Test Drive Unlimited is Atari's next-gen racing game part of the Test Drive series. The game takes place on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, featuring thousands of miles of actual roads. It features over 125 licensed vehicles, and is available for the Playstation 2, the Playstation Portable, the Xbox 360, and for PC. Test Drive Unlimited is well received by the public, due to the depth of gameplay and the uniqueness of its racing style.
Test Drive Unlimited is a slick, fast-paced, arcade-style street racer that gives incredible freedom to the player. The player is given access to off-road areas, and can use the free-mode to its full advantage. Of course, the free roaming mode in the game is the only way to find new hotspots to race, buy houses, and checkout some new rides. In fact, the large island where the game takes place is entirely accessible to the player. With a large variety of rides, wheels, and game modes, this game gives players plenty of enjoyment and is a step away from the classic street racing game.
Test Drive Unlimited has a deep level of gameplay that is similar to Midnight Club 3. The actual racing is straightforward, with various game modes and racing styles that entertain the player for hours. The lack of a nitrous may be annoying to the player, however, even though the game is well balanced to both the player and CPUs. Manual transmission is not available on the PS2 or PSP versions of the game. A tremendous array of vehicles change the feel of the game, and constant traffic ignite difficulty in even the straightest of roads. There are many types of game modes, including:
- Time Challenge
- Speed Challenge
- Top Model
- Courier / Delivery
- Vehicle Transport
Winning these challenges gives the player rewards in either Reputation or Credits (money). In single player mode, the player uses these Credits to buy add-ons, such as houses, rides, upgrades and even clothes. The island of Oahu is filled with landmarks that the player can access. The player must drive to these from a house, which the player can buy from a realtor. There are many houses on the island, which the player can buy at a certain price using Credits. The major bonus of owning a house is the use of its garage, where the player can store a number vehicles that varies according to the size and luxury of the house. Aside from houses and races on the island, Test Drive Unlimited gives players a chance to join a club, where the player can fight up the ladder to become the President of the club, where a certain reward of a car or Credits. There are numerous clubs on the island, many of which are restricted to a certain car class. Many clubs will invite the player to their club once the player has discovered them. The island is mapped, using satellite imagery, from the real Hawaiian island of Oahu, down to a precision of a square metre. The terrain of the island varies greatly, from winding mountain roads, to sandy beaches, to commercial areas of Honolulu. Driving around in the Cruise mode can unlock new places to check out.
Test Drive Unlimited uses the M.O.O.R. (Massively Open Online Racing) system, where at any given time, the player can encounter other players while roaming the island. Besides being able to complete tasks available in single player, Multiplayer in the game also includes several exclusive game modes, including Online Clubs and Player Ladders, Instant Challenges and tournaments.