By Bad Seed
The videogame landscape is filled with racing games. With such a crowded genre, how are developers supposed to create a product that can stand out from the rest while still maintaining a certain familiarity to capture an audience in the first place? The developers at Eden Studios are tackling these challenges in Test Drive Unlimited 2, a "massively open online racer" that combines the online functionality of an MMO with a traditional arcade racer. I recently had the chance to sit down and watch a demonstration of Test Drive Unlimited 2 and I was impressed with the amount of multiplayer options available to players. With a lovely Mediterranean locale and some extremely exotic cars to drive, Test Drive Unlimited 2 has the potential to be the next great multiplayer racer.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 is set on the island of Ibiza. The developers at Eden Studios used actual topographic information to design the environment and recreated a number of the island's towns in detail. All the road networks are designed to be as true to life as possible, so players will feel like they're really racing on Ibiza itself. The island has a full day/night cycle (and weather effects!) which spans approximately two hours, so players will be driving their cars of choice through rainy nights and brilliant sunsets.
But like the first Test Drive Unlimited, this sequel isn't just about racing. Test Drive Unlimited 2 is designed to celebrate a luxury lifestyle in a number of ways, from expensive cars to lavish homes. The game tells a "rags to riches" story, so players will be earning money to purchase new items, be it clothing or new cars. It's great to see a racing game that pays attention to elements outside of traditional races, as a lot of care has gone into designing the game's interior environments. These environments are feasible because Test Drive Unlimited 2 allows players to walk around the game world with their avatar in first-person. More importantly, almost any location in-game is also a location where other players can meet up and socialize.
This multiplayer functionality is an absolutely crucial part of the Test Drive Unlimited 2 formula. Players can walk around each other's homes and even peruse car dealerships together. A full set of emotes has been built into Test Drive Unlimited 2 and the game will obviously support voice chat for those with headsets available. I was impressed that players shopping for new cars will even be able to climb inside a potential purchase with another player in the passenger seat. Friends can discuss the interior and admire the intricate detail Eden Studios put into rendering the leather stitching, dash boards, and the countless dials that come with cars of high class.
+INFO by IGN http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/108/1086774p1.html