Mar 26, 2011

Review : Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2, the perfect driving simulator? Well, not really. The game has a lot to offer, maybe a bit to much. After playing this game for quite a while I am still not sure what kind of genre I am playing. Is this a racing game, is this a first person sims or an online showoff contest? Yes there is a lot to do in this game but the game doesn't really focus on anything and is a big mix of the genres I just mentioned, all of these features are okish, but far from well done ( -1%) .

The game starts out on your birthday, you seem to be a spoiled child that receives a good looking car for his/her birthday, after a small not so unlimited test drive you appeared to be dreaming. In fact you are a valet driving in a car of someone else. All very fun but not really interesting, the waking up from a dream has been done so many times in so many games/movies. Now you would expect the main story to kick in, well, it doesn't. In fact there is no story in the game. ( -2%) All you do in this game is driving around, beating opponents in races which are redicilously easy, no challenge what so ever. ( -2%) After several wins a cutscene kicks in and your main rival asks you for a duel, if you win, you will win their car, again this has been done so many times over and over, not really creative. The races are so easy that they become really really boring, and after a while you are just doing the races so you can buy a better car, finishing the races felt like a grind, no fun for me. ( -3% ) Apart from the driving, which isn't even that bad itself ( and a nice cockpit view in all cars! ), there is this wannabe sims mode, where you can change your house and redecorate it. Well I couldn't care less how my house looks especially with the extreme prices for simple decoration, I rather have a pagani zonda in my garage than that nice looking wooden floor! But not only your house is up for decoration, also your face, yes your face. Plastic surgery is no problem and and you will have a brand new face in 24hours. As expected you can also dress your character, buying new cloths in shops all around the island. The whole sims idea adds to the experience that this games tries to create ( living the good life, with awesome cars and expensive houses/clothings ), personally I didn't quite like it.

I felt like the developers spend so much time on this whole sims mode that they forget to make an interesting driving game. The game modes are plain boring and very unlimited. ( -4%) You can race others, do a time attack, drive through gates with max speed and a knockout race ( where the last driver drops out of the race every lap ). The online features are a bit better, with a lot more different race modes, I wonder why these modes are not in single player?

The last thing that really bothered me were the random events. From time to time somewhere on the island a random event pops up, if you go there in time you get an extra mission. I think there are around 90 random events if I'm not mistaken, in my experience they were not so random, in fact most of them were the exact same, with the same voice actor telling me the exact same thing I heard 20 minutes ago. To make it worse some of these events are really unrealistic, it goes something like this :

Random person : Hey stranger! Come over here!
You : What can I do for you?
Random person : Drive my car ( a fucking Ferrari ) to the other end of the island!

Like what? This never happens to me in real life, never had a stranger asking me to drive his expensive car to the other end of town. ( -5% )  

Personal playtime :  around 20 hours

Final score : 83%