Racing from rags to riches
Eden Games returns to the starting grid with another genre blender, and the follow-up to its 2006 road rambler that blurred the lines between simulation and arcade. In this latest entry the island of Hawaii has been eschewed in place of party factory Ibiza, and charts the usual rag-to-riches story as you battle on the black top for racing supremacy in the world of chrome and paint jobs.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 is, at its core, an arcade speedster, but with deftly woven simulation tropes present throughout, but while it excels in peppering elements of both genres, it falls flat by creating a world populated with horrible characters with decidedly questionable values.
Still, there's a raft of events to master in an attempt to hover up those all-important experience points including online battles, single player races divided over three classes (Asphalt, Off-Road and Classic) and Collection, wherein points are banked for purchasing everything from cars to clothes and, ahem, plastic surgery. If gongs were doled out for creating gaming's most vapid world, Test Drive would sweep the board. Despite these cracks in the paintwork, Test Drive Unlimited 2 is an ambitious game, featuring a powerhouse online mode - players can create everything from challenges to clubs and races - that's a few parts shy of achieving racing royalty.