Any hardcore driving simulator fanatic will tell you that the greatest driving game ever made would be the Test Drive Unlimited series; my personal favourite was Test Drive Unlimited 2 (TDU2). The game was a 1:1 recreation of real-world places, in TDU1 you enjoyed the open roads of Ibiza and in TDU2 you got to thrash around Ibiza again and the Hawaii Island Oahu. Its reputation never failed to precede it, and the entire driving experience and feel for the cars were just spectacular.
I admit it wasn’t the most charismatic game in the world; there were other superior games out there where game mechanics, AI responses and overall features were significantly better. If you zoomed in close enough the entire map looked heavily pixilated, the environment didn’t render correctly and the voice acting, don’t even get me started. But it’s fair to say, one of the reasons we fell in love with it so much was the imperfections and the sheer amount of freedom it entailed. It gave way to access to more cars than any open-world, free-roaming racing game of its time. It was customisation and cars galore, and if you had the skills to hack the save files and give yourself a barrage of funds, then you can own every single vehicle in the game, of which there were hundreds (maybe not hundreds per se).
However, as with all good things, everything must come to an end. The online servers went down as a result of, at that time, developer Atari had declared bankruptcy and the mini-games, online races and online free roam sessions had disappeared. For years we have been quenching at our thumbs, hoping, praying for a new Test Drive game to be released. At last, on 7th July 2020, our voices were heard, a new developer KT Racing that has quite the CV under its belt having developed such games as WRC8. Provides a source of comfort and reassurance to us, knowing the legacy and title is in good hands.
On that very same day we received a small 25-second teaser trailer, but oh how the memories quickly came flooding back in. This article really does not do justice for how epic this series was, and if I were you, I’d purchase myself a copy of TDU2 on whichever platform, PC, PS3 or Xbox and have a feel for yourself, and you’ll finally understand what it is that I am on about. Not much has been released about the game other than we know it will feature manufacturers from Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini (which is a first for Test Drive funny enough), Koenigsegg and Porsche. This is already getting me excited, and I cannot wait to finally get my hands on their latest release and review what the game truly feels like. Its been nine years since the last TDU2 game was released, so hopes are high, and it’s encouraging to know that the reputation of the franchise is in safe hands.