E3 10: A hands-on start with Test Drive Unlimited 2

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The last time I was shown Test Drive Unlimited 2, it was a hands-off affair. Lovely cars, lovely people, and lovely houses that can all be customized to best reflect this world of fictionalized luxury that only a $60 game disc can buy. Go on — it’s pretty in-depth, and it strongly describes what the heck is going on.

As for today, I had a chance to actually get the controls in my hands. Considering they built the racing engine all over again, the game drives as a racing title should, with Mustangs very drift-focused, and a Nissan much more capable at taking turns. Actually buying cars and walking around is like being in a lobby system in first-person, and a lot of the little details, like emotive animations, fit the almost-MMO nature of the game. It’s cool, and fans will probably like it.

Most interesting was a new multiplayer mode: Follow the Leader. Better with more than a few racers, what happens is only a certain designated racer can see the next checkpoint, and all of the rest have to follow, otherwise they’ll miss the race. After checkpoint is crossed, another racer picks up the directions. It’s a weird stop-and-go mode that is pretty fun, actually, although I couldn’t quite figure out how the game was scoring and declaring who is a winner. Anyway, keep your eyes open for the game when it launches September 21, 2010.


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