Test Drive Unlimited (2006) Xbox 360 Game Review

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3 years ago

Overview


Test Drive Unlimited allows the player to play alone to discover the 18,000km² of Hawaii modelled for the occasion. With total freedom of exploration and nearly 125 vehicles available (motorcycles and cars), the game offers an impressive amount of challenges of all kinds (taxi, races, time trial, etc.). The title of Atari starts with a bang against the backdrop of a trip to Hawaii when you have to choose the character you will play in the adventure carefully. Thus, you can choose between half a dozen men and women before boarding a plane with the fabulous tropical island as a destination. Once you have arrived safely, you will need to hire a car to get to a real estate agency to buy your first apartment. Direction then the dealership where you can buy your first racing car which will be used to earn some money before purchasing new vehicles, apartments and clothes for your character.

Gameplay


Engines roar, opponents are present, and they come from all corners of the world. A lighthouse call, we mark the start line, the finish line, and the race begins. The objective is simple, to go as fast as possible while controlling the vehicle as well as possible. For collectors, there is an attractive second-hand market where you can buy, sell or trade cars for attractive prices. Test Drive Unlimited is not, however, intended for everyone. Thus, simulation enthusiasts may well be incredibly disappointed by this arcade racing game with its somewhat surreal driving.

To fully appreciate its driving, six different views are available, from the exterior perspective to the interior view; each offers a different view of the road. In case you get lost during races or challenges, don't worry, the developers have done a great job of providing the most complete and accurate GPS. Everything is represented there, from the challenges to the various dealers and your properties, everything is clearly and precisely indicated.

Graphics


Test Drive Unlimited features a vast setting that is just as detailed as the model vehicles. The play of shadow and light is very well managed. The game is mostly beautiful even if some textures and reasonably present aliasing spoil this feeling of next-gen. Atari tried to convey a sense of speed by exaggerating the blur effect on the sides of the screen. It's always better than nothing, even if this feeling of speed is not faithfully transcribed.

On the other hand, for a game that wants to be fluid, it is a shame to find some frame rate drops. Finally, in the interior view, it will be easy to see that all the driver's actions (shifting gears, turning the steering wheel, etc.) are faithfully transcribed. A good point for the game which still offers a neat graphic aspect despite the broad area of ​​the island. But to make a good racing game, it is not enough to have an original concept and a powerful graphics engine, and you also need engines that roar.

Sound


The sounds change depending on the view used, which makes it possible to find the best picture/sound compromise. For those stunned who have not turned off all automatic modes, they will hear a saturated sound when changing gear. But we must recognize in Test Drive Unlimited its excellent dubbing. All the voices are credible, and that of the GPS guide is exceedingly soft and pleasant. The voice casting is a real success, and it perfectly matches the ambient and background music, which is still a little too low. The sound environment is far from bad, but it has some faults, some sounds which, sometimes, annoying to the point of reducing the volume.

Conclusion


An island paradise, thousands of kilometres to cover, cars of well-known brands modelled in their smallest details, here are so many aspects of this game that makes you dream. In the end, we end up with an arcade game that offers good ideas (almost unlimited lifespan and full single-player mode) and offers a real pleasure of play. Only arcade fans will take full advantage of the possibilities provided by the game. As for those who expected a pure and harsh simulation, know that Eden's game is anything but realistic. A good arcade game, but not a simulation!

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