option is quite good. I was playing it a few nights back and I have met some great people. For around £30 you get loads for your money and this is exactly what games should be like. The story to be fair is quite good and I do enjoy playing it but the licences can be quite annoying. Other than that everything else is great. I would recommend this game to any fan of racing car games or pretty much any racing games. Its got flawless effects, a new weather system that brings the game to life. I would say this game is the most life like game I have seen so far and its really detailed. If you like going online to just mess around this is also great for that, its a really fun game but I wouldn't recommend anyone young to play this. The game itself has a 12 certificate and this is due to bad language used and some scenes of a sexual nature (sounds almost like a movie). The game also has gambling bits in that some people may find offensive. In my opinion Atari have excelled themselves with this Test Drive beating any car game I have ever seen. I have had the most fun onb this game than any game I have played in a long time. All in all it is an almost perfect game that can last a lifetime, my mum also has it and shes had it longer than me but she is stuck and I am debating whether to help her out or not (I will). I would have to give this game a very strong 9/10 and the only reason its not 10 is because of a few glitches in the game, the stupidity of hitting a small sign at 100+Mph and not knocking it down, also there should be some way of playing with friends other than via online through Xbox Live. But all in all its a brilliant game that has almost everything you could ask for!
Review also on Ciao under username: MrBrightside1987
I was a fan of the original Test Drive Unlimited and was excited to get my hands on the new game. However, after getting over the slightly improved graphics, new island and different cars, I found myself slightly disappointed. Whilst the new island of ibiza is fun for a while, it's not as big as oahu and you will quickly become bored of simply taking in the scenery. The updated oahu island is much the same as in the original, except with dirt tracks cutting between roads. For those familiar with TDU1, this will quickly become boring. The cars, whilst visually impressive, are lacking on the physics. It's hard to describe but the steering just doesn't feel right and leaves you feeling detached from the car. However it's not all bad, the terrible road surfaces experienced in the first game have been improved so the roads are now smooth and you don't take off going over the slightest crest. Overall, the game looks good but doesn't have the physics or depth to keep me playing for long.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 (Xbox 360, PS3 & PC)
Tested and reviewed based on the Xbox 360 version
Review by Ben Nacca
For those modest people who do not like to brag about all the expensive stuff they have, or how good they are at something should probably adjust very quickly if they want to fit into the world of Test Drive Unlimited 2. Showing off your empty wallet in Test Drive Unlimited 2 is only acceptable if you have a brand new Ferrari sitting to the left of you while you show the moth balls in the wallet. Simply put, this game is a show case, a bragging rights racing game where you earn the cash to splash on your collection of vehicles to show off to your mates or random poorer people online.
For those that haven't heard of the first one, well you can be forgiven for that. Test Drive Unlimited was released back in 2006 and was somewhat of a dark horse as far as most people are concerned. Not much hype was given for it and no one expected much, just a racer to crowd an already populated genre. Upon release however, it was dubbed a MMORG, or a Massively Multiplayer Online Racing Game, which set a standard and almost put it in a class of its own.
Now, Eden Games are back with Test Drive Unlimited 2, attempting to emulate the surprising success of the first outing. Featuring lots of fast cars, plenty of game modes and a seamlessly integrated driving world, Eden Games are trying to raise the bar once more.
First things first, yes the cars are licensed and that is something that sets it apart from the other open world racing game I can think of off the top of my head. Burnout Paradise. However, licensed it is but you will not find your hatchbacks or motorbikes in here. Stripped from the game, and replaced with 4WD vehicles to compliment the off road game modes, Test Drive Unlimited 2 (TDU2) is all about the fast cars, plenty of cash and living the life in Ibiza or Hawaii.
TDU2 offers expansive open world gameplay that lets you drive anywhere in a very well recreated and extremely well-polished Ibiza, to begin with. As you progress, you will unlock access to the other island paradise of Hawaii and it is equally as gorgeous and immersive there as it is in Ibiza. With plenty to do, the "story" mode gets you into gear and a little push in the right direction to get you started. Once left to your own devices however, you can feel free to explore Ibiza, earn some licenses to partake in other tournaments or dress your avatar and make him/her look pretty...or stupid and buy condo's and houses to fit more cars into the garages.
The level progression is quite appeasing as well. Rather than just earning experience and levelling up to rank 60, you have the overall level split between 4 categories that could vary from winning races to discovering areas and roads which all give you experience towards the overall level. Things start to get complicated and a little harder as you progress deeper into the single player but with the majority of the races, they are straight forward and you should be finishing with a few seconds at least ahead of second place.
The GPS is very hand along with the option to fast travel to roads you have already discovered as well as events and places of interest too. This means that you don't have to drive from one side of the island to the other if you just want to go there for one thing, and have already been there before. If you are still yet to explore it then you will have to do it the old fashioned way and drive there. This can give players the option to skip tedious travel times or let them play and drive the car as if they would in the real world. Choice is yours.
The thing about TDU2 is that it is just about that. Choices. What car you buy, what hair style you have, where you live, where you go, who you play with and what you do. Entirely up to you. Obviously there is a campaign to follow but with the online integration just seamlessly dropping in and out, akin to Burnout Paradise and the previous TDU, you will find yourself online more often than not, accepting challenges and creating your own for others to try and beat.
Thankfully, the game also handles well, which is a main point too. You can have all the features you want but if your Audi R8 handles like truck then it is all lost. All the vehicles are recreated beautifully and they all drive very well, with the physics being very realistic and creating that racing experience. Getting in the car and looking round to see the insides is a good time waster too. Don't think you will ever see the inside of a Lamborghini? Well you can in TDU2, recreated to the fabric in the seats and just adds to the atmosphere and the smell of being just too rich.
With the cars all sounding fantastic, with the purrs or roars of the cars being heard so crisply, TDU2 also adds four radio stations (two on each island) to help if you do get fed up of the engine sounds. A bit of dodgy voice acting here and there never helps but it is a bold move to integrate an actual story into a racing game that uses avatars (secretly disguised as Sims that speak English in my opinion) and let you wander around with them, explore their houses, give them a shave or a nose job, there is lots to do and plenty to see. The visuals on these avatars are at times questionable and some of the voices would definitely not be put with the face leading to some unintentionally comical moments but overall, kudos to Eden Games because it really does add to the longevity of TDU2.
Something that didn't feel right though, but it is a much more realistic feature is that you cannot drive through and break street lamps. Sounds silly but we have all done it right? The satisfying win after you jumped onto the pavement and overtook the car in front, taking out a streetlamp and some café table and chairs in the process. If you do that in TDU2, you will find yourself last as you come to a gut churning stop and you crash into a standstill after ramming a streetlamp at 220mph. It does make me shed a tear every now and then that it happens but that is the general rule in TDU2; signs are destructible but apart from that, a lot of walls, fences and streetlamps will make you flip, stop or look silly if you make connection with them.
They have to spoil it though with the numerous online achievements and "collect x amount of this" and "collect x amount of that" to make a very dry list that leaves you feeling like there is an insurmountable challenge ahead of you. Luckily, thanks to the gameplay and the solid handling, you can be betting you will be playing this for a long time to come and once the online community gets going and develops, it will be a blast.
Stunning recreation of some of the world's fastest cars which are placed on the track of two truly beautiful island paradises'. The avatars can be a bit dodgy and "sim-like" but overall, a very good effort.
Solid sound with the car department, with engines and wheels spinning to even windows and convertible roofs being used. The voice acting is questionable at times but it is a bit of light hearted comedy with some tongue in cheek radio stations to help swing the game into a relaxed racing attitude.
Handles like Forza or Gran Turismo but has the setting of Burnout Paradise? Sounds like a fantastic combination and it does work surprisingly well. If you like racing games, especially either of the above mentioned, then definitely check this out. Plenty of game modes and a seamlessly connected online experience, you will get more than your money's worth.
Quite standard but colour menus with some solid character progression summaries. A little light on the statistics but does a remarkable job with the online play, clubs and challenge modes.
An average list. Not fantastic nor terrible but it will take some time. You will need to complete the game from head to toe but hey, it is called an achievement for a reason. Some of the stuff though is going to be tedious so be prepared to put hours in if you want that 1000g or the Platinum Trophy.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 is a worthy sequel that has plenty of polish, modes and fast cars to leave you entertained for a long time to come yet. Any racing fan should definitely check the game out since I think you will be thoroughly impressed. The real fun is online though, so set some challenges and win some races to brag to all your friends.
This guide is the property of Ben Nacca and is for the sole use of www.lanraiders.co.uk, www.dooyoo.co.uk and www.ciao.co.uk. No copying to other websites or other mediums without written permission first.