Hello, the new Test Drive Unlimited Demo came out yesterday morning and since it came out, I have spent quite a bit of time playing it "8 hours total" and trying out everything and checking the message boards to here the most commom criticisms about the new demo and I am going to give my thoughts on these issues and everything in the new Demo
The Controls and Vehicle Handling
If there has been one common criticism about the new demo, it has been the Vehicle handling.
Is it really that bad? No it is not
Is it learnable and can it be mastered and can you get good at it? Yes, but it is going to take some patience and you have to understand, that you cannot go 150mph into the corners and expect to handle your vehicle the best in this demo.
You just have to learn how to slow down in the corners and practice the roads enough in the freeroam and learn the speeds that are acceptable to go into the corners and come back out of them, the controls are by no means unworkable
Another mistake, that I believe many people have made is that they do not play this in First Person View, if you are having trouble with the vehicle handling and you are not in First Person View, you are going to have problems, until you change it to first person view, because when you can see your vehicle in front of you, that impedes your ability to see the road more clearly
The bottom line about Vehicle handling is have patience and you can conquer this, but if you are not the type of person who has patience's enough to learn how to control a vehicle in a racing game, then this game is probably not for you
Free Roam and things to do and finding an opponent and the cops in that part of the demo
The Free Roam is available online and I believe offline as well, I am not sure about offline, because I just played it online.
It is great to practice the roads with the free roam and you get to learn a lot about the roads and the course by going over them, again and again.
Do not think for one second, you can get behind the wheel and expect not to get frustated, if your patience is not good and learn the roads.
In the Free Roam, you will encounter players on the roads, as far as opponents and pedistrian cars, you may have to drive a while to find your nearest opponent, because sometimes it takes a while to find an opponent and their gamertag is highlighted on the game screen, while you are playing and you can issue them an instant challenge, basically how this works is you pull up right besides them and you press your A button on the controller to issue the challenge and you go right into the GPS map and you or your opponent can pick the route and you pick a start point on the map by highlighting that and then you pick a finishing point anywhere on the map, it is very easy to setup and you can always issue a rechallenge, which is called avenage and you can go on the same challenge course again or you can change it
Also in the Free Roam at least online, do not expect find any cops willing to chase you, because unlike the old demo, back in May, which was not online, this one is online, so do not expect to go crashing into the other vehicles on the road and expect the crazy pursuits, that you exprienced on the old demo
The reason for not having the cops in the free online roam in the new demo is to probably keep the chaos out of the demo and just let people drive, without having 50 police cars, trying to chase drivers on the map and people that like to speed and crash into other drivers
Also on the Free Roam, you will always get certain things, that the GPS computer tells you, that you can start a time trial or solo or multiplayer race or mode and once you hear it, all you do is press the A button on the controller and you go into that mode
The Races and the Challenges
The Races and the challenges are pretty easy to enter.
The Time Trial is pretty basic, all you do is just race from checkpoint to checkpoint and you get to try and improve your time, each time you want to drive the Time Trial course and beat your old time
Solo Player you will be racing againist 5 computerized opponents on about 2 or 3 different courses, you can choose the course and the courses are generally very short and require good precision and handling and they are beatable, you just need the right car or motorcycle to do it.
Like on one of the courses is just basically setup with just a long drag strip, with a couple of turns, like the first part of the course is kind of techinal, then you make a Left Hand turn and you get to finish on a straight road, with a few twist and turns and then you get a long straightaway, which you can really go fast in and be a speedster
The other courses are shaped like short squares and triangles and they tend to be more techinal then the course, that I described above and they are much tougher to beat, because you have very little road, that is straight, before you have to turn again.
The Multiplayer Races
You have about 2 or 3 courses to play againist other players in the demo on Xbox Live and you can race up to 8 people at 1 time on each course.
One of the races is called Last Man Standing and that is basically, where you are going around a Triangle shaped course, that is very short and how you win is, well you have to be the last driver on the road left, because if you are in last place on the road, you will get eliminated, it goes from 6th to 1st on the road is how you are eliminated and it is a lot of fun, because it encourages you to drive faster and improve your vehicle handling skills and it will make you a better driver
You can also compete in races, where everybody has the same vehicle and nobody having a faster vehicle, then the other person, if the host wants to set it upm that way, then the playing field is more evening that way
So where are the cops in the demo?
Well I said earlier, that they do not generally factor into Free Roam on the demo nor do they come into play on the Multiplayer races online
They will come into play, when you are racing Solo player or Time Trial Mode on a course and they will scream all kinds of stuff at you like stop your vehicle now and they will go on the radio and say things like, there is a Ferrari, and the driver has prior for Traffic offenses and so on. You can generally outrun them, but sometimes they will catch you and you just pay a fine after they issue you the ticket
The old Demo they would basically chase you everywhere after you hit a car, though that was in offline roam though and online roam on the demo is different, so the crazy cop pursuits, may have to wait until the full game
How are the cars and how is the Motorcycle?
Well the Ferrari is the fast car out of the 3 cars in the demo and it can give you some problems handling it, because it is more stiff then the other cars and if you go too fast and start to lose control of the car going off the road, then the Steering Wheel feels like it is almost locking up on you.
It is a good fast car and you will have fun with it, once you learn how to drive it right
Best advice drive with the Ferrari drive slower and learn the corners and drive with it in Free Roam for a while
The Mustang is not as difficult to handle as the Ferrari and it is not as fast, it is a good average speed race car, it is good to practice with and so on and you can keep it on the road easier to
There was another car, I do not remember, what it is called, it was the slowest of the 3 cars, but it seemed to handle better then the Mustang and the Ferrari, it was probably the best car to practice and roam the road with, but it is the most inferior, when it comes to entering a race though, againist opponents, because it simply does not have the speed, that you need to compete
Then there is the Motorcycle, it is a Kawasaki
The Motorcycle has received some criticism for being hard to handle, it can be difficult at times to handle, but again, there is a learning curb, learning how to drive it, like you must slow down in the corners and learn an acceptable speed, if you are having trouble handling it and you should switch your driving view to First Person View and you will do much better
Tips for driving it better, learn how to lean on the Motorcycle as far to the side and to the ground as possible and it will handle better going into corners and you will not lose as much speed and come out of the corners in much better shape.
The speed and the acceleration on the Motorcycle is especially fun, if you are on a long straight road and you can get it up to top speed in no time and it is easier to weave in and out of the traffic, since a motorcycle is smaller then any car and you can beat almost anybody with a car in the instant challenges and multiplayer races
My final thoughts on the Demo
Is the Test Drive Unlimited a good demo? Well it depends on who you ask and how good your threshold for learning and having patience is, if you have those traits, then it is great
Is it a game for everybody? Certainly not, because some people are not into racing and more importantly and do not have the patience to learn the controls in the demo and the most likely final game
Do I think the demo is worthwhile and offers good challenges? Certainly and it is a game that you can enjoy and learn to enjoy it
Did the Demo do enough to prove the critics of the previous demo and this one wrong? I think people are going to still say, that the controls suck and that the game will get boring and some people will continue to criticise it, no matter what, when the final game comes out, unless there is big improvements in the final game, that could not be seen in the final demo
Do I suggest buying the game? Yes because if you are a gamer, that has patience and loves to race and loves a challenge, this game is going to have something for you to enjoy and the price tag of $40 is a very nice price tag for a next gen game and a very good move by the publishers of the game
If you are a casual racer or not into racing games in general, then this game may not appeal to you and it is better off being rented to see if you can find something in it that you like
How Successful, do I feel that this game can be on the scale of 1 to 10? I feel anywhere from 5 to 7, among people that love racing games. But 5 or 4 or below for people who are not into racing games and are casual racers
Well that is all for now, but rest assured, I am going to have a review of the final game up in about 2 1/2 weeks, when it comes out and I get to play it for several days, because I want to cover as much as possible in my final review of the game