Test Drive 4

In Test Drive 4, ten of the world’s most coveted automobiles await the sweaty grasp of your driving gloves. It’s all lip service, though, since handling characteristics for each vehicle mirror the “one true car” in the box. In stark contrast to the name, test driving a car places you into an arcade wonderland of slow moving cars, static roadside amenities, and narrow streets. Lots and lots of narrow streets.

snap388With a total of six lengthy courses, gamers should expect a fairly entertaining experience with plenty of lasting value. Or not. If Test Drive 4 really meant to test drive the patience of its players, then chalk this up as a smashing success. Besides the blatantly excessive clipping, the crude cars seemingly sport single digit polygon counts, dampening the visceral experience considerably. A more humorous glitch makes the field of contestants shrink into bite-sized midget racers, a fitting symbol of the disconcerting lack of polish on this product.

After seeing the incredible depth and freedom of tracks in Carmageddon, courses in Test Drive 4 feel limited and contrived. Time spent in the game involves weaving among traffic on indistinct courses. You’ll have to force yourself to remember there’s a race going on, one you’re supposed to be completely engrossed in. The problem with Test Drive 4 isn’t just the usual matter of releasing a game before its time. It was clearly meant for an entirely different platform.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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