Reducers and racing sets go hand in hand like Ford Mustangs and 5.0-liter V8s. They allow us to (practically) experience cars we could only dream of driving, allowing us to live out our automotive lifestyle fantasies. Plus, many know that few video games have done it better than Test Drive Unlimited from 2006 and its 2011 sequel.
The TDU Series allowed gamers to indulge their passion for cars with million dollar supercars, multi-million dollar garages, and luxury pitches. And now there’s a new one on the path called Solar Crown. It is developed by KT Racing and published by Nacon, who recently released a brief trailer for the highly anticipated title. Here are eight things you should know about the game.
8 Cars are exceptional
A central aspect of the previous two Test Drive Unlimited games has been working and living the most lavish lifestyle possible. With that in mind, expect a wide range of cars with an emphasis on premium automobiles and exotic cars, like the two seen in the trailer above.
Although a full list of cars has yet to be announced, from this trailer we can see many car keys from manufacturers such as Bentley, Mercedes, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Audi, Ferrari, etc. Additionally, copyright information (along with last year’s trailer pictured above) has apparently confirmed the presence of Dodge, Koenigsegg, and Porsche in the game.
7 Customization options galore
While the Test Drive Unlimited series was never known for widebody kits or the underglow neon, the previous two games allowed gamers to specify their new cars at dealerships like one would in real life. This meant various exterior and interior color options, as well as different rims to choose from.. Hopefully, while it’s yet to be confirmed, it should make a comeback – and improve – in Solar Crown.
On the other hand, what has been confirmed is the personalization of the characters. Alain Jarniou, Creative Director of KT Racing, said: “When it comes to your avatar, you will have a lot of customization options, like luxury clothing and accessories.” Jarniou has worked on the previous two TDU games and is currently involved in the production of the third, so it’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about.
Test Drive Unlimited and its sequel were developed by Eden Games and published by Atari. However, this is not the case for Solar Crown, because Atari sold the IP (Intellectual Property) Test Drive to BigBen Interactive in 2016. BigBen, a French video game company, became Nacon in 2020.
After acquiring the IP, Nacon entrusted Parisian developer KT Racing with the responsibility of producing the next installment in the Test Drive Unlimited series. The studio said it had worked on Solar Crown for “several months” before its first trailer released in July 2020. KT Racing is known to have created various other racing games released by Nacon, such as WRC 9 (pictured here) above) and Isle of Man TT 2.
5 The solar corona championship
The Solar Crown Championship, which debuted in the second Test Drive Unlimited title, is making a big comeback – such a comeback that the game has been named after it. During last year’s revelation, Jarniou described the championship as offering “players a variety of things to do and the freedom to progress in the game as they see fit.”
While details are currently extremely scarce on what exactly the Solar Crown Championship entails, a press release from Nacon mentions that it has “mysterious stakes.” Is there more to the solar corona than was originally planned? We’ll have to wait and find out.
4 Focus on social status
In previous Test Drive Unlimited games maybe racing was at heart, but what made them even more special was what you could do with the fame and money you earned. With TDU, he always includes elements to move up the social ladder, compete with rivals and live a luxurious lifestyle.
And already it has been very clear that this will be a major goal for Solar Crown, with Nacon going so far as to say “Social status is everything in the TDU world”. Hopefully this will allow players to start at the bottom and work their way up to becoming a racing legend.
3 An island in 1: 1 scale
The realistic, luxurious and exotic locations of the islands are at the heart of Test Drive Unlimited, so it’s good to see that Solar Crown will also be offering such a setting – a 1: 1 scale setting. do not yet know which island it will be, although some have their theories.
Some are speculating on various meanings behind the car’s license plates in the recent trailer, claiming that it could be contact details, a possible release date for the game, or whatever. For now, people are guessing places like Gran Canaria and Tenerife.
2 All the platforms you can play on
Something that was revealed during the recent trailer was the platforms Solar Crown will be released on. And as you can see, there are quite a few to choose from depending on what you have.
So while there is the latest generation of Playstation and Xbox – the PS5 and the Xbox Series X and S – it will also be available on the previous generation consoles: the PS4 and Xbox One. Additionally, it looks like Solar Crown will be available on the Nintendo Switch as well.
1 More to come in July
While some have been disappointed with the length of the recent trailer and the lack of new information, it’s safe to say that Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is relatively far from release, so it’s still early days. That being said, more will follow in July.
Does that mean the setting for the game is revealed? Maybe more cars will be announced? Maybe a little gameplay? Well, we just don’t know that yet, but it’s best to keep an open mind and not set your expectations too high. We will say, however, that a few short teasers already revealed got us excited and we can’t wait to see more.
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