Monday, February 14, 2011

No... This is not about the grammy's... This is about Test Drive!

This post isn't about Lady Antegagum, Cee Lo Green's funny performance, or Katy Perry's Crotch projected wedding movie; It's about the game Test Drive Unlimited 2. Now unlike everyone who reviewed the game on day one, I waited a few days and put in some serious time on it. And after doing so, I am thoroughly pleased with this game. Now, I will say, I DID NOT PLAY ONLINE AT ALL YET... I've been focusing on the single player aspect and working on my car collection before jumping online. So there are some aspects i don't cover in the individual segments that will be covered in the overall review at the end.

Graphics: While not quite on the same level as Gran Turismo, The graphics still give you the feeling of being on a lush island paradise. The cars are all rendered beautifully inside and out, with exacting detail. The headlights even act like real head lights.... actually projecting light onto the road.... instead of just self lighting and letting one projector handle the lights. Each car with it's own individual style of headlights projects different light patterns onto the ground. Say a car with 20 LED's for headlights... Each of the LED's actually acts as a light emitter, which is a pretty big deal. The house and Shop interiors are also well rendered, and are quite a treat to look at. Sadly character models look kind of plastic and even move as such. That's permissible though as the game is about the car, not the mannequin behind the wheel. One more note, the weather effects look great as well
 graphics rating: 8/10

Early concept art for the game 
Gameplay: Now whilst graphics are important, gameplay is paramount. First off, The game takes place on two islands, IBIZA, Spain, and Oahu, Hawaii, rendered from real GPS and satellite data. That's well over 2000 square km of roads! The cars all handle amazingly, each with it's own specific handling model. The driving is tight and precise, and a fuckload of fun! The on foot controls function much like a stripped down first person shooter, and at most times are avoidable. The menus are quite cumbersom and often make getting to what you need an arduous task. That aside the GPS system in the game does it's job beautifully.... i'd say it's the best ingame GPS since Need For Speed Underground 2.
Gameplay rating: 7/10

Sound design: Not much needs to be said other than, This game is an absolute treat to the ears in 5.1 surround sound. The cars all purr, snarl, and growl in a matter that is pleasing to the ears, and the weather effects even have a surprising amount of depth and authenticity to them.
Sound design rating: 10/10

The interiors are rendered beautifully
Soundtrack: This is the one place where I find the game is really lacking. It's sad that there is only one song I know in the whole game (Ghosts n stuff (instrumental) by Deadmau5(awesome tune =D)), but it's not all bad. Some of the songs, although rather unknown to the masses, are not bad in the least. Sadly the rest just falls flat on it's face and drags down the rest of the experience by a considerable amount....
Soundtrack rating: 5/10

driving at any time of day is a feast for the eyes
Overall summary: The game is a feast for the eyes, and ears. The graphics are gorgeous and the gameplay tight. While there are kinks and bugs, they don't drag the game down completely. The soundtrack could use some work. The day and night cycle is realistic, and the realtime shadows are impressive. A few minor fixes and this game should be a real game changer!

Overall review. 8/10

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Thanks for reading!

Your favorite autophile-

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