XBOX 360 PREVIEW: TEST DRIVE UNLIMITED

Unlimited is a great word, especially when it precedes "All you can eat". But I digress. The Eden Software team are currently hoping to give racing fans the epitome of Unlimited when their new Test Drive game burns rubber onto the Xbox 360 later this year.

The Test Drive franchise has been spotty at best. Some games were fun; others were quality resistant if you know what I mean. Eden is hoping to change all that and make you forget Test Drive's 1-3, 5, 7 and maybe 8. I actually can't remember if there was a Test Drive 8. Probably.

When you see Test Drive Unlimited in action it's very easy to be impressed; but remember with next gen hardware that's almost a given, right? Even still this game looks freakin' sweet as Mr. Griffen would say. Not only are the car models fantastic but minute details like building architecture and trees are beautifully rendered.

Once you get lift your jaw off the floor, you'll get around to thinking "But what sets this game apart from other racing games?" Good question. Eden's outrageous plan is to allow players infinite or "unlimited" freedom in terms of racing. They set the game on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and used GPS technology to realistically map 1000 miles of highways and roads to race on. In total the game island is 596 square miles. Next they decided that they would allow thousands of online gamers to explore the island at their leisure and give them the power to create races when they bumped into another driver. Using a map editor, Eden was able to create a race quite rapidly that would give you and some friends literally hours of playtime. Sounds like the "unlimited" aspect is really coming into play.

We're pumped to hear that Eden is aggressively pursuing manufacturers like Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ducati and hope to feature over 125 realworld vehicles in the final product. As has been the norm for the Test Drive series, which has shunned realism in favor of arcade physics and handling, we're almost positive that the game won't feature realtime damage, as manufacturers whom license their vehicles for use prefer to keep them looking pristine at all times.

Having never been a huge fan of the series, I'm certainly more than willing to give it one more chance, especially if Eden delivers on their promise. We'll keep you posted right here!

Press:

Test Drive Unlimited is the ultimate automotive experience for car and bike enthusiasts alike. Visit the most sophisticated car and bike dealers to purchase new vehicles or simply take them for a spin. Collect and trade rare performance parts and customize each vehicle to make it one-of-a-kind. Test Drive Unlimited challenges players online to experience the most exotic and fastest vehicles on more than 1000 miles of diverse Hawaiian roads. Gamers win races, challenges, missions and tournaments to earn credits and purchase new cars, bikes, rare performance parts, clothes, apparel, homes and garages.

Features:

  • Test Drive Unlimited is redefining the racing genre online. The seamless online connection offers unlimited new challenges, opponents and competitions as well as monthly additions of vehicles, aftermarket parts, clothes and apparel
  • More than 125 licensed vehicles from exclusive manufacturers including Lamborghini, Ducati, Aston Martin, Mercedes, Saleen, Shelby, and Jaguar
  • Realistic cars and bikes: Amazing render quality and unrivalled interior details including full car functions such as radio, electric windows, horn, wipers and more
  • Personalization: Upgrade each car or bike with options from the actual manufacturers’ catalog. Players create characters, buy new homes and garages, and tune and upgrade vehicles with aftermarket parts
  • Create challenges or races from more than 50 game rules and settings. Upload your created challenges online to become part of the player community
  • A gathering of communities: Players can create or join a club to talk, chat, trade, race or organize club-based competitions and tournaments
  • Simplified match making and division based rankings make this game the most comprehensive and accessible online racing experience
Click For Media
Click For Media
System: X360
Dev: Eden Software
Pub: Atari
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1 - ?
Preview By Vaughn
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
n/a
GRAPHICS
n/a
CONTROL
n/a
MUSIC/FX
n/a
VALUE
n/a