Bit Of Posh: Test Drive Unlimited 2

By John Walker on December 8th, 2010 at 1:21 am.

A car, yesterday.

Come on open world racing games, smarten up. After the weak Need For Speed World, and the almost great Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, I’m now banking my hopes on next year’s big-money, big-car Test Drive Unlimited 2. The original Test Drive Unlimited also fell into the “almost great” category, so I’m very much hoping to see even more this time. To get an idea of whether that’s happening, there’s a new trailer below.

Once more boasting the environments over the cars, the emphasis in advertising this game really has been the islands in which it’s set, rather than the experience of being behind the wheel.

It really is looking very pretty, and if it can get the balance of challenges versus online encounters right, it could be fun times. I’m assuming the giant pixellation in the video is Atari’s poor encoding rather than the game itself. We’ll find out all the answers on the 11th February (unless it slips again.)

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34 Comments »

  1. Brian Manahan says:

    If only this game wasn’t so pretentious

  2. SquareWheel says:

    I actually preferred NFS World to TDU2, judging from the betas of each. The controls, oh god the controls.

    • frags says:

      Yeah. Quite clearly a console port. You can’t even exit from some of the events.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Also: WOW, the driving of those cars looked *awfully* unrealistic. As if they were on rails, slowly gliding at a fixed speed. Like a bad automation in a 3D modeling program. I just hope that’s exactly what it is, and not the actual in-game “physics”.

    • nem says:

      Considering most of the shots are of cars driving in a straight line im not sure im seeing what you’re seeing? :\

      Then again im a fanboy.

  3. bhlaab says:

    Look i just want more Flatout and more Burnout

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Seconded.

      And more Richard Burns Rally!

      Now if you would combine Burnout crashing fun with RBR driving realism, you might quite literally have invented a new super-drug for me. ;)

  4. Javier-de-Ass says:

    the recent multiplayer beta certainly was superb. sadly it gave a ridiculous amount of money and all the roads already drawn up by default. that especially is something I really enjoyed in the first one, just the simple thing of driving along all the roads, which would paint the roads as you went along them on the gps minimap. it’s the same thing I enjoy in the old might and magic games I guess, just drawing the whole map by walking on all the squares in the grid with my guys. got to appease the ocd. the crazy amount of money was ok for running around the casino looking at all the stuff there, except the casino was boring and stupid. anyway, my pre-order with gamersgate is ready to go. just need the game to be released already.

  5. Jake says:

    Looks a bit like a posh version of Just Cause 2. Would be good if there was some arsehole running around with a grappling line trying to destabilise your luxury island.

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      I would pay real world currency to see that happen!

    • Tusque d'Ivoire says:

      Just Cause with better driving! Yay! That was as broken/annoying/unsatisfying in the second one as it was in the first. Also, I don’t mind playing another game just for the driving. For looking around Just Cause 2′s world I have the superman mod.

  6. Mr Tk says:

    I played the first TDU not expecting much, then sunk a not small amount number of hours into it. Which was strange because the controls were a little off, the graphics weren’t the best in places, after a while the music got stale, and some of the missions seemed designed to simply to piss me off in the worst way possible.

    But it didn’t ruin the fun, and TDU was the most fun I’ve had with a racing game since NFS Hot Pursuit. Because despite all the flaws, it was a extremely well made and, over all, well polished game. Some of the races where control-breakingly hard, but in such a way that when you lose, you jumped straight back into it. When GT tempts you with the gold medals in the license challenges, it feels only as a OCD-must-collect-everything way or as a means to the end. TDU tempts you the satisfaction of bettering yourself (while his may not true, it at least gives you that satisfaction.)

    If GT was a person it would be James May is making sure that every little thing is right his vehicle, everything polished, and vacuumed and in the right place, then TDU would be Jeremy Clarkson, pulling donuts on the road, while giving you the fingers.

    So yeah, I’m looking forward to TDU2.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I see GT as more of a Clarksonesque thing – big, brash, and shiny – and TDU as more Mayish: Quixotic, quirky, and given to collecting and tinkering. Maybe that’s just because I like James May more than Jeremy Clarkson, and TDU is obviously much better (or to be technical, more good) than GT.

  7. Capt Fatbeard says:

    I think more games should feature that song in their trailer

  8. Jason Moyer says:

    Weird to read complaints about the controls in TDU and the TDU2 beta, they seem pretty good to me. One of the very few games (this and iRacing, basically, if I’m not missing something) that actually supports 900 degree wheels properly, too.

  9. Jimmy Z says:

    It has almost all the proper ingredients to be the perfect driving game for me. The first one was great in many ways and the whole open world thing appeals to me tremendously because I find going around the same tracks over and over again in other games just horribly boring.

    However, the biggest downfall of the first game – and from all that I’ve heard also the second game – the driving physics. They were just bad, the mass of the cars was all over the place, traction was an on/off affair and they seemed to have forgotten to install any springs to any of the cars back in the factory. Those combined to the strangely low poly roads that felt like they were cut out of lego blocks (and every little bump launched the cars 10 meters up in the air) made the driving experience severely lacking and a driving game where driving feels like absolutely nothing like driving a car just isn’t going to work for me.

    I’m not even looking for a hyper-realistic simulation, but something in the vein of the lite-sims like Forza and GT games, combined to the gorgeous open world of TDU would give me an orgasm that would probably last for weeks. But I suppose it’s just me, I categorically have trouble understanding why devs make such shoddy arcade controls for their driving games (besides being inept or lacking the money) and I’m even more baffled why so many people willingly choose to play those “driving” games, where the driving resembles real world driving about as much as Wolfenstein 3D is an accurate portrayal of the Battle of Hastings.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I thought the physics were mostly ok in the first one, but the low-poly roads really killed it. I don’t remember hills being so immersion breaking in Eden’s other game, Porsche Unleashed.

    • Howard says:

      @Jason

      No, this is the thing. The physics were some of the worst ever to grace a game. The roads were so shrunk and compacted that you felt like you were driving a full-size car on a path designed for toys with hills that were so sharp you could ground your car every few feet or, especially on the god-awful freeways, take off like a rocket. It was so bad that there were few roads you could even drive some of the more powerful cars around as you would simply be knocked off the track every few feet as it felt like you were driving over a ploughed field. Add to the that the simulation mode was locked until you completed the game (something basically no one did on PC as the game was just broken) and it was all just far too annoying.
      If they had fixed that in the sequel, which they have not even slightly done, then it could have been good. The actual driving model had some potential.

      On a related note I am really starting to wonder about a lot of peoples’ opinions of racing games. Not in any way connected to the sim/arcade argument, but just what makes a fun game. The fact that everyone seems to love the latest NFS game is just startling to me. I have simply never been so bored in my life as when I played that game. It is the most soulless, dull and utterly uninteresting experience I have come across in some years and yet reviewers, even those on this site, seem to love it. The world has clearly gone mad.

    • Axess Denyd says:

      @Howard:

      Quite. I wouldn’t call the new HP “Almost great”, but “Barely not terrible”. The graphics are shiny, but the steering…oh god. You basically have to “drift” every corner, and when I realized that it counter-steers for you I wanted to punch a dev in the face.

      At least there will be another Shift. I rather liked Shift.

  10. Heliosicle says:

    was in the closed beta, needed a fair amount of work.

    And the downloader for it was balls.

  11. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    WARDRIVE

  12. battles_atlas says:

    Goddamn it why can’t someone make a Gran Turismo equivalent for the PC? What made me fall in love with GT3 was the combination of driving a vehicle around a circular stripe of grey stuff, and RPG upgrade mechanics. It was buying a family saloon and sticky a double turbocharger on it that I loved so much, more so than any driving game before or since.

    RPG mechanics have gone everywhere else – its become the norm in man shooters now and RTS now – but driving games have actually gone in the opposite direction. Despite the biggest franchise in driving making this feature a USP, and making itself platform limited. Wake up devs, you dozy fucks, there is a gaping hole in the market waiting for you.

  13. Lost says:

    Wow, I just wonder what’s the point of giving that much trailer air-time to two airplanes and one ship. Ferry I can understand, given the island nature of the maps. But what, your car flies from island to island in the cargo hold of a passenger jetliner?

  14. Jimbot says:

    Does this series have cockpit views? Those are pretty much mandatory for these types of racing games, in my opinion.

  15. Thrashorz says:

    Did they made the police cars annoying again?

  16. TFSKiwi says:

    I spent a lot of time in the beta, and I’m not particularly impressed. All sorts of things work, like having to walk through your house (WHY would you make us do that?) and purchasing stuff and the cut scenes work too, oh and the casino, boring as hell, also works.
    The problem is they spent so much time on the crap that no-one wants in a DRIVING game that the driving was a second-rate experience. Cars that won’t accelerate uphill from standstill. Controls that make the cars almost impossible to control at speed. Button clutch that is on or off, nothing in between, stalling the most powerful cars even at full revs. Some cars that wouldn’t drive forward at all. No mirrors (again) in hood or bumper view. WAY to many dirt roads, when mosty of the cars are high performance street cars. So what if it’s geographically accurate, Oahu wasn’t in TDU and that was fantastic fun, especially the ’round the island race, which a group of us used to drive all the time.

    The fact is, the have completely ruined a potentially awesome game by trying too hard to do things that few people care about, adding features that no-one wants, and ignoring the fundamentals of a driving game – the cars and the driving experience.

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