PS3 Review: Test Drive Unlimited 2

Is this a racing giant or a car crash waiting to happen?

The original Test Drive Unlimited was a decent game that focused on bringing an MMO experience to consoles in the form of a driving simulation. The sequel sets to improve things dramatically, but does it try and bite off more than it can chew?

Sadly, that is the case. TDU 2 has dozens of problems that seriously holds it back; it almost feels like it needs another 6 months in development before launching. The game is set in Ibiza and is authentic in the way the place looks and there are many things to do like exploring, buying properties and new cars and that’s the fun part…the problem is the actual driving. The cars handle extremely poorly compared to modern racers and don’t have the speed or control that you would expect from the vehicles.

Driving along the island is usually good fun, but racing doesn’t fit well with the design of the island or the vehicles you acquire, resulting in many crashes. One instance I crashed into a tree and then ended up on the beach, but on the other side of the railings and couldn’t find a way back onto the road…so what was the solution? I drove the damn car into the water so I respawned on the track. The game has a number of bugs, some of which are just laughably bad to see in a finished product.

TDU 2 does put you on the island with other online racers who you can challenge to race, but there are network problems aplenty and just getting into races seems to be extremely difficult. I’m sure a patch will improve things, but as it stands…it’s just not acceptable. Like the first game, TDU 2 has some fantastic ideas but the execution is flawed. If that wasn’t enough, the game tries to have some weak plot with god-awful voice-acting and character models that belong on the last generation of consoles, car models are nicely detailed but Ibiza does look a bit on the basic side.

The Verdict

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is a disappointment. I was expecting a game that made the original look inferior, not superior and sadly the opposite is true. There are some solid ideas in here, but all the problems from the vehicle handling to the glitches make Ibiza an island to avoid driving around…