Imagine a game world, like any MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online), featuring a vast world for you to explore. You have a character you have customised with clothes and kit , you have a home base you have decorated with items purchased with your spoils. You have missions and objectives to pursue.
The game world is a huge island, and it is populated with thousands of other gamers, like you, there to compete and be the best.
But this island isn’t populated with Orcs and demons. It is populated by Ferraris, Corvettes and Lamborghinis. Your character isn’t a leather-clad warrior; he is a sharp-as-tacks dude sporting the coolest real-world clothing brands, sunnies and shoes.
The game is Test Drive Unlimited, and it’s the world’s first racing-based real world MMO.
It’s set on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and the developers have spent years recreating every street, highway, beach and building. The detail is phenomenal, and for residents of the real Oahu it must be a blast to drive past their own house or apartment block.
Playing in the game, you start with a few dollars after your fictitious plane lands on the island. Renting a car, you hit the streets, and that’s where the game begins. Money comes from winning races. Get money and you can buy a better car, or a nicer house to garage your collection in.
To race – and here’s the sweet part – just spot another car you want to take on, and flash your headlights at them. If they accept, it’s on, and without delay you’ll be racing someone else playing the game, wherever they are in the world.
We have trialled a preview version and the experience was compelling. Like every MMO, the hook is rewarding the player, and that runs strong in this game because you’ll quickly want a faster car to drive, and that only comes through winning.
We’ll bring you a full review once we’ve been able to properly test the online play. Right now, Test Drive Unlimited looks to deliver a completely new and exciting online MMO experience.
Test Drive Unlimited will first be released on PC in October. An Xbox 360 version will also be available. The game will be published by Atari.