Conclusion: Nevertheless, Test Drive Unlimited 2 is superb when the core features take a step back. For all the added modes and interaction, simply strapping yourself into the seat of a Bugatti Veyron and unleashing power on the asphalt roads to no pre-destined destination is what makes Unlimited 2 memorable. We spent hours in cruise mode, racking up a sizeable amount of cash through the F.R.I.M system, basking in the stirring feel of driving at 200mph past slow-moving road users.
Excerpt: Four and a half years ago, the original Test Drive Unlimited tried to do what no other racing game before it had done - merge a traditional racing game with a massively multiplayer online aspect. It was largely a success, albeit rough around the edges. Unfortunately, its sequel is even rougher around the edges - at least around launch time, with bugs that can result in losing all of your in-game cash, corrupted saves, game crashes, and a server that seems to be offline...
Excerpt: Though it is dubbed "Unlimited", a developer has to be selective when making something as huge and ambitious as Test Drive Unlimited 2. In extensively re-creating the island of Ibiza for its open-world, online driving game, Eden games presumably had to give up foam parties and club-addled tourists at an early stage. The omissions are few, however.
Pros: Huge, attractive, open and online world, Masses of varied content for fun, steady progression, Enjoyable open-world driving
Cons: Inconsistent vehicle handling, Visual hitches, including pop-in issues, Technical bugs make the online/offline divide less than seamless
Conclusion: Eden Games has successfully built upon the solid foundations laid by the first TDU for Test Drive Unlimited 2, creating a genuinely inviting and gratifying racing title, online or offline. It surpasses its predecessor with fantastic visuals, hundreds of extra miles of roads to speed along and more cars and races than you can shake a gearstick at.
Summary: Test Drive Unlimited 2 is not the best racer out there. Nor is it the prettiest. But it's definitely the biggest and the most ambitious, and it's got a peculiar charm all its own.
Pros: Two huge islands to freely explore, with weather effects and day/night cycles, Generally excellent integration of online/offline experiences, Virtually limitless number of goals to pursue and items to unlock
Cons: Vehicle handling is still awkward, Some goals are overly tedious and seem arbitrary, Story and character models might not appeal to some
Excerpt: Like its entertaining 2006 predecessor, Test Drive Unlimited 2 seems unwilling to shoehorn itself into one particular racing category. It straddles the line between arcade and simulation racing, emphasizes both aimless cruising and championship pursuits, and includes a lifestyle sim and a massively multiplayer online community on top of all that. It’s a hefty package, no doubt.
Pros: + Great, innovative online community and racing features., + Dozens of hours of content between the campaign and online options.
Cons: - Bland racing with occasional handling issues, plus a lame campaign approach., ? Isn’t “Tess Wintory” the best name ever for a spoiled-rich character?
Conclusion: Concept: Have car will travel. Ibiza and Oahu are yours for the cruising
Graphics: Seeing the day-to-night cycle come and go is a gorgeous sight, and overall the game looks great given the sheer amount of content
Sound: You have two radio stations in your cars – the electronic Hariba Radio and Road Rock.
Conclusion: Considering the vast amount of potential built into the MOOR system, it’s a damn shame that Test Drive Unlimited 2 got off to a rough start, and its problems are bound to have put off many already daunted players. When it works it’s a great service that makes a whole lot of sense for the racing genre, but until it does, Oahu and Ibiza are just too lifeless for our liking.