Test Drive II: The Collection (Accolade) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power


Test Drive II: The Collection
By Accolade
Amiga 500

 
Published in Amiga Power #5

Test Drive II: The Collection

At the heart of this rather inevitable compilation is Test Drive II: The Duel, which is a driving game (obviously) and the sequel to Test Drive (even more obviously). So everything's going to depend on whether or not you like The Duel. That's pretty obvious too. In case you're not sure, here's what it's all about, and what I think about it.

Despite all the hype and general American-ness, it's actually a very straightforward driving game, in which you've got to negotiate the usual 'road' while keeping an eye open for other drivers (crash into them and you lose a life) and the police, who'll give you a ticket if they catch you speeding.

Part of the game's supposed appeal is the way it simulates the car you're meant to be driving, right down to its acceleration curves and engine sound. The Duel also builds on the original Test Drive by allowing you to race against an additional computer-controlled car (if you want).

And, is it any good? Lots of people seem to think so, but I'm not entirely convinced. The roads are certainly impressive, especially the tunnels and cliff-edge bits. The bit-mapped graphics lead to a few spook effects, though - like if you spin off the road and end up at right-angles to it you can see all the other cars driving past sideways! And if you get close enough to another car to crash into it, it turns out actually to be a 1/32 scale replica. But the main problem is the lack of an impression of speed; something common to most of these 'old-style' driving games which is only solved by the introduction of proper 3D graphics (a la Stunt Car Racer and Indy 500). All the same, The Duel is probably one of the best driving games around and has plenty of devotees.

And then there are the four add-on disks. Two of these contain extra cars to supplement the original game's Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959. There's the Muscle Cars disk, which contains five atrociously crap Sixties American 'sports' cars, and the Supercars disk which features things like the Lotus Esprit, the Lamborghini Countach and (oh dear!) the Corvette ZR1.

Strangely enough, they all seem to suffer from the same wobbly steering system which, until you get used to it, means the slightest twitch of the wheel sends you spinning off down a cliff. It also credits a 4WD Porsche with similar handling to the crap American cars (i.e. not much).

The scenery disks are slightly more interesting. The European one takes you through all the key countries of our beautiful continent apart from, understandably, Britain. Curiously, our friend from the LAPD crops up a lot here too. And the California Challenge one takes you through several US states en route for the Mexican border.

Taking into account my earlier comments, then, this is a pretty safe bet as driving games go, but a bit samey even with all the extra. The price is very worrying though.

The Bottom Line

Test Drive II with all the trimmings. The game's okay, but if you've already got it give this a miss as all the trimmings don't really add up to much.

Jonathan Davies