PS3 Previews: Test Drive Unlimited 2 Preview

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Test Drive Unlimited 2 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q4 2010

Publisher:

Atari

Developer:

Eden

Number Of Players:

1-16

Genre:

Racing

Certain things go hand in hand when you have the money to own some of the world’s most impressive cars: a lavish lifestyle, tons of friends, and a whole lot of expendable income. Eden’s Test Drive Unlimited 2 wants to encompass all of that, so don’t think for a second that it’s “just another racer.” No, this is a cross between a MMO and traditional arcade racer, combined with the various enviable elements that come along with a wealthy existence. Set on the island of Ibiza, the developers have even gone out of their way to use actual geographic information to design this virtual environment, so it should feel as if you’re racing around the real Ibiza. We’ll get a standard day/night cycle plus weather effects, too, which means you’ll experience everything from driving rain and treacherous conditions to beautiful sunsets off the coastline and impeccable, inviting roads. And perhaps the best part is the abundant amount of multiplayer options that await you in this one, along with plenty of gameplay endeavors for the single player.

The focus seems squarely on multiplayer action, though. You’ll be able to create your own Challenges – along with your own reward – and have other players attempt them, and players can even bet on races if they don’t wish to participate. Hearkening back to the original Test Drive Unlimited, the game will boast the return of racing clubs; you can even purchase snazzy club houses in which to meet, and where everyone can display their own exclusive club cars. Clubs will be able to challenge each other in group events, or they can simple compete amongst themselves to see who the leader should be… It’s like a pecking order for the rich, really. On your own, you can endlessly build upon and tweak your hot ride, and select from a plethora of cosmetic upgrades and alterations. You’ll want to stand out in the crowd and to do that, you’ll need to spend some time lovingly detailing and outfitting your car; if you wanna fit in, you have to exhibit all those superficial traits the less-than-privileged frown upon (typically out of jealousy).

See, it really isn’t just about the racing. In addition to being able to buy cars, you’ll also be able to purchase unbelievable homes and similar to PlayStation Home, you can actually walk around with your avatar in first-person mode and explore your environment. This is how you’ll build your fortune and meet new friends, as the game tells a traditional – yet always uplifting – rags-to-riches story that will eventually place you on top of the world. But in order to achieve such lofty goals, you have to start off by simply winning races, and it’ll probably help if you get hooked up with a bunch of go-getters. In wandering around your expanding world, you’ll definitely meet many other players who will be willing to challenge you to one-on-one confrontations and provided everything remains on friendly grounds, you can all rise together. Besides, in the end, don’t you all want to be on a yacht, drinking champagne off the coast of Ibiza?

The idea of walking around the homes of other players and even wandering through car dealerships is pretty cool, you have to admit. I mean, even being able to bring a friend and sit in a prospective purchase, all the while discussing the car’s interior…? Sweeeet. The game will support voice chat but if you don’t have a headset, you’ll get the requisite emotes to communicate with others, although if you plan to be online a lot, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a headset at some point. But having the opportunity to do almost as you will, including taking a friend along for a joyride, should present us with a very appealing atmosphere and one loaded with potential. The arcade-style racing is probably a good idea, too, as most who play Test Drive aren’t really looking for ultra-simulation; they’re looking for fast cars and pretty locations, along with a fantasy lifestyle. And you know, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

5/3/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (20 posts)

Scarecrow
Monday, May 03, 2010 @ 10:09:20 PM
Reply

I love racing games, and I still remember the great day of this series on ps1

I will definitely try this game out

Though, not liking the insane focus on online... I mean, can't I get a deep single player experience too? What if not many buy this game? Will I be endlessly searching for people to group up with? -_-

Meh, hope it sells well, but I also hope the offline/single player experience is very....rich, too.

Anyway, the images are looking great. day/night + weather = yes!

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phade2blaq
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 5:56:03 AM

I had great fun playing this series on the PS1 and PS2 and hopefully this game is as fun as I remember the old ones !

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BikerSaint
Monday, May 03, 2010 @ 10:36:06 PM
Reply

Damn, sounds like they've done everything for the multi-players.

I sure hope they didn't have to cut down my SP mode just to cater to that.

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frostface
Monday, May 03, 2010 @ 11:50:12 PM
Reply

I wonder if they'll have the option to race across the island to Pacha or Space, get mashed up for 12 hours and stagger out and speed across the island to get back to your hotel to catch the sunrise on the beach...great craic altogether I tells ya!!!

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RebelJD
Monday, May 03, 2010 @ 11:59:13 PM
Reply

Super cool. If they had some eye candy and trophy girls that would be sweet.

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Naztycuts
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 12:49:35 AM
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I'll be keeping an eye on this one, sounds great so far, I'm just hoping it turns out half as good as it sounded in your preview Ben.

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isaya85
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 2:10:01 AM
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I had the 1st one on 360...it was a decent game it took me 45 min to race around the whole island

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Rings0fUranus
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 4:03:36 PM

yeah, wasn't it the whole island of oahu?

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___________
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 3:15:54 AM
Reply

yay another arcade racer!
i cant get enough of burnout paradise.
why the ^%$# did EA take criterion off the series and dump them onto that steaming pile called NFS?
honestly another burnout game would sell 10 million times more copies than a rehashed NFS game.
for one reason, burnout actually has a good name for itself!
if activision has tough us anything, its that name brand is EVERYTHING!
NFS = nay
burnout = OMFG i have to go buy this right NOW NOW NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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CH1N00K
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 8:50:07 AM

Wow, I don't usually agree with some of the stuff you say on here, but I'm going to have to give this one to you. Burnout has only got one game so far on this generation of consoles and it's way better than anything that the NFS franchise has launched yet. And there has been what? 4 attempts so far? Carbon,prostreet,underground and shift?

If NFS ever releases another Hot Pursuit, I would be all over that, even Most Wanted was a great game.

I may have to keep an eye on this Test Drive unless I get news that Criterion is working on another Burnout. I've been wanting to try the Test Drive ones, but the old ones from the PS2 days weren't that great, Test Drive has always kind of been a PC oriented game anyway.

Here's hoping this one will be a good one.

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Simcoe
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 11:02:59 AM

Don't worry dude, Criterion has the midas touch! Criterion's version of NFS will with awesome! I'm hoping that we'll see some preview of what Criterion's been working on at E3.

Anyways, this instalment Test Drive Unlimited will fill in the gap until Criterion's game comes out.

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___________
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 7:32:47 AM

funny that you mention hot pursuit.
a little birdie told me thats what criterion are working on, a reboot of the hot pursuit series.
but its suppose to be open world like burnout but with cop cars, and you get to be either the cop or the bady during the pursuit.
burnout + hot pursuit = gaming orgasm!

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JackC8
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 7:08:06 AM
Reply

Ugh. Going online thinking you're going to "race" is like going on xbox live thinking you're going to meet a bunch of polite and friendly young people. And then yet it's totally "arcade" racing. Whatever interest I might have had in this game is totally gone now.

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CH1N00K
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 8:54:11 AM

If I hadn't played Burnout online so much, I would have agreed with you, but after meeting some great people online with that game, I've changed my mind. Doing challenges and races online was a blast with that game.

Especially when you have a few of the racers who are half in the bag, that leads to some pretty funny moments. I won't mention any names but a couple of them frequent this site fairly often, so they'll know who I'm talking about...lol

The thing I find with online experiences with games like Burnout as opposed to say a shooter game, you don't have people getting as upset about stupid crap. That's why I've also started playing Skate 2 online more..it's fun to get into a room and try and do challenges together instead of running around looking for someone to kill, I find it's a whole other atmosphere online in these games, and no one is swearing at you in the lobby or trying to tell you you're cheating....

Last edited by CH1N00K on 5/4/2010 8:57:58 AM

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Simcoe
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 11:15:20 AM

Couldn't have said it better myself CH1N00K! Burnout Paradise is a true co-operative/social game! Honestly, the vast majority of my "friends" on PSN are those I met while doing challenges or freeburning on Burnout Paradise.

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faraga
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 7:42:04 AM
Reply

I saw a ClassicGameRoom review of the first one and I've been wanting to have this game ever since. The only thing stopping me from buying the first one was my lack of an X360/the lack of a PS3 port. And now, FINALLY some news on the second one. TY Ben!

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ChronowerX_GT
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 11:05:53 AM
Reply

Anyone remember Test Drive 4? Used to love taking the XJ220 on the San Francisco track down those big hills.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 11:46:27 AM
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Loved the one the 360, and I have high hopes for this one.

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Mista
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 12:28:45 PM
Reply

I had the one on 360 also and it was great, if ne one actually remembers it's where Paradise got their online from. Unlimited was out b4 and the online is almost cut and past, but Paradise is alittle more robust. Still never understood why they didn't make a port on PS3 of the 1st one.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 1:20:17 PM

Back then, I didnt want to see a port on the PS3. It might have sucked.

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