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Paradigm shift [Apr. 1st, 2007|01:03 pm]
[Current Music |Bijelo Dugme - Sanjao Sam Nocas Da Te Nemam]

Happy april fools!
And now, to serious stuff.

After a decade of rule by the Need For Speed series, the world of road racing sims on the PC has a new king.
Or, rather, an old one has returned. And in the production of another ancient name from the depths of time.

Atari recently released Test Drive Unlimited, thus bringing that once famous racing series back to its glory, and in the process upstaged EA's Need For Speed series which has estranged most of its early fans.
Ignoring the Fast&Furious teint recently found in many, many games of the genre, Test Drive Unlimited returns a concept that hasn't really been seen in a while, namely cars that most people can only dream about. Saleen S7, Lamborghini Murcielago, Ferrari Enzo, Pagani Zonda, and many others make up a very solid lineup, in total there's over 100 cars (127, I think... can't be bothered to check right now).
And even more importantly... 1000 MILES of roads. And in free roam mode, you can drive all of those roads.
Driving a Ferrari 288 GTO along a coastal highway, or a twisty mountain road... it's a wet dream for me. :)
The X-BOX version was released earlier, and has several additional cars for download, which likely means the PC version should be getting some of those as well soon enough.
There's also a multiplayer component, which is apparently pretty nice (though I'll probably never know).

The bad news?
Well, it requires a very fast computer. I applied some effects setting edits, a traffic removal hack and it's barely playable on my Pentium IV 1.50 GHz and Nvidia 6600. When there's computer opponents nearby it's pretty much unplayable. Thankfully, I'm used to playing games well below their intended specs and performance. :) (I also display some masochistic tendencies when it comes to computer performance, I always run stuff that's too demanding for my system)
It could use a bit more refinement. And it doesn't have any sort of advanced graphics options, all you can choose is the resolution, refresh rate, anti-aliasing and detail level.
And it takes up a whopping 8 GB of disk space.

In any case, I am overjoyed to see this game, I really like the freedom to roam around without having to do any missions. Or choose to do some racing if I feel like it.

Glorious days. I hope this game will make EA get off its ass and make thenext NFS game as great as the ancient Porsche Unleashed and earlier ones.