The first Test Drive Unlimited shook up the racing game genre when it hit consoles in 2006, allowing players to drive across an entire island with friends.
Its self-proclaimed selling point was to make gamers feel like they were a millionaire. And not just by driving expensive cars, but by visiting showrooms, owning mansions and racing against a beautiful Ibiza backdrop.
With 2m game sales worldwide – and a $150m franchise that dates back to the late ‘80s – Namco Bandai is now releasing Atari’s Test Drive Unlimited 2 complete with improved online options, new cars, weather effects, modes and more.
“Racers will experience a living, breathing world in first person,” Namco Bandai’s UK product manager Lauren Bradley tells MCV.
“In its 21-year and 14-game history, arguably the highlight was the very successful Test Drive Unlimited, released in the early stages of the Xbox 360. Its approach to online racing is groundbreaking.
“Test Drive Unlimited 2 is two and a half times the size of the original.”
The game features a torrent of new features. New challenges and content are automatically added to the game’s two islands, with thousands of users supported at once in the in-game world.
There’s a new single-player story, racing school and co-op modes including championships, chases and duels. That’s on top of an off-road option, dynamic weather and car damage. Players can also buy yachts, customise car paint jobs and decorate their in-game house.
With an emphasis on both attention-to-detail and sheer driving fun, Test Drive Unlimited 2 has the potential to be this year’s biggest multiformat racer.
Namco Bandai is running adverts on various online portals including Facebook, Eurogamer, IGN, GameSpot and Xbox Live. These will appear for two weeks fro release and will generate an expected 4m user impressions.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 will appear in specialist games magazines and national lifestyle publications.
Customers who pre-order the game will get the Casino DLC pack for free. This allows players to fly to a casino and level up their character, win in-game currency to spend on items and cars such as the Spyker C8 Spyder.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 features hundreds of cars including the Aston Martin DB9, Lotus Evora, Audi R8 Spyder, Nissan GT-R, Ferrari 458 Italia, Mercedes SLS AMG and the Ford GT to name a few.