Video Game / Test Drive
A Driving Game
series, Test Drive
has seen races across the globe, in almost anything with wheels. Test Drive Overdrive: Brotherhood of Speed
has the protagonist Dennis Black competing against opponents in order to reveal the kingpin behind the street racing scenes. Test Drive Unlimited
set players loose on the island of O'ahu
, Unlimited 2
adds the Spanish island of Ibiza. Ferrari Racing Legends
on the other hand is a track based racer with collections of classic layouts of famous racing tracks and only features, as the name suggests, Ferraris. It's a Long Runner
, as the series has been around since 1987, beginning under Accolade
and continuing under Infogrames and Atari
A third Test Drive Unlimited
is currently in development by Bigben Interactive, who acquired the rights to develop it from Atari SA in 2016.
Tropes in the series in general:
- Awesome, but Impractical: The TVR Speed 12 in the 2002 reboot is the most powerful car in the game next to the 2000 Viper Concept, but it handles like a greased pig.
- Bigger Stick: The acquisition of new and better vehicles, or upgrades for vehicles you already possess, like in any other case, is an invocation of this trope.
- Genre Shift: Not as exaggerated as Need for Speed, but every Test Drive game is different. The early ones (including the Off-Road spinoffs) are classic arcade racers, Overdrive puts storyline into mix, Unlimited goes Wide Open Sandbox, and Ferrari Racing Legends is a simulator.
- Hummer Dinger: The trope namer appears in the Off-Road spinoffs as one of the playable cars (AND as the cover car in the trilogy).
- Nintendo Hard: Test Drive 4 can be ridiculously impossible, even with the fastest cars.
- One Driver Army
- Improbably Cool Car: The Nissan Skyline GTR R33 (in 5) and R34, along with the Subaru Impreza 22B are these in 6 and the 2002 reboot.
- Rubber Band A.I.: Especially flagrant in the 2002 game. If you stay in first place long enough, the opponents will either get a super speed boost or teleport to right behind you.
- Sequelitis: The famous Pitbull Syndicate era. The fourth was a mediocre racer that aged badly, the fifth being an above-average racer, the sixth being a bad racer that tried to compete with Need for Speed, while being a bad Dreamcast game at launch. Overdrive was So Okay, It's Average.
Tropes in Test Drive (1987) and Test Drive 2: The Duel (1989):
- Cool Car: Test Drive features the coolest sports cars of its timenote and the Lotus Esprit Turbo.
- Copy Protection: The game used a wheel with car keys on it for answering a question.
- Critical Existence Failure: contact with vehicles, cars, or anything else instantly causes the car to crash - as does redlining the engine.
- Also, you actually have to stop at the gas stations at the end of each track, lest you run out of gas and lose a life. So there's no flying past the finish line like in all other racing games.
- Diegetic Interface: The game does not use a HUD; instead it uses the cockpits and dashboards of the car(s). Naturally, some Interface Screw can occur with the windshield.
- Enemy-Detecting Radar, used by cops to catch speeders. You can detect its use, but it can also mean there's an incoming truck.
- Level Goal: Checkpoints.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: The track is made of vector graphics without textures, everything else from the interior of the player's car to all other cars on the road (non-scaling sprites at various fixed scales drawn from ahead and behind) to the non-race screens are pixel graphics.
- Timed Mission: Timer is not displayed, and going to slow causes a loss at the next checkpoint.
- In fact, the clock is the only opponent you have in the first game. Actual races weren't possible before Test Drive 2: The Duel.
- Wraparound Background: The setting is a cliffside, but aside from turns, it's rather monotonous. It's similar to making the background go in a loop for a side-scrolling 2D game.
Tropes in Test Drive Overdrive: Brotherhood of Speed (2002)
- Ace Custom: Reese's Camaro and Skeeter's Chevelle and GTO.
- Action Girl: Several female opponents such as Marie Ling, Lisa Lux and Rei Ozawa.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Most races excluding Duel Boss races has the Practice mode where the players can test their skills before the actual race.
- Artificial Stupidity: Some opponents can even understeer and bump into traffic cars or walls. Even bosses can do that to trick the player.
- Big Bad: Vasily, the leader of underground street racing empire. Donald becomes this after Dennis defeated Vasily.
- But Not Too Foreign: Miguel, a Latin-European.
- Cliffhanger: Ends on a unresolved one only in the PlayStation 2 version, and it's unknown what happened to Dennis Black.
- Darker and Edgier: The storylines and the graphic styles are much grittier than the previous installments. To be fair, it is the darkest entry in the entire series.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Dennis managed to defeat Vasily only because Donald was injured in attempt to race him.
- Face–Heel Turn: Donald, The Mole who manipulated Dennis all along.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Exploited. Not many people like Donald, which is the main cause of his Face–Heel Turn.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Donald's injury is explained by Nells saying that his Viper crashed into and wrapped itself around a tree during the race against Vasily. Yet if you try to replicate that accident with any car, Viper included, in-game it will harmlessly bounce off the tree without so much as a dent.
- Mission Control: Donald.
- Police Are Useless: Downplayed. Some police cars do notify of races but they won't catch if the racers got too far.
- The Gambler: Hamada.
- Sequential Boss: Vasily, as well as Donald, races Dennis in a series of one-on-one races throughout four different cities.
- Serious Business: The entire tone of this game. Lampshaded by Donald during Dennis' encounter against Vasily.
- The Stinger: After Dennis defeated Donald in the final race followed by the credits, Donald tells Hail to steal back his car off-screen.
- We Used to Be Friends: Dennis and Resse. Dennis and Donald.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Some opponents are jealous of Dennis' victory.
Tropes in Test Drive Unlimited (2006/7) and Test Drive Unlimited 2 (2011):
See Test Drive Unlimited
Ferrari Racing Legends (2012 and 2013):
- Executive Meddling: It's said that Ferrari itself vetoed realistic damage and customization options beside the color of the cars.
- Genre Shift: Breaks the tradition of the series test driving happening on public roads. Also it is much less arcade and more simulation.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: The realistic driving physics when all aids are turned off are often called unrealistic because the cars appear to drift and spin so quickly.
- Saved from Development Hell: Development started as early as 2007.
- That One Level: As the three campaigns each are strictly sequential, necessary to unlock cars and tracks and each mission varying widely in difficulty, players who flew through a campaign can suddenly hit a (metaphorical) wall and have to retry again and again.