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Test Drive Unlimited 2 has been released on 360 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"Test Drive Unlimited 2 is a beautiful sandbox world to explore and share with other players. However, a lack of energy or excitement turns what should be an adrenaline charge through the landscape into a Sunday drive in the country..."
- Tech Gamer (Sat, 02 Apr 2011)
Test Drive Unlimited 2 injects street racing into a persistent open world. Even for all the success of Burnout Paradise, this more committed approach to a compelling racing environment that lives and breathes is as compelling now as it ever was.
Unlimited returns next year with an array of features to bolster the open world experience and build a stronger community of racers. The world promises to be more alive this time around with dynamically created events and challenges. The game aims to evolve around and respond to the player.
Like an MMO, Test Drive Unlimited 2 is always live, even when you are not playing. This not only means the world is never quite as you left it when you return, but this it also updates automatically and lets you move seamlessly from online to offline play. This allows new content to be crafted around the community playing the game in a delivery that extends long after the release date.
This is a community adventure where your car is your character. So of course you can tailor your car with a paint job, decals, trims, anything in fact that you can turn your imagination to. And when you go online, your friends will see the time and effort you've invested.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 promises to put some highly desirable vehicles in your hands. Manufacturers as exclusive as Gumpert, Koenigsegg, Aston Martin and Audi are already signed up. These are all accessed through the single player story as Test Drive aims to thread a meaningful narrative through the brawn and muscle of the world they have created.
This plays out through in new Ibiza locale. Terrain, architecture and landscape give the game a surprising sense of place as you progress through unique missions and explore its two-thousand miles of Mediterranean black top. In fact there is so much to see you can even tour the world by plane like Just Cause 2.
This is all topped off with dynamic weather, day/night cycles, motion blur, car damage, a completely new handling model and more. New core driving modes and game-play: Championship, racing school, duels, cups. Off-road is now featured, with a whole new class of vehicle and hundreds of miles of off road tracks now in the game.
MMO racing and social features look to make Unlimited 2 stand out from the crowd again next year. With Criterion focused on reinventing the Need for Speed franchise with Hot Pursuit, it looks like they have a free run at the open world racer.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 is due for release in early 2011.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: