Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown’s world includes dynamic weather and hidden cars

Thomas Harrison-Lord
The second developer letter for the upcoming open-world driving game reboot has revealed further details about the environment.
Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown’s world includes dynamic weather and hidden cars

We’ve known since it was announced way back in July 2020 that Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown will be set in a 1:1 scale Hong Kong Island, but now we know a little more about how it’s been recreated.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown Hong Kong Island

1:1 scale, with some tweaks

The environment will feature over 600km / 370 miles of roads to drive down, be that on-road or off.

You see, some of Hong Kong’s footpaths have been widened slightly to accommodate vehicles, which can be used for off-road mountain trails – which we hope will evoke a sense of the KT Racing development team’s former World Rally Championship games.

That’s not the only element that has been tweaked for the game, too.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown off road trail

“To emphasize the fast and smooth driving, for example, the very dense urban network of HKI, needed some small adjustments because of certain little streets that were very (too?) narrow,” explained the game’s Creative Director, Alain Jarniou.

“Conversely, some light redesign was done to the major thoroughfares to make them more fun and adapted to very fast cars, while respecting the identity of Hong Kong Island.”

There will be 14 regions, each with a distinct flavour.

Dynamic weather

Across the entire HKI, there will be a day/night cycle and dynamic weather conditions, which of course means rain.

The development post explains that wet weather does indeed affect the physics engine, requiring a change of driving style and potentially tyres to match.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown Night Time

It’s the following line that caught our eye, however:

“Don’t forget to turn on your windscreen wipers while waiting for the sun to come back out so you can put the top down again!” reads the update.

The team’s prior WRC games feature the ability to manually switch on or off windscreen wipers, and Forza Horizon 5 introduced the option of raising or lowering the roof of certain convertible cars. Could the same be true in Solar Crown?

Hidden car wreckages

A feature within Test Drive Unlimited 2, ‘wreck cars’ return. These are hidden vehicles around the map which are in a sorry state, which you must find to unlock. If you didn’t play the 2011 game, titles such as The Crew and Forza Horizon had similar concepts. The former with hidden car parts, the latter with barn finds.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown Audi beach

Fuel stations, speed traps, online challenges

Much like some contemporary rivals, such as Need for Speed Unbound, driving through a fuel station will fix your ride. Again, similar to Forza Horizon, there are speed traps to best your top speeds through. Instant Challenges pop up to compete against online players you meet along your travels.

“HKI has a wide variety of locations, and we wanted to reproduce as many of these environments as possible: from small inlets on the coast to mountain peaks to dense urban areas and swamps,” explains Lead Artists, Stéphane Cambier.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown Fuel Station

“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.”

It all sounds rather promising, and these latest screenshots look spectacular. Two key questions remain. What does it look like in motion, and how does it drive? We’ll find out later this year.

Source: Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown

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