Review: Test Drive Unlimited 2

I Generally like racing games , Kart games, Racing game, Sandbox games. A few years back I bought Test Drive unlimited. TDU is an open game pretty much leaving you open to do what you please in the game with a MMO’ish setup and a social side. When I heard TDU2 was going to come out I was going I WANT THE GAME NOW!

Many months later the game releases, and I loaded the game and the first 5 minutes seemed ok . Than as i got into the game  I realized the introduction was an omen of sorts. The scene where your lead out to the garage and drive a car around for 5minutes and you *wake up* only to realize that you were only dreaming.

TDU2 Is nothing like its first game,While it has familiarity with the first the game is completely different in all the wrong ways. Some of the new things are welcome. Such as random locations for the random missions as helping people out. finding the random wrecks was also a nice addition. Than things take a toll for the worse.

Licensing- In the first game they were given through progression, the more races you won and other stuff you did the licenses were given to you, In this game you have to earn them through painful tasks reminding me of gran turismo that have extremely stringent rules. When you fail a task for the whole fact that someone rear ended you that’s a little asinine. That said the game wants you to be one of the borg, Driving to your standard is  futile, You will be assimilated to driving like we say.  Those test alone are worth one thrown controller for things beyond your control. Not to mention they threw in tantulus jr in as one of the driving tests.

After you deal with the driving test you have the hope of driving to a race and being off on your own, Instead your welcomed to the solar crown or Clown which fits better. this is begining of the point where you realize TDU 2 Is taking a turn and plowing into a wall at 150MPH. You are introduced to the “drama” of the game of putting faces on the brainless AI. Each cup has a set number of races and very poor rewards. At $2000 a race and being Non-repeatable at that point makes your options very slim. Whereas TDU if you failed a race you could always go back to a race you had better luck with you could race that race till you could afford a car that would better handle, Instead you can drive around to random events that include driving a man to work that sounds like sol Rosenberg from the jerky boys, Mr i want to go fast guy, and the vomit queen. The Cup races are painfully convoluted when you can rerace them, by the tenth time you hear the voice you just turn off the volume.

The biggest problem is they separated the open game from the racing part, since you do not have to drive to the locations the whole point of getting to the race is lost. The Driving Schools are harder than the game itself, and integrating the sims is worse. Sure you can have your own personalized Avatar but it takes away from the game. Sure its nice to “walk around” but on a severely limited scale.

All the problems of the launch day and the game itself it draws down to one thing.  With the Casino add-on the only winning move for the game is not to play. Since money is so poorly dispersed its actually easier to get money at the casino by jamming a key down or using a turbo controller. TDU2 Comes down to being simcity 2000 at that point, You build up a bit by racing to the next point, than zombieing out in the casino for hours on end. The First night of playing TDU with my friend we actually went into the casino , sat down at the machines than hit the buttons hours on end while smoking cigarettes outside and BS’ing.

Atari Really needs to do something here – Even at the shortest somehow implement the original TDU 1 races… because, As i said the easiest way to play TDU is not play at all, since thats what I’ve seen about everyone i know to play the game. build up a bit- get to the casino, Than turn on a turbo controller or mash a nickel into the keyboard and goto sleep.

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