Race at your own pace

Test Drive Unlimited 2

"Test Drive Unlimited 2," the new game in the "Test Drive" series, takes players to the island of Ibiza, off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, and back to the island of Oahu in pursuit of the Solar Crown, a prestigious racing championship. Developer Eden Games pulled out all the stops in creating these two islands, making them look as beautiful as possible. The biggest perk of the "Test Drive Unlimited" series is the ability to take things at your own pace, instead of jumping into a nonstop series of races. Getting lost in the scenery is a common occurrence on Ibiza and Oahu.

Changing it up from the first game, the races are broken up into three separate categories: asphalt, off-road and classic racing. Each one contains multiple sub-categories with a plethora of cars from over the years. In pursuit of the Solar Crown, the player must complete challenges and cups from each of these categories while competing against rivals in the racing world. Unfortunately, many of the races lack the difficulty to challenge the hardcore racing fans.

At times, the tracks themselves prove to be a higher challenge than the computer-controlled racers. This is disappointing, and makes the game a bit too easy. While this game is primarily a racing game, the feeling of being a part of this world is taken away when the player is forced to deal with this poor quality.

The final problem is the radio stations within the game. Eden Games decided to change the radio from multiple stations with a small handful of songs to two stations with a large number of songs per station. This would have been a good idea, had it not been for the stupid commentary the DJ makes after songs play and the commercials for fictional products that do not relate to the game in any way. It feels as though Eden Games decided to take the route "Grand Theft Auto" games did with id radio system and failed miserably.

Despite the few cons of "Test Drive Unlimited 2," the game boasts the perk of merging a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game with a racing game and doing it on consoles. While driving around on the islands, the player will undoubtedly run into other players who can also be challenged to races (for money or not) simply by flashing your headlights. This multiplayer aspect is a great addition to the series and has been greatly improved since the first game.

"Test Drive Unlimited 2," although flawed, is a great overall addition to the "Test Drive" series. The openness of Ibiza and Oahu as well as the MMO aspects add to the fun factor and make "Test Drive Unlimited 2" a great game with a very high replay value.

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