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Monday, May 29, 2023

TDU Photo voltaic Crown’s Hong Kong Island Seems to be Nice in Screenshots

In a world earlier than Forza Horizon just about set the usual for what always-online open-world driving video games may very well be, there was Check Drive Limitless on the Xbox 360. TDU recreated the whole thing of Hawaii’s Oahu island at one-to-one scale — a shocking achievement, even 17 years on. Now TDU is bracing for a comeback, set on a really completely different floating rock: Hong Kong. And we received to see a glimpse of it this week in developer Kylotonn’s newest e-newsletter to followers.

Like the primary installment’s rendition of Oahu, Photo voltaic Crown’s Hong Kong Island can also be constructed to scale. In fact, HKI is way smaller than the Large Island, so don’t anticipate any hour-long drives from finish to finish. That stated, it additionally appears to supply significantly extra selection than TDU’s Oahu did, from cliffside vistas to neon-lined skyscrapers.

Image for article titled Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown's Hong Kong Island Looks Like a Lovely Place for a Drive

Picture: Nacon

Not each path on the island has been recreated true-to-life, as a result of 1) that’s simply not possible and a pair of) even when it was, it wouldn’t assure enjoyable gameplay. Artistic Director Alain Jarniou supplied somewhat perception within the e-newsletter on how the crew has tried to duplicate the spirit of Hong Kong Island, albeit with 370 miles’ price of roads higher suited to racing. Through Reddit:

Recreating Hong Kong Island with all its selection and small particulars was a substantial problem. In an open-world recreation like TDU, we have to present a seamless and attention-grabbing driving expertise in addition to encourage exploration, which is a crucial a part of the expertise. To extend immersion and transport gamers to a brand new nation, we additionally needed to make HKI very life like, which is why we recreated it at 1:1 scale. It was a problem technically in addition to by way of gameplay. Because of the expertise gained creating many rally video games (WRC sequence) and motorcycling video games (TT sequence), we have now appreciable experience in creating life like environments on a big scale. However TDU is a special type of expertise and more difficult. Hong Kong Island is a tremendous playground that provides unimaginable variety, and every surroundings acquired particular consideration to make them extra enjoyable for gamers. To emphasise the quick and easy driving, for instance, the very dense city community of HKI wanted some small changes due to sure little streets that have been very (too?) slim. Conversely, some mild redesign was accomplished to the most important thoroughfares to make them extra enjoyable and tailored to very quick automobiles, whereas respecting the identification of Hong Kong Island. To extend exploration choices, we used our experience from WRC video games to remodel sure strolling and mountaineering paths into small mountain roads {that a} automotive can use.

Image for article titled Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown's Hong Kong Island Looks Like a Lovely Place for a Drive

Image: Nacon

Solar Crown’s map is comprised of 14 districts of vastly ranging biomes, with a good number of local landmarks peppered in, as Lead Artist Stéphane Cambier explains:

You can cruise through downtown Wan Chai, the financial district with huge buildings like the Hopewell Centre and Convention Centre, then pass through the Central District under the Bank of China Tower and the twin towers of the Lippo Centre, an iconic skyscraper on HKI. The East docks area is the perfect playground for the Streets. Their HQ, an underground industrial nightclub, can be found here. But if you prefer a calmer and more residential atmosphere, the Repulse Bay district with its luxury dealerships is there on the south side of the island. The Peak, the island’s highest point, is perfect for an off-road experience and to admire the city as the sun goes down. Are you an inveterate explorer at heart? Set off to find small fishing villages at the foot of Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir, which can only be reached by small paths; then take the Dragon’s Back to reach Shek O for unforgettable gaming moments that can only be found in TDUSC.

Image for article titled Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown's Hong Kong Island Looks Like a Lovely Place for a Drive

Image: Nacon

Solar Crown’s been somewhat missing in action until recent weeks, when publisher Nacon began sharing in-engine screenshots. All video footage of the game has been CGI, so we still don’t really have a sense of how the first open-world Test Drive experience in over a decade will look during gameplay, nor do we even know when it’s launching. The development studio responsible, Kylotonn, is known for its officially-licensed World Rally Championship and Isle of Man TT games. The WRC sequence was a mannequin of consistency, however constructing an open-world racer is a completely completely different problem from making a stage- or circuit-based one.

Personally, I’m tempering my expectations. The studio doesn’t have a confirmed monitor report with a recreation of this magnitude. Plus, Photo voltaic Crown’s narrative of pitting rival gangs of trust-fund infants towards one another (they’re referred to as “Streets” and “Sharps,” canonically) has the potential to get actual irritating, actual quick. However as long as the physics are competent and the world’s attention-grabbing sufficient, it might simply be the diversion from Forza Horizon and Want for Velocity that the style’s been needing.

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