Test Drive Unlimited Reader Review
Honestly, I've not been so disappointed in a game since the car crash (ho ho) that was KotOR II.
There are clearly major issues with the netcode of the game or the server infrastructure, or both.
You're encouraged to play the game in online mode all the time, as you 'can't complete the game' with an offline user ID. The promise is that you can complete single and multiplayer challenges as you see fit, roaming the island and meeting up with whatever friends happen to be driving around at the same time, as you're online the whole time. Neato.
When the game opens up you're invited to log in to the online world with a gamespy ID. This can take a moment or it can freeze the PC requiring a hard reset. Er, well, OK then.
When you do get in game, you choose a customisable character and a place to live, then your character toddles off and buys their first car. Spiffing, 10 mins in and I'm the proud owner of an Audi TT.
Then the game suggests you might like to race the car to find out whether you like it. Jolly D, let's go.
Oh hang on, it's lost the connection to the server. Never mind, I'm sure it will reconnect, eh?
Ah. Seems to have dumped me back at the main menu.
Still, I'm sure it's saved my progress, no?
Oh. Start again then.
So it's down to the random whims of teh g0dz of teh interweb as to whether you can progress in single player online mode. If you're with me. Not much fun.
Meeting a clan member online was farcical: we both tried to start a race, couldn't; he managed to invite me to the clubhouse and neither of us could host a game from there either.
We went back on to the open road and managed one event together, marked by his car disappearing/reappearing in mirage-like lag as I crashed repeatedly. Well, OK, that last bit is probably my fault.
Single player seems to be fine for me, not tainted so far by the save game corruption or random crashes to desktop that has the official forums blazing merrily from all the flame-posts.
But why would you buy a 'Massively Open Online Racing(TM)' game to sit at home polishing your car-porn collection without anyone to see? Or race against? Or throw childish insults at?
There's no point in rating this (87%! Must Buy - PC Gamer, 90% Gold Award - PC Format) or buying this until it's patched. It's simply not any sort of game, let alone the one it has been advertised as.