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Everything you need to know | traction

overview

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is an open-world driving video game where the main objective is to win races, tune cars and earn enough to buy new vehicles.

Built to a scale of 1:1 on Hong Kong Island, your lifestyle matters too. The city is divided into regions, there will be rival street racing groups, day-night cycles, and some sort of casino or auto-gambling mechanic.

There are two clans in Solar Crown:

  • The streets
  • The Sharp

As a player, you can join a cult and work your way through the ranks. Each clan’s headquarters is a place where you can celebrate victories, but also accept new missions to advance your career in a VIP area.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown pushed back to 2023, no longer on previous generation consoles

The game’s online functionality means you can meet other players on the street to compete against them or beat leaderboard times, but also browse retailers and workshops to see what’s for sale.

Ah yes, showrooms – much of the appeal of the former Test Drive Unlimited games will return, along with trying to find wrecked cars to restore.

Development team, game engine and series history

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is developed by Kylotonn, a French studio with two main offices: Paris and Lyon.

It has previously developed the official World Rally Championship games for over eight years, with 2022’s WRC Generations being the latest entry alongside two Isle of Man TT titles and restarts for V-Rally and FlatOut.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown pushed back to 2023, no longer on previous generation consoles

Previous driving games by KT Racing

  • Truck Racer (2013)
  • Motorcycle Club (2014)
  • WRC 5 (2015)
  • WRC 6 (2016)
  • FlatOut 4: Total Madness (2017)
  • WRC 7 (2017)
  • TT Isle of Man: Ride the Edge (2018)
  • V Rally 4 (2018)
  • WRC 8 (2019)
  • TT Isle of Man: Ride the Edge 2 (2020)
  • WRC 9 (2020)
  • WRC 10 (2021)
  • WRC generations (2022)

It will use Kylotonn’s proprietary KT engine technology, which underpinned the latest WRC games.

The game’s main protagonist, Alain Jarniou, has a pedigree with the series, having worked on Test Drive Unlimited and Unlimited 2. For the latter as Game Director, no less than created by Eden Games.

First take a look at the Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown engine environment

“We use our own engine, the KT engine, for our games and in fact both the WRC generations and Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown use the same engine,” Alain Jarniou told Traxion.GG last year.

“What we do for WRC will be helpful for Test Drive Unlimited.

“Some technology that we developed for Test Drive Unlimited is included in WRC Generations, for example the car paint shaders.

“All projects work together. We have been working on Test Drive Unlimited for years, people working on WRC Generations will of course come to help the TDU team.”

Alain Jarniou, KT Racing, Kylotonn, Nacon, 2022, Test Drive Unlimited Solar CrownAlain Jarniou, KT Racing, talks about WRC Generations and Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, Paris 2022

Speaking of which, Solar Crown will be the third Test Drive Unlimited game and also the 21st Test Drive game.

You see, the name “Test Drive” has been slapped onto every old racing game over the years. Originally a linear street driving game for the Amiga in 1987, over the decades it has simply become a moniker placed on various titles in various regions.

In 2000, the official game of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was reportedly part of the “Test Drive” series when it was sold in North America. That same year, V-Rally 2 – yes, it was sold in the US with a “Test Drive” preface – was sold on the Dreamcast.

Test Drive - Ferrari Racing Legends from 2012 comes from Slightly Mad StudiosTest Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends from 2012 is from Slightly Mad Studios and has nothing to do with Test Drive “Unlimited”.

Even Ian Bell’s Slightly Mad Studios released an underrated Ferrari spin-off in 2012.

One thing to keep in mind about Solar Crown is that it’s not really a sequel to any of the above games, just a direct sequel to the open-world games Unlimited:

  • Test Drive Unlimited (2006 – PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360)
  • Test Drive Unlimited 2 (2011 – PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

cars

The game will feature a range of real-world cars, not just sports cars, but also pickups and SUVs.

Parts of the HKI area feature off-road tracks so your McLaren or Porsche 911 may not be the best fit. Switching to a Ford F-150 Raptor or a modified Volkswagen Beetle may be better in some scenarios

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown dealer

We’ve compiled a list of all the cars revealed so far, but as a taster there are the contemporary hypercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder, classic Ford Mustangs and even some ’00s cars from the previous Unlimited titles like the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG. An eclectic mix with a nod to its lineage.

Think Manny Khoshbin’s collection, but in a virtual sense.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown AC Cobra Showroom

There will also be customization options, both for speed and aesthetics. A total of 13 types of power units in six categories for cars with internal combustion engines are available for each car. There will also be electric cars, models to be confirmed, with 12 customizable power unit types.

main properties

Interactive showrooms return for Solar Crown as a key component of a Test Drive Unlimited game. In previous games, you had to explore the environment, discover new dealers, and thus unlock the ability to buy new cars.

Similar to previous titles, the upcoming game lets you walk through an exhibition room – one of 14 – and get an up-close look at the metal. From there you can choose a color for the exterior and interior and take a quick test drive before you buy.

Try the unlimited Solar Crown WorkshopThis is a workshop, a place where you can tune and customize your vehicles

However, modifications are made in workshops and include a livery editor where metallic, matte, pearlescent and chrome paint can be selected alongside a selection of stickers and decals.

There are over 600 km / 370 miles of roads, both paved and unpaved, to explore on Hong Kong Island. While the environment is 1:1 scale, some of the dirt tracks and side streets have been widened for the gameplay experience.

Try the Solar Crown Unlimited Gas StationGas stations are used to “heal” your car.

Similar to the 14 showrooms, there will be 14 different regions within HKI. Dynamic time of day and weather make it feel lifelike.

Release date, platforms and editions

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown will be released in 2023, although the exact date has yet to be announced. A start was originally planned for 2022.

It will appear on the following platforms:

  • personal computer
  • PlayStation 5
  • Xbox Series X|S
  • Nintendo switch

However, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions were dropped to “maximize the overall quality of the game”.

A beta was expected and announced for May 2022, although further details are not yet known.

Try the Solar Crown unlimited off-road trail

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