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Monday, 14 February 2011 09:32

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is almost unplayable

Written by David Stellmack
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Title launched with too many bugs
Developer Eden Games might want to have a serious talk with their Quality Assurance department, as someone must have been asleep at the switch to let this title out the door. The release of Test Drive Unlimited 2 (or TDU2, if you will) that was released last week is a bug riddled mess. Take it from us: we have been trying to play the Xbox 360 version of the game since it was released, and we can tell you first hand that although things have improved since launch day there is a long way to go.

According to news from developer Eden Games, a number of network-reliant game components have been taken offline already in an effort to make things more playable while the developers sort things out. Eden claims that programmers have been pulled off other projects to work on solving the issues with TDU2, and they are not going home until this is working.

We have been the victim of several problems with TDU2, including the save game file becoming corrupt, freezing at the loading screen when the game starts up, free downloadable bonus car does not show up in the game, and inability to play online with friends. Actually, while we have seen a lot of buggy games in the past, normally this was during the beta process and not just after the title has been released.

In Eden’s defense, it does seem that the title is getting better as they seem to be making changes to the servers behind the scenes that seems to improve the experience and solve some of the bugs; but we suspect that the developers will have to push down an actual patch on the client side to really solve a lot of these problems.
The entire situation makes one question how this could happen. You would think that publisher Atari would want to make sure that a game did not arrive in this condition, but apparently either no one encountered the bugs or they simply never got fixed. We understand that developers are under tight timelines to get titles out the door, but when you spend $50 for a game you have a right to expect that it has been tested and is reasonably bug free. Apparently, this is not so with this game.

It will be interesting to see how Eden and Atari deal with this issue. While we are sure that they will continue to work on the code and issue patches on both the client and server side to address issues, what are they going to do to repair their credibility that has taken a serious hit as a result of this? We suggest that they consider giving away some free stuff to players to try to make up for the entire mess, but we suspect that nothing will happen other than the game will be fixed. We suspect that many consumers will be taking a harder look at Atari titles before buying them again until they hear that they are reasonably bug free; and that isn’t a good thing for the publisher.


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