REVIEW: Test Drive: Eve of Destruction

In our inaugural Xbox review we’re taking a look at Test Drive: Eve of Destruction developed by Monster Games Inc. and published by Atari. Having just gotten my Xbox this past Christmas I haven’t had a chance to play too many racing games on the Xbox, but I have played quite a few in my day. The first of which, if I remember correctly, being Test Drive on the Tandy 3000. Anyway, enough about me let’s get to the game. Publisher: AtariDeveloper: Monster Games Inc.Genre: RacingRelease Date: 08/24/2004Game Features:

  • Players 1-4
  • Custom Soundtracks
  • In game Dolby Digital
  • HDTV 480p
  • Game PlayWhen you fire this game up you have two basic choices to choose in order to start playing. You can choose either Action mode or Career mode. The bulk of the game is in Career mode. You start off at the lowest point of your career with a ranking of 100 and you have a piece of junk car. As your career moves along you can buy new cars and upgrade them once you rank is high enough. The are a few spots on the initial map where you can purchase cars, spruce up your current car, or challenge other drivers for straight cash. As you move up the ranks you unlock videos of real destruction races. I can’t believe that people actually do some of this stuff.The game features 30 vehicles to choose from. With everything from compact cars, to buses (even a school bus), ambulances, muscle cars, and even a hearse (complete with coffin). Each vehicles handles differently, which helps keep the game slightly fresh.In addition to earning cash you must also earn reputation points. You can earn them by winning the race or taking out the most opponents. Reputation points also unlock new cars, events, and items. In Action mode you can select any vehicle that’s unlocked, same goes for tracks. There are a total of 25 different events to play either vs. the computer or up to three friends, if you have that many. I found the computer really easy to beat in almost everything except the Gauntlet event. You must complete 5 laps before your vehicle is destroyed. I haven’t done it yet. Some of the other events include Battle, where you fire exploding chickens at the competition, Soccer, where two 3-player teams try to score with a giant soccer ball, and a Suicide race, where all the competition is divided in half and races in the opposite direction. It makes it fun when you attempt to pass someone and another car is right there. Some these events are a blast when you’re playing multiplayer. Try the Demolition Derby out while driving the bus… too much fun.The only thing really missing is the feeling of speed. Although the main focus is destruction it could have been faster. The fastest car I’ve driven get up to about 80 miles an hour and I just didn’t feel as though I was moving more than 10 miles an hour.The biggest downside, however, is the lack of LIVE support.ControlsThe controls are pretty simple and will only take a few races to get them down. The controls are as follows:Left thumbstick – steer vehicleRight trigger – accelerateLeft trigger – brakeA button – handbrakeB button – reverseX button – rearview cameraY button – change camera viewWhite button – special (fire weapon/turbo)There are 3 different camera views you can play with. I personally enjoy the outside car view as opposed to on the wheel or inside the car view (you see part of the frame and the tires). GraphicsTest Drive: Eve of Destruction doesn’t feature any ground breaking graphics or invent anything new, but it a solid looking game.When you start the game you’re given a crappy car and it looks crappy. You feel as though you driving a hunk of junk. When your vehicle takes on damage it looks pretty good as well. You can lose tires, dent doors, lose doors, smash the crap out the back and front end of the car and it all looks like you’d expect, and even spew out smoke. From going to some local races in the area that my uncle used to compete in I was amazed to see how well they captured the backyard arena feel. It looks dirty and even gives of the feeling of dirtiness.AudioThe audio isn’t the greatest I’ve heard in a game, but it does feature a decent soundtrack from good artists. The best thing is you can customize the soundtrack from the game so you can listen to whatever may float your boat while smashing other cars into walls. The effects are fairly basic, just really enough to get the job done, but I would have preferred some louder crashing and crimping noises.With most racing games there is an announcer right. We’ll same goes here and I barely notice him unless I’m listening for him. He’s not overly annoying and only chimes in occasionally. Conclusions & Final ThoughtsTest Drive: Eve of Destruction doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, but it is fun to play multiplayer. My brother and I played for a few hours without even noticing the amount of time that went by. The biggest downfall in this game is there’s not much to do once you’ve finished the game unless you want to play multiplayer. LIVE support would have helped this game score a little higher, but it should be checked out by anyone who likes to crash and smash into cars.Game Play – 7.9There may not look like there’s a lot to do but with so many different events, tracks and cars it keeps somewhat interested so you can unlock them. The multiplayer was the fun for me.Graphics – 7.3While nothing really stands out on screen the destruction is well done. The cars look like the hunk of junks there suppose to be or the cool backyard racers they’re meant to be. The tracks remind me a little of watching my uncle “Wrong Way Reg” race every Sunday.Audio – 6.5From watching so many DVDs I expect a lot from my audio whether it be movies or games and Test Drive: EOD just didn’t do it for me. I would have liked to have felt as though I was in the car with some better effects.Replay Value – 7As I said I prefer the multiplayer as its much more fun. Although once you’ve completed the Career mode there isn’t too much to call you back.Reviewer Sway – 7.5Although the graphics and sounds aren’t fantastic, and the Career mode doesn’t take too long to complete the multiplayer make this game more fun than it should be.Overall – 7.2

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