Written by  :  5u3 (197)
Written on  :  Mar 28, 2008
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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A mixed bag

The Good

This compilation includes the famous racing game Test Drive II and all the add-on scenery and car disks released for it.

The car disk Supercars re-introduces the cars already seen in the first Test Drive game. At first glance it seems Accolade made a wrong decision to ship the world's two fastest vehicles in the basic game and feature a couple of slower ones in the add-on disk. This impression changes when you've driven them for a few miles: The real-world performance of the add-on cars is nicely represented in the game, they even got new graphics for this release. Moreover, slower car performance means you have a harder time evading those pesky police patrols, and overtaking manoeuvres get even more exciting this way.

If you drove along the standard scenery road so often that you know the location of every radar trap and address the cops by their first names, maybe it's time you tried the California Challenge instead. This scenery disk simulates a race along the coast from the north down to the Mexican border. Of course this means the notorious "cliff road" experience returns another time, but after all this is what Test Drive is about, and the track is exceptionally well designed. There are quick successions of tunnels, elevations, fast highway sections followed by tight cornered mountain roads, all packed with traffic to weave through and radar traps to avoid.

The Bad

Unfortunately the other two the add-on disks fall short of expectations.

The Muscle Cars on the second car disk don't offer much variety, they are all very similar: Sluggish with laggy steering. Also, their graphics don't have the same polished look as the other cars. Somehow they don't seem to fit into the game at all.

The European Challenge scenery disk looks promising at first, with all the new sprites for landscape, traffic and roadside attractions. However, in the attempt to satisfy all those well-known clich├ęs known about Europe, the designers neglected the track design, resulting in some very boring sections to drive through. For example, the part representing the German autobahn goes on straight ahead with nothing to happen for miles, whereas in Italy there are unrealistically long turns so crowded with traffic that you constantly rear-end other cars just because you don't see them coming.

The Bottom Line

If you get the chance to purchase the add-on disks individually, choose the Supercars and California Challenge, these really add fun and diversity to the game. The other two only appeal to collectors.