Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown We tried out the driving game demo on Steam

Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown We tried out the driving game demo on Steam

Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown is approaching launch on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series

Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown

Unlimited Test Drive: Solar Crown

Test Drive Unlimited: Three words that bring to mind quite a few memories, despite the fact that eighteen years have passed since the debut of the open world driving game from Eden Games, which at the time was able to revolutionize the classic brand To test drive by precisely introducing a freer approach and different lifestyle elements.

After acquiring the important license from Atari in 2016, Nacon officially announced Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown four years later, revealing that it had entrusted its development to French team KT Racing, already responsible for the WRC series.

So the work has been progressing for some time and the September release is now fast approaching, so the publisher has decided to make a copy available Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown demo To test the waters a bit and collect the latest feedback before launch: How did it go?

Heart of Test Drive Unlimited: Map and Features

Let’s start with some of the aspects that TDU fans are sure to expect to find in Solar Crown, which actually have little to do with the actual race. In fact, we are referring to the life implications that we mentioned at the beginning, which we find in this new episode on the front of the avatar customizations and the clothing and accessories store, while There is no possibility to buy houses.

Although it was implemented as a mere conversion in the past, it’s a feature that many took for granted back in Solar Crown, perhaps embellished with some mechanics meant to enhance it, and it’s really a shame that’s not the case, at least not at launch: Male Developers it They will address this deficiency “later”.

So we’ll have to “make do” with living in the luxurious Solar Hotel, a one-hundred-and-twenty-story building located in the heart of Hong Kong Island that serves as a map for Nacon’s driving game, Reproduced in its entirety It can be explored freely thanks to its 550 km of roads. Are they all particularly large? Actually no, in fact we were surprised by the diversity of the scenario and its ability to engage us even in races that take place within less comfortable sections, so to speak.

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Hong Kong Island at night in Unlimited Test Drive: Solar Crown
Hong Kong Island at night in Unlimited Test Drive: Solar Crown

Which brings us to talking about the setting, which it actually is It’s definitely new and bigbut in the demo, it is not very rich in points of interest: you can see dealers, the bases of some “gangs” that we will find ourselves interacting with during the campaign, speed cameras (which will only be driven at high speed), petrol pumps, workshops, and a hotel. The aforementioned solar energy and of course the events we can participate in.

Road test

In terms of gameplay, it offers Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown Simcade driving model Which doesn’t allow much when approaching hairpin turns, requiring us to use the brakes and find the right lane to cut the curve instead of going full speed, and perhaps resort to skidding so we can close it properly.

The Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown map also includes more brutal sections
The Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown map also includes more brutal sections

This is a possibility that the game does not exclude, and even allows for through the use of the handbrake, but in general The setting is less arcade than we imagined It showcases the skills that the KT Racing team has acquired over the years, trying to give us a system with some depth.

to be sure, The demo doesn’t offer much variety In terms of races and difficulty itself it seems to be scaled down, at least in the early hours. However, what appears seems reasonably rich and includes a series of quests that will certainly lead us to familiarize ourselves with the mechanics and structure of the Solar Crown, asking us for example to reach a certain level of experience in order to unlock tuning and further content. .

Our suite at the Solar Hotel by unlimited test drive: Solar Crown
Our suite at the Solar Hotel by unlimited test drive: Solar Crown

about that, We appreciate the auto access systemwhich works exclusively by purchasing the same thing once the necessary amount has been collected: we have recently been invaded by racers who donate vehicles in industrial quantities and this often translates into the impossibility of using them all correctly, while Solar Crown promises to strengthen its fleet of more than a hundred models. .

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List of available cars

UNLIMITED TEST DRIVE: Solar Crown divides cars into four different categories: daily drivers, off-roaders, supercars, and hypercars. Here is the complete list of cars that will be available in the game:

Abarth

Alfa Romeo

  • 2013 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
  • Alfa Romeo 8C Competition
  • Alfa Romeo 8C Spider
  • Alfa Romeo MiTo

Alps

Apollo

  • 2018 Apollo Intense Emotion

Aston Martin

  • 2017 Aston Martin DB11
  • 2018 Aston Martin Vantage

Audi

  • 2017 Audi Q7
  • Audi R8
  • Audi R8 Spyder
  • Audi TTS

BMW

  • 2018 BMW i8 Roadster
  • BMW M4 Competition

Bugatti

Chevrolet

  • Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  • 1957 Chevrolet Corvette C1
  • 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 C7

evade

  • 2020 Dodge Challenger
  • 2014 Dodge SRT Viper

Ferrari

  • 1982 Ferrari 308 GTS
  • 2009 Ferrari California
  • 2002 Ferrari Enzo
  • 1987 Ferrari F40
  • Ferrari FXX K Evo

stronghold

  • 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
  • Ford GT40
  • 1968 Ford Mustang
  • 2018 Ford Mustang GT
  • 2010 Ford Shelby GT500

Jaguar

Koenigsegg

Lamborghini

  • Lamborghini Centenario 2016
  • Lamborghini Huracan Performante 2017
  • Lamborghini Diablo
  • Lamborghini Urus

bayonet

  • 1992 Lancia Delta
  • 1975 Lancia Stratos

land Rover

  • 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

Lotus

  • Lotus Evora
  • 2017 Lotus Exige

Maserati

McLaren

Mercedes

  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz G 65 AMG
  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

April

  • 2009 Nissan 370Z
  • Nissan GT-R

Porsche

  • 2016 Porsche 911 R
  • Porsche 918 Spyder 2013
  • 2018 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
  • Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo

Shelby

Volkswagen

  • 1975 Volkswagen 1303
  • Volkswagen Beetle Baja Bug

Technically we’re not there

If in terms of gameplay and structure, Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown proves to be generally enjoyable, even without fine details, Technically, the KT Racing title is in really bad shape Frankly, we don’t understand the idea of ​​displaying it in this state on PC when there are only a few weeks left until the official launch.

Unlimited Night Drive Test: Solar Crown tries to give its best from a graphical point of view
Unlimited Night Drive Test: Solar Crown tries to give its best from a graphical point of view

The car models are well made and the scenarios appear reasonably detailed, but the lighting system, effects, characters, and overall presentation of Hong Kong Island… They give the feel of a very old product. The scenario is actually blank and the traffic behaves strangely, with cars appearing on screen or having jerky reactions (see Taxis).

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In short, the comparison with gems like Forza Horizon is unforgiving, not only in terms of overall visual performance but also and above all in terms of performance. Offers that at this moment are completely unjustified: Achieving 60 frames per second seems impossible even on high-end video cards, so with the RTX 4070 we had to resort to frame generation at 1440p (with all the elements that this solution brings with it) to be able to reach this goal.

One of the merchants we will have access to in Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown
One of the merchants we will have access to in Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown

So it doesn’t seem like the KT Engine is capable of supporting such an ambitious open world experience, and while some glimpses of Solar Crown aren’t bad at all, The look generally leaves something to be desired And the many graphical tweaks available are unable to expand the experience as much as one might expect.

The Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown demo available on Steam shows a decent product in terms of gameplay and structure, but is technically disappointing: aside from its generally outdated visual presentation, KT Racing’s title makes an amazing effort to achieve what should be the necessary requirements. Any modern racing game, that is, 60 frames per second. We don’t know when this version will return or if the developers will have time to fix everything between now and September, but for now, the sentiment isn’t entirely positive.

certainty

  • A very large map, and it seems to be diverse as well
  • Nice simcade driving model
  • The progression system seems to be well implemented

Doubts

  • Technically unacceptable at present
  • The city is empty and traffic is also poorly managed
  • Features you would expect from a TDU are missing

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