Test Drive Unlimited

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Test Drive Unlimited
Test Drive Unlimited boxart.jpg
Developer(s)Eden Games
Atari Melbourne House (PS2 & PSP)
Publisher(s)Atari
SeriesTest Drive
Platform(s)Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Portable
ReleaseXbox 360
  • NA: 5 September 2006
  • EU: 8 September 2006
  • AU: 21 September 2006
PlayStation 2, Windows
  • EU: 16 March 2007
  • NA: 20 March 2007
  • AU: 13 April 2007 (PS2)
PlayStation Portable
  • NA: 21 March 2007
  • EU: 30 March 2007
  • AU: 27 April 2007
Genre(s)Racing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Test Drive Unlimited is an open world racing video game developed by Eden Games published by Atari for Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. Atari Melbourne House developed the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions. The game features over 125 licensed sports cars and motorcycles and a terrain is modeled after the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu that features some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of roads and highways.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

In the world of Test Drive Unlimited, the player is able to drive both on-road and off-road in free-roam mode, challenging any real life racers they encounter. The roads are modeled after satellite images of the island of Oʻahu.[1] The terrain differs from rainforest and mountains to sandy beaches and Hawaiʻi's capital city, Honolulu. It is worth noting however, that other built-up areas on the island are not represented. It is possible to drive on small islands outside of the main island. The Xbox 360 version has supported steering wheel controllers since launch. Following the third free update, Test Drive Unlimited supports force feedback wheel controllers such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel.

Although advertising material for the game suggests it to be an exact depiction of the Hawaiian island, numerous government buildings (such as those on Pearl Harbor, Camp H. M. Smith, Hickam Air Force Base), commercial buildings (Ala Moana Center, the convention center, the entire commercial strip in Pearl City and the Pearlridge Center), and notable landmarks (statue of King Kamehameha I, USS Missouri, etc.) are not present in the game. Many roads and highways are also missing or placed far from their real-life counterparts. The ships docked in Pearl Harbor are also in very low detail and do not represent any active or retired USN vessel at all.[citation needed]

Single-player game[edit]

The game begins by purchasing a car and a house. The player is then free to explore the island; as this happens, key locations on the map are revealed. These include car and bike dealerships (not available in PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions), car rental agencies, tuning shops, paint shops, time challenges, courier, vehicle transportation, hitchhikers (not available in PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions) and more.

Success in challenges is rewarded with in-game money, or in the Hitchhiker and Top Model challenges, coupons. Using these coupons, the player can buy clothing for their character at the many branded clothes shops on the island. Money earned may be spent on buying new vehicles, renting cars, upgrading cars and buying houses. Players can acquire sports cars from various manufacturers, including a Ferrari 575M Maranello, the AC Cobra 289, the Maserati 3500 GT and the Pontiac Firebird. The megapack adds more than 45 more cars, including the Efijy Concept, the Ferrari 512 TR and the Nissan Skyline GT-R, and an extra motorcycle.

Missing content on Sony platforms[edit]

The PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions of Test Drive Unlimited are missing the following features:

  • Manual transmission (although transmission is visible in options, it is permanently set to automatic)
  • Avatar customization
  • Certain vehicles such as Ferrari, Maserati, Lexus, all motorcycles, and some models of different makers
  • Certain mission types (hitchhikers, etc.)
  • Cockpit view (PlayStation Portable)
  • NPCs in buildings (PlayStation Portable)
  • Rear-view and side mirrors are not functional (blurred out)
  • Some shops, like custom car paint
  • USB steering wheel support
  • Online Cruising (although functional in 2007, online infrastructure mode for both Sony platforms was shut down in 2009. PlayStation Portable's second available online option is ad hoc)
  • Secret Island Eden "E" Teleporter (but the island does exist on both platforms and can be driven on through the use of emulators and memory-editing software)
  • Content, visual and audio components were largely reduced due to hardware limitations.

Exclusive content on Sony platforms[edit]

  • Master Points, a system where the player is awarded points for drifting, slipstreaming, airtime and generally driving around the island.
  • Auto GPS, which automatically directs the player to the closest available race challenge.
  • Car selection, as some cars that are only available in download packs for Xbox 360 and Windows are available from the start in the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions.
  • Radio stations in the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions feature several exclusive instrumental tracks in addition to the licensed music.
  • Quick Race, a mode that allows players to create a limitless number of races to compete in, with a random car.

Some of the exclusive features of the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions were later implemented in Test Drive Unlimited 2.

Multiplayer game[edit]

Spyker C8 Spyder in Test Drive Unlimited (PC)

The multiplayer component (branded as M.O.O.R. or Massively Open Online Racing) works as an extra layer on top of the single-player game: all activities available in single-player are also available in multiplayer. The following challenges are also available in multiplayer only:

  • Race against other players
  • Challenge players to complete tasks
  • Attempt other player challenges

Racing against other players works in freeride by using a custom geolocalized matchmaking system, added using Xbox Live Server Platform (XLSP). Multiplayer races spots are handled by using the player match/ranked match system employed by Xbox Live. The Microsoft Windows version uses the GameSpy network for authentication.

It is also possible to create an immediate, ad hoc race against another player by flashing headlights at their vehicle.

Players may create and join "clubs" which help organize player events. Vehicles may be traded between players through a central "clearing house"-style interface that lists the vehicles for sale along with class, mileage, specification, and price information.

It is also possible to play online with the addition of a network adapter to a PlayStation 2 and via Infrastructure Mode on the PlayStation Portable.

The server structure consisted of 11 individual machines working in a distributed, scalable way.

The Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows servers were shut down on 29 September 2012. The PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable servers were shut down on an earlier date.

On 28 September 2014, community members launched a private server for the Microsoft Windows version of the game.

Downloadable content[edit]

Xbox 360[edit]

On the Xbox 360, new cars could be downloaded via Xbox Live, similar to Project Gotham Racing 3 and 4's Booster Packs and Midnight Club: Los Angeles's South Central vehicle packs. Some individual cars were available to download for free, while others were paid purchases as part of a pack. All downloaded cars still need to be purchased with in-game money at their respective dealerships before they can be used in the game. There were eight car packs and eight free cars.

There is also a downloadable mode called "hardcore mode" which makes the game experience more realistic. It was designed for players with an Xbox 360 Racing Wheel controller. The hardcore mode is free however in the Windows version, and can be unlocked by achieving a higher specific rank.

However, all DLC have since been removed.[when?]

Microsoft Windows[edit]

There has been one patch for the Windows version of Test Drive Unlimited. As part of this patch, the Nissan Skyline GTR R34 and Audi RS4 quattro Saloon (B7) cars were released for free. Windows Vista users who have the 32-bit platform installed will have fewer issues with freezing during saving points.[citation needed] The 64-bit platform invariably creates conflicts despite the 4GB system memory that most users have (as recommended by the Atari manufacturer of TDU), as the game tends to draw from the user's RAM as opposed to dedicated video card memory.[citation needed] Moreover, there is a 'Megapack' DLC which Windows users can purchase, featuring 45 cars, one bike and some fixes. These include the limited edition "exclusive" cars available for the Xbox 360 version as well as the contents of the first five DLC packs previously released over Xbox Live. It is, however, incompatible with localized versions, but it is released in Russia as an add-on and also it is included in a TDU Gold Edition.[citation needed]

Special NPCs in PlayStation 2 version[edit]

The fastest car on the PlayStation 2 version is the Chrysler ME Four-Twelve, which can go over 445 kilometres per hour (277 mph). There were 1500 total beta testers in Atari's closed beta for Test Drive Unlimited for PlayStation 2. At the end of the testing period, Atari awarded 30 of the most active testers with "immortality" in the PlayStation 2 version of Test Drive Unlimited. These 30 beta testers were allowed to name one of the non-playable characters (NPC) in the game. Some chose to use their first and last name; others chose to use their screen names. These 30 special NPCs can be found spread throughout the virtual island of only the PlayStation 2 version.[2] Atari and Melbourne House ensured the Beta Testers were given prominent positions as NPCs. Among the play testers were also friends and family of staff at Melbourne House, including staff members themselves, who are included within the different motoring clubs featured within the game. Most were granted President or Vice President status in the car clubs and were put in highly desirable performance cars.[3]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
PCPS2PSPXbox 360
EdgeN/AN/AN/A8.5/10[4]
EGMN/AN/AN/A8.5/10[5]
EurogamerN/A9/10[7]N/A8.5/10[8]
FamitsuN/AN/AN/A34/40[6]
Game InformerN/AN/AN/A8.35/10[9]
Game RevolutionN/AN/AN/AB+[10]
GameSpot8.5/10[11]7.5/10[12]8.7/10[13]8.5/10[14]
GameSpy3.5/5 stars[15]5/5 stars[16]N/A4/5 stars[17]
GameTrailersN/AN/AN/A8.5/10[18]
GameZone8.5/10[19]8.5/10[20]8/10[21]8.8/10[22]
IGN8/10[23]7.3/10[24]7.8/10[25]8/10[26]
OXM (US)N/AN/AN/A8.5/10[27]
PC Gamer (US)80%[28]N/AN/AN/A
PSMN/A8/10[29]8.5/10[29]N/A
The Sydney Morning HeraldN/AN/AN/A4/5 stars[30]
The TimesN/AN/AN/A4/5 stars[31]
Aggregate score
Metacritic79/100[32]75/100[33]80/100[34]82/100[35]

Test Drive Unlimited received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[35][34][32][33]

411Mania gave the Xbox 360 version a score of 8.6 out of 10 and stated, "Even if you own a next-gen racing game, this is a title that you MUST try out. This is such an open ended game that never actually ends ala (sic) World of Warcraft and feeling like you’re a part of the Island with your homes, vehicles and club is too much of a cool thing to pass up."[36] The Sydney Morning Herald gave the same version a score of four stars out of five and called it "a car aficionado's paradise and a novel concept in driving games. Unlimited's online world is certain to be mimicked."[30] The Times also gave it four stars out of five and stated that it "comes closer than most games to re-creating the freedom of real life."[31] In Japan, where the Xbox 360 version was ported and published by Microsoft on 26 April 2007, both Famitsu and Famitsu Xbox 360 gave it a score of 34 out of 40.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Experience Racing Reinvented on Xbox 360". GameSpot. CNET. 14 August 2006. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2007-03-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2007-03-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Edge staff (October 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited (X360)". Edge. No. 167. Future plc. p. 82.
  5. ^ EGM staff (November 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited (X360)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 209. Ziff Davis. p. 118.
  6. ^ a b "テストドライブ アンリミテッド (X360)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  7. ^ Whitehead, Dan (27 February 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited (PS2)". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  8. ^ Bramwell, Tom (8 September 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited (X360)". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  9. ^ Zoss, Jeremy (November 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited (X360)". Game Informer. No. 163. GameStop. p. 136. Archived from the original on 30 July 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  10. ^ Ferris, Duke (14 September 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (X360)". Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  11. ^ Navarro, Alex (28 March 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (PC)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  12. ^ Navarro, Alex (28 March 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (PS2)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  13. ^ Navarro, Alex (29 March 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (PSP)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  14. ^ Navarro, Alex (7 September 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (X360)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  15. ^ Kuo, Li C. (13 April 2007). "GameSpy: Test Drive Unlimited (PC)". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  16. ^ Steinberg, Steve (17 April 2007). "GameSpy: Test Drive Unlimited (PS2)". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  17. ^ Villoria, Gerald (11 September 2006). "GameSpy: Test Drive Unlimited (X360)". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Test Drive Unlimited Review (X360)". GameTrailers. Viacom. 18 September 2006. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  19. ^ Smith, Brock (2 May 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  20. ^ Bedigian, Louis (18 April 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  21. ^ Zacarias, Eduardo (15 April 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited - PSP - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 5 October 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  22. ^ Romano, Natalie (12 September 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited - 360 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  23. ^ Brudvig, Erik (3 April 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (PC)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  24. ^ Brudvig, Erik (3 April 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (PS2)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  25. ^ Brudvig, Erik (4 April 2007). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (PSP)". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on 10 April 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  26. ^ Brudvig, Erik (7 September 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited Review (X360)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  27. ^ "Test Drive Unlimited". Official Xbox Magazine. Future US. December 2006. p. 76.
  28. ^ "Test Drive Unlimited". PC Gamer. Vol. 14 no. 7. Future US. July 2007. p. 56.
  29. ^ a b "Review: Test Drive Unlimited". PSM. Future US. June 2007. p. 80.
  30. ^ a b Hill, Jason (30 September 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited (Xbox 360)". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  31. ^ a b Wells, Dominic (23 September 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited (Xbox 360)". The Times. News UK. Archived from the original on 29 September 2006. Retrieved 11 February 2019.(subscription required)
  32. ^ a b "Test Drive Unlimited for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  33. ^ a b "Test Drive Unlimited for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  34. ^ a b "Test Drive Unlimited for PSP Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  35. ^ a b "Test Drive Unlimited for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  36. ^ Aranda, Ramon (12 September 2006). "Test Drive Unlimited (Xbox 360) Review". 411Mania. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2015.

External links[edit]