E3 2001 Preshow ReportTest Drive

The popular Test Drive series is coming to Xbox. Here are the first details.

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Infogrames is bringing its popular Test Drive series to Microsoft's XBox console. The game is being developed by Pitbull Syndicate, the same group working on the PS2 version of the game and responsible for past hits such as Test Drive 6 and Demolition Racer.

As you tool around in one of 20 exotic sports cars, relentless cops will chase your high-speed lawless self through a number of highly detailed real-world cities. The Dodge Viper GTS, Aston Martin DB7, Lotus Esprit V8, Plymouth Cuda, and '69 Dodge Charger are just a few of the vehicles you can take out for a 150mph-plus spin on the highways of London and San Francisco.

Once again, Pitbull Syndicate is aiming to set Test Drive apart from the competition with the toughest AI this side of the Mississippi. Realistic physics with a moderation of arcade-style handling characteristics sums up the intended feel of the game, but a variety of random events, such as cross traffic, pedestrians, traffic lights, and smashable obstacles, will bring added excitement.

In addition to the game's free-run and career modes, Test Drive for the PS2 will feature a four-player split-screen mode for head-to-head competition. Unique to the XBox, this latest Test Drive will also offer out-of-the-box support for HDTV and 16-to-9-ratio wide-screen TV sets.

While we'll be bringing more detailed impressions from this year's E3 in Los Angeles, we can say that Pitbull Syndicate is putting extra effort into the XBox version of the game. Numerous cutting-edge graphics techniques will serve to push realism to new heights--the results are shiny cars, shattering glass, dynamic shadows, and loads of dust. Optimized vertex shaders unique to the XBox will allow additional eye candy, such as swaying trees and dynamic weather.

Test Drive for the XBox will also feature a fully licensed rock soundtrack and will make use of the system's 3D surround capabilities.

Check back for more on Test Drive for the XBox during our E3 coverage later in the week.

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