Test Drive: Unlimited 2

Common Sense Media says

Ambitious but flawed racer glamorizes illegal street racing.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game glamorizes the concept of dangerous underground racing and offers players the ability to engage in virtual gambling. It also neglects to accurately depict the consequences of high speed car collisions, which could lessen the perception of the danger involved in street racing, particularly in younger players.

Positive role models

The game’s protagonist is a speed junkie interested in nothing but racing cars, both in reality television races and against anyone he/she encounters in the game’s open world. He/she seems to have no compunctions about the dangers involved with or illegality of the game’s races.

Ease of play

There’s a lot to take in, but everything ramps up slowly. Players are introduced to new features and race types gradually as they explore the game’s massive world. Driving controls are more or less standard for the genre, and beginners can turn on multiple driving assists for a simpler, more arcade-like experience; though some of these aids get switched off for compulsory -- but relatively easy -- driving tests.

Violence

Cars crash into one another and the environment, but no people get hurt and vehicles suffer little if any damage.

Sex

Female characters wear revealing clothes, including low cut tops, extremely short miniskirts, and bikinis. Their breasts undulate noticeably as they walk and move.

Language

The soundtrack includes a song with the word “s--t.”

Consumerism

This game glorifies real world cars and car brands and encourages players to spend virtual money on character clothing and car modifications.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The soundtrack includes a song by Mr. SOS that references a strain of marijuana called “chronic.”

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Test Drive Unlimited 2 is a racing game designed to be played online with other players, complete with open voice communication. The game world is a massive area in which players can encounter other human drivers and wager virtual money on impromptu races. Events are often unsanctioned, and illegal street races take place in public areas, though no people are ever shown being hurt -- not even the drivers themselves, who can continue racing as though nothing has happened even after the worst crashes.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

An open-world driving game set on the tropical islands of Ibiza and Hawaii, TEST DRIVE UNLIMITED 2 allows players to enter impromptu races against anyone they happen to run across in the game’s world. They can bet on the outcomes of these races to earn virtual cash that can be used to purchase clothes, furnishings, car modifications, and other items. A story mode exists as well, with players working through a series of licenses and championships that help them earn prestige. As players continue to race and explore, they work toward levelling up by meeting objectives in four categories: competitions; collection of game items such as vehicles, homes, and haircuts; discovery of new areas on the map; and socializing, which can involve making friends, creating challenges for others to try, and joining clubs.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If nothing else, Test Drive Unlimited 2 is an ambitious game. There are hundreds of square miles to explore, dozens of hours worth of single-player competitions, loads of items to collect and objectives to complete, and nearly limitless challenges to be both created and found while playing online. But the enormity of the game’s world also causes some problems. By focusing on scope, the game’s developers seem to have neglected important details. Environments are in turns bland, empty, and repetitive, never sparkling with the vibrancy and near-photo realism of other recent racing games -- save perhaps during inclement weather, when we get to see some lovely effects. Plus, motoring through the empty tropical wilderness for long minutes can become tedious. Perhaps most importantly, the car handling never feels quite right, regardless of whether you play with driving assists on or off. Vehicles just seem to lack weight, floating around the road. Test Drive Unlimited 2 stands apart from the crowd, but not always for the better.

Online interaction: Players encounter other humans frequently in the game’s persistent online world. Players can chat with one another if voice communication is enabled, creating the potential for kids to be exposed to unsuitable subjects of discussion and share personal information. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for pre-teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the dangers of driving at high speeds. The drivers in this game never get hurt. What do you think would happen if you crashed into another car driving 100 miles per hour in the real world?

  • Families can also discuss the difference between sanctioned, legal races on closed circuits and street races set in public spaces. Why do you think drivers would want to engage in such a dangerous activity?

  • A recent study looked at whether players who take risks in racing games are more likely to take risks in real life driving. What do you think?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Atari
Release date:February 8, 2011
Genre:Racing
ESRB rating:T for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes, Simulated Gambling (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Test Drive: Unlimited 2 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old January 26, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Good but not for kids under 13

The game is a great game for xbox but there are a few references of sex and language such as mentioning testosterone pills and the words bi***, da**, he**. The game's language is not THAT vulgar
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byTom_Gamer_Tom March 11, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Its appropiate for just about any age.

Let's look at Grand Theft Auto..Violence, sex, drugs and a lot of language. Look at this game. NONE of that is here. A bit of bikini at the start, but nothing else. Its a game based on driving, nothing else. So, it has illegal street racing. The majority of appropiate racing games also have illegal street racing. Its nothing new to the genre, or to ANYONE. Anyone who hates this game, its your opinion. But this is a REALLY good game, and you'd have to be an idiot to think its rubbish or mature in any way.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bylilfootie14 February 13, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Educational value
Safety and privacy concerns

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