The Open Road

4 05 2011

Just a quick post for now. After hammering out 2,500 words of essay (deadline tomorrow) it’s very pleasant to get the keys to my DBS and go for a cruise around Hawaii. OK, it might be in a game, but once my games-journalism powers start bringing in the big bucks (bwahaha) then it’ll be a reality. A lovely, leather-lined, 500-horsepower reality…

I reviewed Test Drive Unlimited 2 just before starting this blog. I knew it would be a bit messy and whilst I certainly didn’t expect a server meltdown on launch, the rest of the game was problematic enough that I couldn’t give it a great score, though mainly because of those imbecile NPCs who try desperately to be cool but only succeed in making me want to take a shovel to their face. There’s few things that inspire nerd-rage in me any more, but you, ‘Tess Wintory’, are one of them.

The rest of the game? Brilliant. The core concept, as it also was in its predecessor, is so beautifully simple – combine massive, exotic open worlds with massively expensive, exotic cars – that the stuff on the periphery doesn’t really matter that much. I’d probably be satisfied if the game ditched all pretence of progression and simply gave you access to all the cars right from the start. As it is, the competitions aren’t that thrilling and multiplayer is a bit skewed (but great when it works), but TDU2 isn’t about that. It’s a driving game, not a racing game, less about racking up the hot laps and more about that Top Gear ideal of finding a gorgeous road, in a gorgeous car, and cruising about.

Although now I’ve just bought a Bugatti Veyron Supersport, I’m going to find the longest, straightest motorway in the game and hit the throttle…




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