Test Drive 5
|Test Drive 5|
Electronic Arts (Europe)
The game focuses mainly on racing on a variety of courses around the world. Cops, traffic, and weather make each race a challenge. Many secret cars and tracks were included in the game, along with several cheat codes. Many jumps were included, some of them hidden. Cop chases can break out whenever the player passes a CPU police car during a race. The game supported multiplayer racing for up to six players, and two-player split-screen racing on one computer. Two player drag racing is also an option.
There are 18 tracks in the game, with 17 real-world tracks, plus one fictional circuit.
Winning in a checkpoint track unlocks a reverse version of the track. Winning in a circuit track unlocks a vehicle.
The game includes 28 licensed vehicles, including the Ford Mustang and Aston Martin Vantage. These vehicles range from ultra-fast sports cars to souped up muscle cars. In addition, police cars are available in Cop Chase mode. Police car and original cars become playable in Single Race and Drag Race modes by winning all tournament races or entering a cheat code.
Some licensed vehicles are unlocked by winning a circuit track, while others are earned by winning tournaments, which causes different vehicles to be unlocked depending on tournament types.
All computer-controlled vehicles have the same top speeds, which depends on difficulty and vehicle dynamics settings.
Arcade vehicle dynamics cause vehicles to accelerate and decelerate faster, have higher top speeds, and have greater crash effects than the Simulation setting.
Craig Harris of IGN rated the PlayStation version 7.5 out of 10 and praised the game's sound effects and music, as well as its multiplayer mode, and called the game's graphics "a step up from Test Drive 4." Harris wrote, "The graphics engine is very smooth, very crisp, and very fast. My major complaint is, though the physics of the cars on the road are pretty accurate (as far as I can tell, anyway), when these cars take to the air, either by a jump or crash, it's like the tires are filled with pure helium."
Trent C. Ward of IGN rated the PC version 7.8 and wrote that it was, "Blessed with solid graphics, great sound, and some of the finest cars ever included in a racing game". However, Ward felt that the game's computer-controlled racers were capable of maneuvers not possible for the player to perform: "When you're racing, if another car pulls up behind you and taps you on the rear bumper, your car immediately goes flying out of control. While this seems reasonable (if a tad excessive), the same trick just doesn't work if you try to do it back. Shove an opponent's car from behind, and you're a lot more likely to end up in the ditch than he is. [...] The way it is, the most you'll get is about three or four races before the computer pulls a dirty trick so foul that you'll turn your computer off in disgust." Ward concluded that Test Drive 5 "comes really close to greatness, and then veers off sharply at the last minute. The game's solid handling, great car selection, and passable graphics are all ruined by the fact that computer-controlled cars can pitch you off the road at any given moment and by the fact that even with the fastest cars at your disposal, you'll probably find yourself struggling to keep up with the slowest computer opponents."
Michael E. Ryan of GameSpot, who rated the PC version 6.2 out of 10, criticized various aspects of the game, writing, "While the game is a decent arcade racer with great graphics, plenty of cars, and a ton of tracks, it simply falls short of its number one competitor - EA's Need for Speed III - in almost every conceivable way." James Mielke of GameSpot rated the PlayStation version 6.3 and concluded, "In the end, when you think of all the other games that Test Drive 5 tries to emulate, you're thinking of at least three other racing games that you should purchase before you go for this one. While not a dismal failure by any means, the cheap AI and unbalanced gameplay ensure that Test Drive 5 remains rental material at best."
- Harris, Craig (October 8, 1998). "Test Drive 5 (PlayStation)". IGN. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
- Ward, Trent C. (December 1, 1998). "Test Drive 5 (PC)". IGN. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
- Ryan, Michael E. (January 4, 1999). "Test Drive 5 Review for PC". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 9, 2003.
- Mielke, James (November 3, 1998). "Test Drive 5 Review for PlayStation". GameSpot. Archived from the original on December 11, 2003.