I love the idea of Test Drive Unlimited 2. Racing fast cars in exotic locations, buying houses, customizing your character. It all sounds inviting, but unfortunately, bugs and other issues stop TDU2 from being the quality it's predecessor was.
Unlike the first Test Drive, TDU2 has a story behind it. The game opens at a party in sunny Ibiza. From here you must choose a male or female character who will be playable throughout the game. After picking your character you quickly find out it's actually your Birthday and your friend tell you you've got a present in the garage. Guess what, it's a car. Your asked to take it for a spin and this introduces you to the open world environment. Soon later you are asked to enter a racing competition by Solar Crown. You then go on to win and join the Pro racers and this sets you off.
Your character will be rewarded with levels as you explore the islands, complete races, make friends and buy property. There's four skills to level your way up. Competition, Discovery, Colletcion and Social. You will need to level up these to unlock new features and areas of the island. Competition is about completing Championships, Duels, driving schools etc. Discovery is leveled up by exploring new roads, finding events etc. Collection has you colletcing cars, buying property and upgrading it with furniture or simply purchasing new clothing. Finally, Social is all about making friends and participating in social events at clubs. All this sounds extreamly fun but problems hold back the experience.
The problem with TDU2 is it just feel unpolished. If it wasn't for the glitches it would have being a more enjoyable experience. As I received frequent lag online, the single player also gave me some bother. At one point I was driving down a road admiring the view when suddenly I was forced under the ground and into the ocean. I then had to restart the game due to a black screen appearing over the game. A patch will probably fix issues like this but at the time it's to buggy to recommend.
You travel across two islands in the game. After starting in Ibiza you eventually make your way to Hawaii which was the setting for the first game. Both islands look beautiful but it's a shame I cannot say that for the character models. They look very last gen and the voices don't help matters either. You will hear the same words aloft when in races and the sound is extremely annoying. If these issues sound like it wont be much bother to you then it might be worth checking out TDU2. But if it's quite the opposite I would suggest playing the original Test Drive instead.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 had lots of potential. After the success of the first game I was looking forward to TDU2. Unfortunately it holds to many problems to be anything great like the original.
Review by Gareth Smith