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Test Drive Unlimited 2: Burning rubber or burning out?

Burn cash in this shiny MMO racer

This one time, we drove our McLaren so fast that Test Drive Unlimited couldn't keep up.

It stopped streaming in more road and we were driving on a barely textured strip of grey before plunging off the edge of reality into a never-ending abyss. TDU was like that.

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It was one of the most amazing racers ever - a draw distance to the horizon, hundreds of cars and a beautifully mapped Hawaii to explore.

It was also buggy, had a barely coherent campaign, and had a handling model designed some time back in the 1860s to run on Charles Babbage's Difference Engine.

If you could love TDU in spite of its problems, you'd find a truly colossal game to love.

But Test Drive Unlimited 2 doesn't make you compromise. The sequel to the world's first and only Rich Bastard Simulator has a more slippy and slidey handling model, a new story-driven campaign, a refined engine and a whole new island - Ibiza.

In the five hours we played TDU2, we didn't make it to level 10 on the game's new four-point levelling system, unlocking the airport and letting us fly back to O'ahu, but neither did we struggle with the handling, wonder what to do next or get bored of just putting the pedal down on Ibiza's impossibly long and gently curving roads.

The game casts you as a valet for preposterously expensive cars driven by spiteful wealthy jerks, but very quickly throws you into an improbable street-racing tournament.

It sees you upgrade your little caravan and two-door garage for a swanky house penthouse and bloody great yacht.

While the first TDU left you to your own devices, TDU2 uses a handful of cutscenes and an auto-targeting GPS to always guide you to the next event.

Events are structured around a single boss racer - a series of time trials and races set out by one champion you'll have to beat before the next champion challenges you - but at any time you can reset your GPS and just explore the world with total freedom.

It's what Test Drive is best at: largescale exploration, instant challenges against other drivers investigating the MMO world and constant discovery.

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Garages, casinos and more unlock as you explore, and the game's new day/night cycle and dynamic weather make no road the same twice.

It's a game where no complaint has gone unanswered - and one where we didn't tumble off the edge into the Phantom Negative Zone and lose our grip on reality.

Order Games Master here and have it delivered straight to your door.