STAFF REVIEW of Test Drive Off-Road: Wide Open (Xbox)

Sunday, November 25, 2001.
by Stephen Cameron

Test Drive Off-Road: Wide Open Box art This game is from the makers of Midtown Madness for the PC, what happend? This game is an obvious port job, meaning that it came from another console with lesser abilities, and it shows. The AI is so bad...that it ALWAYS tries to run you off the road when you pass. Very fustrating! Be careful buying this game...if you don't mind that it's a port from another console and the AI will get you fired up. Sure, buy it. I've played many off-road racing games, and this one could have been so much more. The game play concept is very good, but delivered in a weird way. Angel Studios doesn't have a reputation on putting out games like this (Scratching my head). You want a off-road title that is better, get 4x4 Evolution 2 (It's a port too, unfortunately).

The overall controls are very good, and truck physics are believable...but the AI stinks. The AI makes passing almost impossible....they kamakazee into you every single time. This game has tremendous potential, but suffers alot with it's annoying qwirks. If you plan on playing this with AI, but with other real gamers, it's a pretty nice game. Sometimes when you try to climb a hill the traction goes out the window, it feels like the truck is climbing a hill of ice. The nice parts of this game are the variety of levels, stadiums, vast outdoor terrains, make this game not a dust collector right away. Don't get me wrong, this will keep you entertained for a while...but not a long time.

Graphics could be so much better. The 3D truck models are very well put together, and they appear very accurate. The environments just don't seem that well done....there is a lot of pixelization going on here on the terrain. The waterfalls in Yosamete need to look like the DOA3 waterfalls....100 times better than the ones in the game. The Xbox has the power use it. Some of the environments are very cool, and very nice, but it needs more attention to details. Also, the trucks even get dirty after a while...very nice touch.

The trucks have a really weird sounds to them...I've never for one driven a truck through piles of mug....the the motor sounds at higher revs sounded fake. The soundtrack selection is quite good, the tunes keep you rocking throughout the terrain and races. The stadium environment sounds are quite good, it feels like you are in a big arena. Very well done on that.

Use the Xbox's powerful graphical potential. No more PS2 ports...the PS2 is a year old. 3D model crushing on collision. Dirt could wash off when you go in the water.

Keep the soundtrack...improve the sounds.

Overall: 6.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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