I was genuinely excited when Test Drive Unlimited 2 came out! I burned out of my drive to grab a copy, contacted the group of friends that I play online with, rushed back home once I'd bought the game, and finally loaded it up on my Xbox, which is exactly the same moment that the horror began. A multitude of bugs meant that playing online with other people was virtually impossible and like many other people I became infuriated, so much so that I almost traded it in for Portal 2 the other week. Luckily, Eden Games have tried to win back some brownie points by giving away the Exploration Add-On Pack for free, and whilst console users are going to have to wait a while for it, it's now live for PC users to download.
Lets start off with the new content that's included with the pack. 20 new wrecks will be scattered around the islands, which'll eventually reward you with two cars, the Lancia Stratos version Rallye and the 1969 Dodge Charger. 20 new events have been added along with 2 brand new event types, Extreme convoy and Timed convoy, plus there are 3 new discovery levels and 2 new multiplayer races. If you're bored of your characters clothes, then you could deck them out with the new explorer set of threads. There's a handy TV Media: Help Channel, to guide you through all the new features. And finally, the 3D craze has been incorporated into the PC and PS3 versions of the game.
There are loads of gameplay improvements as well, and whilst the full list can be seen on the Test Drive Unlimited 2 Forums, my favourites are as follows: You can now sell your cars in the used car dealer, including any vehicles won in duels, which is definitely a good thing because most of them are eye sores that end up spending the rest of their lives sitting in one of your many garages; the effects of colliding with rocks and trees has been toned down a bit, so you won't come to a screeching halt when you accidentally hit one; also the Koenisegg CCXR's performance has been adjusted so that it can provide a bit more of a challenge to somebody using a Bugatti Veyron, and the Veyron itself has received some restriction to make it less dominant.
When it comes to the bugs that the Exploration Pack fixes, there's a pretty hefty list once again: no longer will cars fly up into the air from hitting a glitchy road; your computer won't crash when you're loading up a photo in My TDU House, at the end of chase mode online, at the end of a duel, in chase mode or freeride, or when you're exiting a championship challenge; cars will not end up in the sky if you jump into the map whilst your vehicle's falling; there won't be any problems entering club races with club cars, or starting multiplayer races with the Caterham Superlight R500; and no car will spontaneously turn invisible!
If you've not completely lost faith in the game, or you've kept hold of a copy and need to be coaxed back into playing it once more, then maybe downloading the Exploration Packs's your best course of action. Fingers crossed it solves all the problems it's meant to!