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Test Drive Unlimited 2 Review

Steve Butts | 25 Feb 2011 23:25
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The various one-off challenges are good for making money but even here the challenges are strange. Either you're driving a businessman to three miles down the road in exchange for $3000 or you're being given the keys to a $300,000 sports car by a total stranger who trusts that you'll take it to the mechanic. Even if you can get there without damaging the car, you'll need several thousand dollars for repairs. It just doesn't make sense. Well, at least it doesn't make sense if you're not willing to account for the other confusing elements of the game's economy where car washes are $1500 and having your head enlarged through plastic surgery is only about $300. Seriously? I can have my head enlarged three times and buy two couches for the same price as a car wash?

To be fair, there are some compelling challenges and large scale events you can take part in and, for the most part, they're generally quite fun. Checkpoint races, time trials, and such are all part of the game here. While they might not be terribly inventive, it is a nice way to give some direction to the game, not to mention a great way to earn the money you need to buy all those apartments, t-shirts, and haircuts you need. The only real pain is that you need specific classes of car for certain types of races, and you'll need garage space to hold them all, which means you'll have to buy into the lifestyle game just to take part in the driving game. Some of the other elements, like finding wrecks or taking pictures of the scenery, also play into the economy, but I just didn't find them all that compelling.

There are plenty of multiplayer challenges as well, including one-off races against the other drivers you see online. Test Drive Unlimited 2 is a bit like a persistent world in that other players will be present in your game and can challenge you to certain races. There's also apparently a robust set of multiplayer challenges, but the servers haven't been terribly reliable over the last few weeks and getting into an online match is a hit or miss affair.

Bottom Line: Test Drive Unlimited 2 definitely has its moments and I can't deny the game's quirky charm. But the great strength of the roster of cars, the enjoyable driving model and compelling location can't eclipse the lack of enjoyable content or the confusing economy.

Recommendation: Get it if you like cars but aren't too particular about gameplay.

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version.

What our review scores mean.

Game: Test Drive Unlimited 2
Genre: Vehicle Simulation
Developer: Eden Games
Publisher: Atari
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Available from: Amazon, EB Games

Steve Butts still wants to sell that piece of crap pink Mustang with the Kiss stickers all over it.

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