The promise was grand and manifold: a real-world locale, a vehicle list filled with exotica, thousands of kilometres of open road and a thriving population of actual humans to race against. For the most part, Test Drive Unlimited delivered on its promises, but Eden Studio's greatest game set a milestone that few racing titles even dare to attempt: allowing virtual driving to be an open-ended, self-determined and leisurely pursuit.
TT Games and LucasArts have fought their way to the premier position in the UK all-formats charts, as Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy becomes the highest-selling title this week.
Capcom's bloody adventure title Dead Rising has bludgeoned its way to the top of the Chart Track all-formats charts this week, becoming the fastest-selling Xbox 360 title to date.
"Nobody ever passes first time," I told my sister the other day. She's about to start driving, see. Although that had nothing to do with the situation we were in, where I'd just swerved out from behind a lorry and then swerved back in because I wanted to avoid hitting a rabbit. Or a small child - I forget. She looked at me, moderately terrified, and said: "I don't want to learn any more." "Of course you do!" I said, casually mowing down a garden gnome for effect. "There's nothing more entertaining than going round corners when you're not quite sure whether you can brake enough."
Test Drive Unlimited, then.