Test Drive Unlimited 2 Review
Test Drive Unlimited 2 was a great idea in theory; an always-online racer that allowed you to live a life of luxury with an open world to explore. A lot of things are good in theory, but unfortunately Test Drive Unlimited 2 fails to deliver the compelling racing experience it set out to achieve.
What Test Drive Unlimited 2 Got Right
Large Open World - Test Drive Unlimited 2 allows you to explore the island of Ibiza and beyond in a large open world that can be stunning at times. Whether you are racing for a championship or simply taking a cruise along the coast and viewing that sunset, you can't deny that Test Drive Unlimited 2 delivers a large playground to drive in.
Attention To Detail - Take the top off, wind down those windows, change the radio station or even use the turn signals. Test Drive Unlimited 2 pays attention to detail, even the little things.
Social Aspect - Buying houses and decking them out, showing off your impressive car collection or simply taking photos all bring together a certain social aspect to the gameplay which other racers are lacking.
Multiplayer Fun - Driving around in an always online world has its perks; meet up with some friends by the boulevard and have a race down the coast or simply enjoy a nice joyride around town.
What Test Drive Unlimited 2 Got Wrong:
Player Models - While a racing game should all be about the cars, considering you do interact with the character models on a regular basis you would think they would pay some attention to their looks. Unfortunately player models are atrocious, even by PS2 standards.
City Feels Empty - Even though the world may be huge, the city areas feel completely empty. Ibiza is a party island, yet there are no people in sight.
Broken Online - The multiplayer aspect of Test Drive Unlimited 2 is good when it works. Unfortunately the online portion of the game seems to be broken more often than not, and even when it does work you will suffer horrendous pop-in and unplayable lag.
Handling - This is a racing game yet cars handle like little toys. Never does a car feel correctly weighted or powerful. Steering is rigid and it takes some serious tweaking in the control menu to get things to a playable level.
The Final Verdict
In theory Test Drive Unlimited 2 should have been a wonderful experience; a massive open world to race in, luxurious cars and houses to purchase and an always online multiplayer aspect that focuses not only on racing but being social. Unfortunately ideas on paper don't always transcend into greatness, and Test Drive Unlimted 2 is proof of that.
By Stephen Heller
Good in theory yet suffers from poor execution.