Game Over Online ~ Test Drive 5

GameOver Game Reviews - Test Drive 5 (c) Accolade, Reviewed by - motion

Game & Publisher Test Drive 5 (c) Accolade
System Requirements P200 32mb RAM 4x CDROM
Overall Rating 66%
Date Published Wednesday, November 11th, 1998 at 04:41 PM

Divider Left By: motion Divider Right

>By: m0tion Divider Right

Many racing games have come out in the last couple of months. Some of them great, some of them spectacular and some of them were bad. Test Drive 5 has a lot of elements that have been used in other games of its style such as nice 3D graphics and lighting effects, along with high quality textures which add to the realism of the game. Unfortunately, these attributes are not adequate for a racing game in this day and age. It simply falls below the standard in almost every category.

Graphics: 12/20

Test Drive 5 supports Direct 3D and 3DFX, although neither is required. The graphics in the game aren't bad in software mode either so you will not be completely out of luck if you do not have a 3d accelerator. I did, however, see a lot of frame tearing with the shadowing effects, which made it kind of nasty to look at. Even with D3D and 3DFX acceleration the only 2 video modes available are 640x480 16-Bit color and 512x384 16-Bit color. This seems limited by today's standards as my Matrox G200 can do up to 1600x1200 in 32-Bit color depth. I found a lot of the reflection and fogging effects impressive, but the textures and modeling of buildings were put together in such a way that it looked really cheesy. The textures also seemed to be heavily mip-mapped giving them a "fuzzy" look. The graphics in this game just don't come up to the standard of games such as Need For Speed 3 and Dethkarz.

Sound: 10/15

There is nothing spectacular about the sound in Test Drive 5. It's there, engines roaring, tires peeling out, that sort of thing but its not anything different from any other racing game. The quality of the sound effects is reasonably high and relatively realistic which makes this category adequate but lacking in innovation. There is some speech in the game such as counting down at the start of a race.

Multiplayer: 1/5

The game includes 2 options for multiplayer: '2-Player' and 'Net play'. 2-player lets you and a bud play on the same computer, unfortunately you can't BOTH use the keyboard, which forced me to pull my joystick out of the drawer. Net play lets you play over the Internet (obviously). Lag isn't too bad either so you shouldn't have a problem playing with a friend that way.

Gameplay: 25/30

The gameplay is actually decently implemented. You choose your car, manual or automatic transmission, color, make and model and then you race. There is however nothing new about the gameplay and I found it VERY similar to Need For Speed 3. There are 28 cars to choose from and 18 different tracks to race in. I noticed that these tracks are modeled from cities around the world, which was a nice touch, but the graphics detract from this. When playing single player the difficulty isn't too hard: you just have to learn the basic controls and the layout of the tracks and you can get quite good. One of the serious problems I have with this game is the fact that a lot of the things your car does are unrealistic. For instance, when you get into a wreck your car will spin and flip in the air for what seems like forever and then instead of landing it just APPEARS on the ground in driving position. Lots of replay value if you enjoy the game, 28 cars and 18 tracks is a whole lot to test drive...

Fun Factor: 13/20

This game really didn't strike me as anything special and I doubt I'll be playing it a week from now. The truth is that other racing games such as DethKarz and Need For Speed 3 are much more gripping. Another thing that took away from the fun is the fact that I seemed to get a lot of lock-ups when in D3D mode. I'm not sure if this is a result of a fault on my part, but it certainly turned me off of the game.

Overall Impression: 5/10

My general impression of the game wasn't that great as it just seemed to be a copy of most of the other Test Drive series with different cars and more tracks. It falls short of the current standards set by newer racing games. I think Accolade was going on the idea that more game = more fun, but unfortunately this is not the case. The bottom line is that I wouldn't waste my money on this title unless your a DIE HARD test drive fan and in stead you should turn to other games such as Need For Speed 3.


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