Review by theblooshuw

"Surgeon General's Warning:Fast, Fun, And ADDICTIVE"

Test Drive is the kind of game that every Test Drive before it should have been. Pitbull Syndicate has created an arcade driving masterpiece that no racing fan should be without.

Simply some of the best looking car models on the PS2. It doesn't quite out-do Gran Turisimo 3, but they are still very, very nice. Also, you can change the color of any car on the fly, or just create a custom color of your own. While the car's do look beautiful, the driver sitting in the seat looks horrid. This is only noticeable when you have a car with an open top, like the Cobra Coupe, but the character models look like they were done with PSone graphics in mind. But, while your driving at breakneck speeds, your not likely to notice. The scenery is lovely to look at, and the cars littered about the road look very well done. When your racing at night, lighting will begin to show itself, but its not like its a bad thing. Its beautiful to look at it, as the lighting adjusts to the position of your car. If your in a turn, the light will reflect off the side, and not on the top.

Pitbull Syndicate put a great deal of time into this game, but I wish they would have concentrated a little more on the driver AI of Test Drive. No matter what car I was driving at the time, every other car seemed to be faster and stronger then mine, blowing by me if I was to so much as TAP a wall, another car, etc. Although, this was meant to be an aracde style game, and it definently shows. P.B.S. really did a good job of maintaining that feel. The way the car handles, drives, accelerates, everything feels arcade-ish. Also, there are many, many extra modes of play. The ability to play as a cop is my favorite, but drag racing, single race, Underground, and a host of other options, really add to the re-playability of Test Drive.

Authentic soundtracks seem to be all the rage these days, almost more popular then realistic water affects. Anywho, many licensed bands pop up in this game, including Fatboy Slim, Saliva, DMX, and many more. The voices of some of the characters you'll meet in Underground mode are quite decent too, but no where near MGS2 quality (something that seems, is impossible to match.) Nothing too laugh out loud is present, but nothing that you'll want to lose your lunch over. The sounds of the cars are nice too, whether your scraping up against another car, or your reving your engine, getting ready to race, everything sounds authentic.

Test Drive is a bare bones, balls-to-the-wall kind of racer; did you expect some confusing controls or something? Test Drive features 3 buttons while racing;gas, brake, and power-slide. I never used the Power-Slide button to much, since the only button I needed to use while driving was the brake button. One good thing those, is that response time for all of these buttons is very, very quick. If there's a difference in the amount of time you press and the button, and the game reacts, I certainly can't tell.

Final Thoughts
After being basically a laughing stock of a developer, Pitbull Syndicate has redeemed itself,and created one helluva game. Act like the old Test Drive games don't exist; it'll make this one seem even more enjoyable.

Final Stats
Graphics - 9
Gameplay - 9
Sound - 8
Controls - 9
Buy Or Rent - Buy

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/09/02, Updated 06/09/02

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