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The three race types’ Circuit, Blitz, and Scramble, make you alter your driving style significantly, though they’e all some form of checkpoint racing. Wide Open is more forgiving and easier to win than Smuggler, which is good for some, bad for others. If you liked the go-anywhere idea behind Smuggler’ Run but found the game too difficult, your future is Wide Open.
In the end, I believe Infogrames lived up to the promise of bringing an excellent off-road title. Angel Studios did a great job of creating an amusing and most importantly a fun title that features enormous, never ending environments, very good car detail, and an excellent sense of speed. The game will last for weeks thanks to its lengthy career mode and various secret races and cars. Despite what you may have heard, Test Drive Off-Road: Wide Open is a great game, and is a recommended purchase for those looking for a racing title, or for the off-road fan out there. Simply put, this game is fun.
It was a breath of fresh air as far as racing games go, it’s just too bad the air wasn’t THAT fresh. Yeah, the game is easy to pick up and generally fun to play, but it’s missing that special something that elevates games to greatness. Maybe it was hollow audio, maybe it was the missing sharp graphics. Either way, an all around racing game.
The next generation of consoles brings with them the hope that Infogrames' Test Drive series of games will be able to turn over a new leaf. The series got off to a rousing start with Test Drive Le Mans for the Sega Dreamcast and its enhanced port Le Mans 24 Hours for the Sony PlayStation 2. Now, one of the Test Drive mainstays, the Off-Road series, has followed suit with Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open for the PS2. The game sports realistic physics, a variety of gameplay options, and true to its namesake, massive, wide-open environments. Angel Studios' driving game engine has been put to good use in the game, and although not quite as free roaming as its other PS2 game, Smuggler's Run, Off-Road Wide Open adeptly captures the feeling of driving through undulating off-road terrain.
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
It may not hold up to the current crop of top-drawer racers on the PS2, but Test Drive Off-Road: Wide Open is a solid offering that fills a niche nicely. Featuring off-road action with an arcade twist, you can literally readjust your car’s alignment as you sail through the air, and damage modeling is just a figment of your imagination. As such, those looking for off-road realism will pull away disappointed, while arcade fans will have their hands full for quite a while. Sadly, though, this iteration of the Test Drive license lacks the staying power of offerings like Test Drive: Le Mans 24 Hours and starts to suffer from its mediocre graphics and limited number of environments. The resulting sense of deja-vu is doubly concerning when one considers that the career mode feels very tacked-on and offers very little extra value to the package. For those who love their racing titles served octane side up, however, Test Drive Off-Road: Wide Open has exactly what they need to get their fix.
The game is thankfully free of any seriously rough spots. It's still a solid effort, and ranks just shy of a must-have for all racing fans. If you're into off-road racers you should definitely give it a go. This third Test Drive Off-Road game is easily the best yet for the series.
Three venues are available: Moab National Park in Utah, Yosemite National Park in California, and one
merely listed as Hawaii. They're well rendered, with unexpected treats such as a freshly extinguished
Yosemite forest fire (complete with spot fires and plenty of smoke) and some freshly cooled - in part -
lava next to an active volcano in Hawaii.
Sadly the realism seems to taper off - rapidly - about here. Driving physics are at times weird, going
from the sort of response you'd expect from a big 4WD with some weight and a high centre of gravity to
Gran Turismo-like grip in a matter of seconds. Vehicles return to the upright as easily as they roll, and
perhaps, thankfully, there's no representation of damage, which would add more realism. Especially
since the vehicles will handle 350-metre vertical drops with aplomb. Certainly more than a human spine
The game's action is unquestionably fun and a pleasure to watch, but a plethora of minor flaws add up to nearly counteract the off-road ecstasy. Although there are numerous gameplay modes, the game's shortcomings plague them all.
Daher wäre es schon fast wünschenswert, dass das Spiel einen hastig zusammengestückelten Eindruck hinterlassen würde, der die spielerischen Mängel erklären könnte. Doch leider wirkt vieles im Spiel zu durchdacht, als dass man die Probleme als fahrlässig bezeichnen würde - zumindest in den Berichen Grafik und Physik. Da das magere Spielprinzip aber weit abgeschlagen dahinter zurück bleibt, werden sich wohl nur hartgesottene Off-Road-Fans uneingeschränkt mit Off-Road Wide Open anfreunden können.
Schade - denn wie das Beispiel Insane auf dem PC zeigt, steckt in Off-Road-Rennen eine Menge Potenzial.
The PS2 isn't just a baby in messy diapers anymore. It's nearly a year old now and getting to be a big boy. It's still scared of the dark and can't tie it's own shoes but it's about time it got a chance to start acting its age and show us what it can do, give us doting gamers the opportunity to see it taking on a consistent stream of games that are more interesting, more involving and offer more variety than what the PSOne has to offer. Even a dismal series like Test Drive: Off Road should be able to redeem itself with the PS2's technology and burgeoning adolescence.
Game Informer Magazine
The gameplay is fun, but there isn’t much challenge here. Unlike Kristian, I thought the graphics were adequate, it's just that the experience didn’t leave me wanting more. An average racer, which loses a couple of points for being of the off-road variety.
Doing stuff you're supposed to do isn't always fun. Sometimes you just look out your window and think, "hey it would kick ass if I veered off the road and just started driving through that corn field." Well, if you think like that enough, then read on my friend, read on.
En somme voici un titre à l'intérêt tout relatif et à la réalisation qui laisse l'impression d'un développement vite fait mal fait. Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open offre bien peu de challenges et de plaisir de jeu avec un gameplay bien trop fade et des sensations de conduite quasi inexistantes. Un titre qu'il conviendra d'éviter, dans une catégorie proche et par la même équipe, un Smuggler's Run est beaucoup plus amusant.
On serait tenté de dire que Test Drive Off-Road n'est pas un jeu catastrophique... si ce n'est qu'il n'arrive pas à se démarquer de Smuggler's Run sorti il y a un an. Techniquement ce dernier est même largement plus abouti (pas de clipping par exemple, malgré une ligne de vue plus impressionnante) et seule l'absence de gestion du volant semble le pénaliser face à Test Drive Off-Road. En bref, ce nouveau titre de la série Test Drive n'a que très peu d'intérêt et ne séduira qu'un public restreint et peu exigeant.
Game Informer Magazine
What fun! A built-in seizure inducer! Aside from that, the graphics are poor to the point of being silly and the sounds…Well, frankly, they suck. I’m not sure how else to say that without being censored. If you’re in the market for a good off-road racer for PS2, go with 4x4 Evo or Smuggler’s Run before you dole out your hard-earned bills for this toilet rust.
To conclude – this game is a weak entry into the field of the PS2 racer and should be avoided unless you’re desperate. I find no redeeming features and the two-player mode is just a little better, but in the end it leaves you feeling like a flat tyre. If Gamesxtreme had a turkey-award then this would qualify, lock stock and two smoking barrels for it.