gamers (91%) found this review helpful
Test Drive Unlimited is not the best racing game out there, nor is it even the best on the 360 right now; HOWEVER, it IS a good racing game and is definitely worth your time if racers are your thing. The biggest draw to this game is the Massively Open Online Racing, which is the name Atari is giving the online play in this game. Essentially, if you have an Xbox Live Gold account, you can drive around seamlessly with other real people from all over the world, flash your lights for a quick race, or just talk to them as you drive by. You're free to roam the entire island of Oahu (part of Hawaii), which offers up quite a large setting. The cars look nice, but not as nice as some other games (like PGR3), and they all handle differently, so that's a plus. I personally think they crapped out with the motorcycles, though. Also, there's no damage to cars, so scraping walls or even hitting another car head-on doesn't really do anything except slow you down. Also on the graphics end are the actual people. Man, talk about ugly. It's pretty obvious that not much time was spent there, but in the long run, who really cares when this is a game about cars?
After you select your character model from a line of people at the airport, you're in the game. You basically can now drive around and just sight-see or do whatever. You can pull up your map to find race locations, rent or buy new cars with your earnings, and buy another house if you want. Again, if you're hooked up on Live, you can see other players driving around with you. It's a blast to race strangers, set up your own waypoints for races, place bets, etc. You can even find friends and warp to their location. Sometimes I'd be right next to a friend on the map and not see them, but warping to them always fixes that. A minor annoyance, I guess. Without online play, though, this game seems a little bit thin. I honestly don't think you could get more than a week or two's worth of fun out of this. If you ARE online, check it out.
gamers (90%) found this review helpful
I wasn't so sure about this after I tried the demo a month before launch. But I took a chance and shelled out the $39.99 and brought this gem home. I was half expecting it to be a competent, but limited racer with a budget price, well considering the usual absurd price tags for new 360 games. I put the disc in and found that TDU is a nearly perfect arcade racer with incredible depth, eye popping graphical displays, and insanely addicting. This is the first real racing title that allows one to completely free roam the perfectly rendered Hawaiian island looking for instant race challenges from NPC roaming cars, giving rides much like crazy taxi to super models, delivering questionable packages for big bucks, picking up hitchhikers and actually doing some real sightseeing. That's all just the beside the point aspects of the real game built in here. You race through various classes of situations from the easy to painfully challenging to earn cash for your ever increasing lust for hot cars of all kinds to store at your increasing places of residence. Yes, you can buy houses all over the place too ranging from quaint, to stunning mansions with views to die for. The customization of your avatar is fairly robust as well, however not terribly exciting, but still fun, and you earn coupons to exotic shops where you can play dress up. You earn these coupons by successfully driving fickle modles from point A to Point B and the faster and cleaner the ride (don't crash!) the more she offers. You can rent cars to get a taste of some you may want to own later, and if you don't like that, you can test drive any car you might purchase. This is all just the single player life. Go online (assuming the TDU servers are not bugging out) and you get much of the same but filled with live players zipping about flashing their lights at you and race with friends or strangers. Sell, or trade cars. Holy cow man this game is truly amazing. Absolutely the deepest racer on the market and a bargain!