Game Over Online ~ Test Drive Offroad 2

GameOver Game Reviews - Test Drive Offroad 2 (c) Accolade, Reviewed by - Rebellion

Game & Publisher Test Drive Offroad 2 (c) Accolade
System Requirements P133 16mb RAM
Overall Rating 33%
Date Published Sunday, November 8th, 1998 at 03:38 PM

Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

Once again, Accolade is back to give us another installation of Offroad. With Accolade cleaning up their lineup, I was sort of suprised to see this one become a sequel. It's, as the title suggests, offroad racing. It's also the sequel to Test Drive Offroad, hence the two. I'm not sure how many of you liked the original, but I, for one didn't care for it a whole lot, but it was fun. Lets see how it's '98 offspring does.

Let me start off just by saying that this is one of the most horrendous uses of 3dfx I've ever seen. (Good start eh?) It's not smooth, it's blocky, the cars look like what they're supposed to, but just barely. (Okay for all of you who just read the first paragraphs of the reviews, feel free to hit your back button now). While my screenshots look pretty good, something about the actual movement destroys anything that looks halfway decent in the screenshots. Once again, you'll be seeing a hell of a lot of sprite graphics. As we've all known for at least two years, sprites are 2D, and what's t-w-o-D? It's ugly crap. The backgrounds are those generic ones that just move around like the mountains in Pole Position. Lighting effects are pathetic. You're only going to see lighting effects in tunnels. Here it will make your screen look like you've turned your brightness up a little ways for a second or so and then immediately go away. No fade in/out effect, it's just there and then it's not. No visual damage adds to make it yet another boring racing game. There was a little bit of clipping problems, which from the rest of the shoddy graphics I found surprising. Your track graphics are pretty much brownish, grayish, whitish, or whatever ugly textureless ground seems fitting to the "exotic" places you'll be racing. You also get a selection of ten views. You set this in the options either before the race or from the pause screen, there's no hotkey for changing your view, which is beyond me. It supports 3DFX and Software rendering. Other than the fact that the software rendering is pixelated.. there's not much difference.

Moving along... well, it's not going to get any "bonus" points from its generic subpar audio selections. You get digitized high pitched engine noises, granted the pitch is different between each vehicle. COME ON, I'M DRIVING A FREAKIN HUMVEE AND IT SOUNDS LIKE MY OLD 80cc DIRTBIKE. I also thought digitized engine noises went out when I got this nifty thing called a sound. Oh well. You'll also get a plethora of idiotic background speech when you do a really high jump or bump into another vehicle. These range from "WOW MAN!" to "YOU PUNK!" Boy, I'm impressed already, maybe I should go into Accolade and audition for Background Voice Guy on Test Drive Offroad 3 so you can me go "Hey watch it or I'll take off my pocket protector!" The environmental sounds are either there or they're not. No 3D sound, nothing fades in or out, it's just there or it's not. You also get pretty generic shock/frame creaking when you take turns or land jumps. Other than all these wonderous sound bits, you're not going to find much more.

The ideas behind the game are slightly different than the original. It's broken down into different race classes. Each race class (except for the open) has a few different vehicle types, although it mostly breaks down into an upgraded model of the ones currently available. You need to have a vehicle built for the class you want to race in. This requires you to have money to purchase the vehicle. You're limited to the SUV class and the Safari class at the beginning of the game and you'll need to earn money. You have to race a certain amount of tracks in order to beat each class. Unfortunately, the track selection isn't the greatest. As if repeating the same tracks over and over with each race class wasn't bad enough, you'll have to repeat them over and over going in the opposite direction!

Oh boy, it's gameplay at it's worst. The physics are terrible, the control is pathetic, and it just feels entirely too fake. When I first fired it up, I took off and started whizzing around the course. I was flying, taking the turns on two wheels, etc. etc. Then I looked at my speedometer and I was doing 32 miles per hour. Ummmmmm.... yah that's REAL realistic. I take my Cutlass Supreme around curves faster than that and I don't lose speed turning my wheel an inch. You go uphill you lose speed, you go downhill you gain speed. You drive off the main part of the road and you go almost to zero in two seconds. It doesn't affect control of your vehicle, you just pretty much slow to a standstill. Very VERY realistic... um oh wait, I was thinking of how Colin McRae played, nevermind. I was using a gamepad to play this game and for some reason, it was always un-calibrated. I went back to Windows and recalibrated it and it still didn't appear to do much. In addition, the control over your vehicle was terrible. It just doesn't respond very well. Most of the time, you'll touch it and it overreacts and I'm slowing down. (Since like I said before, you'll slow down if you're not driving straight) Or when I want to make a big turn, it hardly turns at all. Let's get on with the physics of the game. I just love doing huge jumps over a little bump. It adds so much more fun to the game. You also roll over randomly in the game. I thought this was a nice feature since I had problems with the controls and I'd run headon into a post and I'd roll over so the post wasn't in front of me. There is no level of realism whatsoever in this game and it just makes the game incredibly boring.

Fun? Who said anything about fun? I didn't get any entertainment from this title at all. I wasn't a big fan of the original, but at least it was fun for a little while. Right from the start, my mind went numb as I saw how boring and repetitious this game was going to be. I can't say there was anything enjoyable and there's nothing redeeming here. It's pretty much just plain crap in a nice wrapper. Accolade's probably going to get away putting this thing out to the public, but if I bought this, you'd better believe I'd be asking for my money back and then some. I should get some of the designers money just for being subject to this kind of punishment.

It's got multiplayer. It appears to be lan only since that was the only option that showed up when I clicked on host. I didn't play it, because God knows I didn't want to subject myself to any more of this punishment.

Overall, stay as FAR away as possible from this game. If you're looking for something decent in this genre, I'd suggest the Monster Truck Madness series, or maybe the first Offroad. All three of these games are far better. Even Ruskies can make games better than this. HardTruck beats this game hands down in everything as well. After my reviewing experience, I'm thinking of petitioning Walmart not to carry this game because it may cause violence or psychotic behavior from customers trying to return it.

Highs: ummm .. It uses 3DFX? I can almost add up the score on my fingers!
Lows: It uses 3DFX ... poorly, terrible physics, realism, control. No entertainment


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