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Angel Studios

Test Drive Offroad: Wide Open

The Test Drive series has had its hits and misses. Many feel the Test Drive name has been tarnished by terrible sequels, however recently some quality titles have surfaced, such as Test Drive V-Rally and Test Drive LeMans. How does Test Drive Offroad: Wide Open stack up? It doesn't.


The graphics in this game look like a first-generation Dreamcast game. Yes, they are that bad. Cars have ultra-low polygon counts, tracks are bland and filled with jaggies, special effects are nowhere to be seen, and the overall look of the game is very dark, muted, and uninspiring. The only saving grace in the graphics department is that the game doesn't drop below 30fps. However, since this game is so terrible looking, that should be a given. This game would be ugly for a Dreamcast game, never mind an XBOX game. Even the menu interface is ugly and unpolished.


Test Drive Offroad: Wide Open features a very weak Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, to go with its weak graphics. It also has some appropriately pathetic engine noises and sound effects. On the positive side, the creators of the game licensed some popular bands like Metallica for the soundtrack. On the negative side, there are very few music tracks, and they get old very quickly. To top it off, Test Drive Offroad: Wide Open does not allow you to use your own ripped CD soundtracks.


This game is easy to play, albeit repetitive. Though the cars are all rated differently, they all control very similarly. Controls are adequate, but realism is nowhere to be found in this title, and it gets boring very quickly; it's almost like a kart racing game minus the boisterous fun. To make matters worse, the horrible graphics actually get in the way of gameplay, often making you strain to see what is going on since everything is one big dark mess. Test Drive Offroad: Wide Open tries to make up for these hampering flaws with a variety of expansive tracks and gameplay modes, but fails due to the problems that lie within the core of the game.

Bottom Line:

Someday a developer will create an offroad game worth buying. This game is not it. Avoid at all costs, unless you are an offroad junkie that doesn't mind racing nondescript blocks around a nondescript track. The game is by no means terrible, it just is too bland to waste money on when there are plenty of other excellent XBOX games out there.

-Pete Calderwood