Test Drive Unlimited 2 Review

by Stephen Heller Featured

38 Comments 22 Votes 73837 Views 22/02/2011 Back to Reviews

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.

Test Drive Unlimited 2

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

6.5
Good in theory yet suffers from poor execution.

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Platform: PS3 / Xbox / PC
 
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More Info on Test Drive Unlimited 2

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Test Drive Unlimited 2 Australian Release: Out Now

Test Drive Unlimited 2 Review Comments

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might wait till it's super cheap.. thanks for the review :)
No worries mate. I'd definitely hold off until its cheaper. Hopefully some patches will have come out by then to fix some of the issues also.
Boo!

9/10
I played for about an hour and never returned. Massive disappointment, and characters all looked retarded.
They needed to delay it for 5 or so years

Ben said: I played for about an hour and never returned. Massive disappointment, and characters all looked retarded.



OMG they seriously look the WORST don't they!
is the AI easy? and the overall menu easy to navigate.. cause my son might like it.. hes great at burnout paradise but if the AI is incredibly stupid hard then I won't bother

Ben said: I played for about an hour and never returned. Massive disappointment, and characters all looked retarded.



I hope all the people who were spraying up GT5 and saying this game was going to be better wasted there money on this game :)
Good review
I kept giving it chances, maybe i will like it today
but i have given up, trading in for killzone 3
5/10

S_Facelift said: I hope all the people who were spraying up GT5 and saying this game was going to be better wasted there money on this game



In some ways it is better.

Better interface, better sound, MUCH better loading times.

Oh and the character models are better than that NASCAR dude lol

Don't get me wrong, I (love) GT5

S_Facelift said: I hope all the people who were spraying up GT5 and saying this game was going to be better wasted there money on this game



I think you've gotten TDU2 and Forza mixed up. I can't remember many people saying this had the potential to be better than GT5...
The reviewer is using thumbsticks. Out of interest I unplugged my G27 and tried the game out with thumbsticks. It sucked. I felt totally removed from the game... With a FF wheel you can appreciate the handling a lot better.
I love the original one because I spent countless hours just cruising around in my Caterham taking in the scenery.
Might get this one off eBay.
was expecting something like that rating
Too early to review the game.

M@ndyz said: is the AI easy? and the overall menu easy to navigate.. cause my son might like it.. hes great at burnout paradise but if the AI is incredibly stupid hard then I won't bother




AI in races are easy but for some reason in time trials (when you cannot see them) they become really hard to beat.
I remember playing the first Test Drive, was pretty fun :)

abuu91 said: Too early to review the game.


The way I see it.. if a game's ready for release, it should be ready for review, too.
Well then, I'll forget about buying this game.

Harry said:

abuu91 said: Too early to review the game.


The way I see it.. if a game's ready for release, it should be ready for review, too.



This. If it isn't ready, then don't release it yet. Simple as that.
I don't think this review does the game justice......
It's not meant to be a game with massively good graphics so you can make your player look as plastic as the bimbo's int he miss universe competitions....
it's not meant to be a Party Island game where you go around to the biggest events....
in fact.. this review has completely missed the point.... there were two ideas behind TDU2 - to make it a "modernistic arcade game" which it does by having 100 challenges, and to showcase the worlds most exotic and powerful cars... which it does.
any MMO game takes it's time to realise how much power the servers need, because they aren't tested at a maximum level before the game is released...

the PC version: graphics depend on what you set them to... and for that matter, the lag also varies depending on your settings. set them too high and most of the CPU usage goes to graphics, not the internet.
sound depends on the speakers you have..

and controls are very easy to deal with without a steering wheel. while they may not be ultra-realistic like GT5, they are MUCH more fun.

After all... who doesn't want to try turn a corner at 100km/h in a Bugatti, only to flip it because you jagged a protruding rock on the corner in the countryside.....

abuu91 said: Too early to review the game.

M@ndyz said: is the AI easy? and the overall menu easy to navigate.. cause my son might like it.. hes great at burnout paradise but if the AI is incredibly stupid hard then I won't bother


AI in races are easy but for some reason in time trials (when you cannot see them) they become really hard to beat.

oh ok.. thanks :)

DrRockso said: Boo!
9/10


Consructive criticism FTW!

nickkcin said:


DrRockso said: Boo!
9/10


Consructive criticism FTW!



It's been done in another thread.
This game was absolute crap!

When you crash into a wall, you softly bounce back life you just rammed into wall made of air mattresses. [Shifty]
yes, but it also scratches your car. thats pretty realistic.
good review, by the sounds of it the game borderline disappointing / crap but still better than Gran Turismo 5

Kanguy33 said: good review, by the sounds of it the game borderline disappointing / crap but still better than Gran Turismo 5


this game rocks!! it's all about fun, not about the realistic way in which supercars drive.......
I can't believe people are slamming this game because it's taking on an Arcade style feel.... [Shifty]
There are plenty of faults but I'm finding this game rather addictive, just love cruising around in one of my cars... Unfortunately servers are down this morning...again...

catemp2 said:
this game rocks!! it's all about fun, not about the realistic way in which supercars drive.......
I can't believe people are slamming this game because it's taking on an Arcade style feel....


Yeah i know [Facepalm]
i had much fun and many hours driving arond in the first test drive, much better than this one, heck even the psp version was much better..

milo said: i had much fun and many hours driving arond in the first test drive, much better than this one, heck even the psp version was much better..



the psp version of test drive really wasn't as fun as this..... take it from me...
don't get me wrong I LOVED it!! 88% complete! spent countless hours playing it...
but this is just so much better. I wanna buy a crappy wheel for it! :D 40-80 bucks :D
I just bought an Ariel Atom 300 Supercharged in game, man is it freaking awesome fun to drive!! :D :D
This is an accurate review, but it leaves out some of the details. I've played this game for, oh let's see, well over 50 hours now and let me tell you I have never in my life had so many moments where I literally felt like throwing my controller through my television screen in frustration. I mean it. I really wanted to throw my controller right through my $4000 television screen.

The good:
1. Two big islands to explore (also, see point 1 in the bad).

2. Poker game in Casino DLC is pretty good and would make a decent game in it's own right if they eliminated some of the crap like (a) The lottery tickets you get in drinks granting any joker willing to buy enough drinks access to the final level of the tournament. (b) The audio inexplicable cutting out occasionally.

3. Despite the poor handling (see bad point 2), just cruising around can be fun. I especially like the off-road.

The bad:
1. Two big islands to explore. For the completionist trying to get everything in the game (including the platinum trophy), finding that last 5 meter linking road on the map is gonna drive you cuckoo.

2. The car handling. O.M.G.!! Eden needs to go to a professional driving game maker like Criterion and learn how to make a driving game where IT IS FUN TO DRIVE. Why does driving up a hill make you lose traction like you're driving on ice? What the hell kind of driving game tells you to learn to drift through corners in the license tests, but then make it so difficult that you will actually get better and more consistent times by NOT drifting? Why do all of the cars feel like they have no weight?

3. If you're a trophy hound, some of the trophies are just torturous:
3a. Drive 500 km (311 miles) using the cockpit view (any game mode). OMG... who enjoys driving a car game in cockpit view with such a severely restricted viewing angle?!? 5 km, I could understand, but 500 km ?!? What were those retards at Eden thinking?
3b. Change your clothes or hairstyle 40 times. Yes, this is a sims game isn't it? Oh wait...

4. Beta testing. You're it! This game has got to be the buggiest piece of crap I've ever run on my PS3. Well done Eden on making me drive all the way around the island in a 54 minute marathon only to have the game freeze with the finish line in sight.

5. Penalties for impacting other cars. Yes, in most driving games this is expected, but when an AI car swerves across three lanes to side swipe you, you would expect it to be penalised yes? No, instead you go spinning off the road into bushes while it keeps going on its merry way as you hit restart for the 38th time. This also applies if the AI car goes slamming into your rear!

6. License Tests. Way to pad out a game Eden! Some of these license tests are not only torturously difficult, but they also give you the abso-****ing-lutely worst handling car in the class to do it in.

7. Exploits. Edens response to exploits is apparently to shut down core components of the game in order to prevent them being used. I've been playing this game for weeks now and I'm still unable to join a club or even access the "My TDU life". If like me, you were a total sucker and pre-ordered the game, you may have gotten the Casino DLC. Tried playing Roulette recently anyone?

8. Invisible lamp posts. I can't tell you how many times my car has come to a dead stop or gone inexplicably flipping through the air because I hit something invisible. The seems to be particularly predominant when you're cutting the corners close in city streets.

***Continued next post.
9. Small shrubs. Let me tell you, those small shrubs are dangerous. You would think that your 2.5 tonne 4WD would go rolling right over that shrub and you wouldn't even notice it, but instead, despite the fact that you're approaching this ground cover at a speed in excess of 200 kph, this tiny little bush will make your vehicle either stop dead or go spinning through the air in much the same way as the invisible lamp posts in point 8.

10. The weather. I like the fact that everyone playing the game experiences the same weather, I really do, but when I'm trying for the 80th time to beat that time trial, I really don't want to be doing it in a storm at midnight. Let me play it offline and choose the time of day and weather conditions for crying out loud.

11. The missions. Why do these "taxi service" tasks only consist of:
11a. Some drunk girl that wants a ride home and will be sick unless you drive your supercar like my granny. Hmmm. I'd be kicking her arse out of my $200,000 car no matter how hot she is, lemme tell ya.
11b. Some whiny pencil-neck accountant that wants you to get him to his business meeting on time, which for some reason is in the middle of ****ing nowhere. You have to wonder why he didn't just book a ****ing cab a half hour ago.
11c. Some stupid bitch that doesn't have time to take her expensive supercar to get it serviced, so will pay some stranger to take it instead, but if you drive it anywhere but on a road it will get damaged... even driving over a lawn! So once again, you have to drive this supercar like my granny while you wonder if you're being set up to take the fall for a car theft ring.
11d. Some thrill seeking junkie who stops you because you look like you could give him his adrenaline fix, and all you need to do is drive fast, drift, jump and near-miss other cars for a little while. This for me, is probably the best mission.
11e. Some effeminate whimp who wants you to follow his girlfriend. If you get too close she will spot you and if you get too far away she will take off like a ****ing rocket so that you've got zero chance of catching her, even though you can see her car in the distance... go figure. (On a related note, all women in Ibiza and Hawaii are cheating on their effeminate boyfriends... and with a whiny voice like that, I can't say that I blame them.)

12. Lastly, WTF is with $2000 drinks in the casino? (Before you say "They're $1000".... $2000 game money = $1000 casino cash). Lemme tell ya, if I was gonna pay $2000 for a drink, that drink had better make me piss liquid gold. LOL.

========================================

If you have the kind of OCD where you race the same race over and over again in excess of 100 times in order to shave off the extra 0.1 of a second you need to actually win, you will love this game. (Also, in related information, see a doctor, you seriously need help.)

For me, personally, the real killer is bad point 2. In Burnout Paradise, although all of the cars had different handling and some were more fun to drive than others, even on the races that were frustrating to complete, I still had fun driving the cars. Before anybody responds "But that's a totally different game, not in the style of TDU at all!"... Yes, I know that. But the difference is that in a months time, I will still have Burnout Paradise on my shelf. (Also, related to that, anyone want to buy my copy of TDU2?)
looks great
wow @Draxonic ....
first you say cruising is fun, then you bitch about how you're too crap to stay on the road......
it's not supposed to be an ultra-realistic, youcanonlygo20km/haroundthecorner kind of game.....
it's stacked with missions so that people won't toss this game out for completing the basic storyline in 50 hours and the drifting is in it for fun.... most of the game is thrashing the car around and drifting around the corners anyway... I don't know why you comlpain about the AI because I find this game kind of easy to overtake the opposition after the first mile....
stop whinging like one of the bitches in the game and actually become good at the game, because you're evidently shit (driving into lampposts and losing control on the curb)
had so much fun playing this game at my friends house, hours and hours of fun out of this game

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