Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown was announced back in 2020 as a revival of the luxurious racing sim. Then 2021 brought a CG trailer and the exciting news that the game was set in Hong Kong. Now, in year three, we get the first real footage of the Solar Crown in action... for a few seconds... with stuff laid all over it...
Here's the trailer:
So that's a trailer that's less than 60 seconds long, where the bit that might be deemed in-engine (is it?) happens 37 seconds in, is gone by the 46 second mark, and has a logo drawn over it for the 9 seconds it is on screen. This, it seems, was a failure of expectation setting, as the chat during the Nacon Connect livestream exploded in frustation over being teased again. (Cutting afterwards to a pre-recorded segment where the hosts seemed certain the audience loved the trailer was... ill-advised).
Watch the full Nacon Connect stream from around the 1h 15m mark and you will see a few extra clips of the game, including an in-progress 3D model of a car and a greybox environment. There's also a description of Solar Crown's competitive PvP, in which players support one of two factions competing for the fastest cars and fanciest lifestyle.
TDU Solar Crown was originally aiming for a 2022 release date, but was delayed until 2023 back in May.
If you didn't play the first two, Test Drive Unlimited games offer an open world to race around, but differs from genremates by also being a kind of lifestyle sim, where the lifestyle is "rich knobs wot likes cars." Previous games let you buy homes and store your vehicles in show rooms... Which, it occurs to me, Forza Horizon lets you do as well, but Test Drive Unlimited treats cars as status symbols while Horizon treats them like toys.
I'm still excited for Solar Crown even if the new trailer gave me no new reason to be, because an open world driving game set in Hong Kong still sounds great.