Test Drive is a long and storied franchise which has been teetering on the edge of good and mediocre the past few entries, but Test Drive: Unlimited 2 brought a lush open world environment with plenty of cars and activities to do as well as a robust online experience. So we were caught off guard when Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends was announced, which takes away the open-ness in favor of a very linear and car manufacturer centric entry. However, it is sure to tickle any Ferrari fans fancy.
Ferrari is a respected name in race cars, and automotive in general. It is synonymous with foreign quality and high class. Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends dives into the history by allowing you to control over fifty different vehicles that are apart of Ferrari’s storied history. The campaign is broken into three different ‘ages’, Golden (1947-1973) , Silver (1974-1990) and Modern (1990-2011). Each age has ten to fifteen sections which feel like chapters in a book. Then each ‘chapter’ has a handful of events. The total number of events is over two hundred across the three ages. Every event has three difficulties and each rewards a different medal. The ‘ages’ take you from the Ferrari’s first model in 1947 all the ways up to present time. Ferrari Racing Legends is a Ferrari fans dream game. However, if you’re a fan of the Test Drive series and are expecting something as dynamic, fun and open world such as Test Drive Unlimited 2, you may want to hold out as this is strictly going for the realistic fan taste of it all.
Difficulty is on the harder side if you are not used to realistic car simuators like Forza or Gran Turismo – it’s the type of game where you must stay within the parameters of the green guide line and brake when it turns red or orange. If you do not do an eighty percent perfect run for most races you will lose or spin out and more than likely just restart the course. The structure of the campaign is pretty basic, as previously mentioned, but it is also disappointing as I was expecting something more along TDU standards. Golden and early Silver era campaigns have a fade in with black and white or washed out colors like its an old stock film but dissolves to normal coloring shortly after. It is a cool little effect fans can admire for the short time.
Campaign is not the only mode in the game, there’s Phantom Time Trial, Quick Race and Multiplayer. Quick Race allows you to set up races the way you want with unlocked cars, tracks and any other settings you want. Phantom Time Trial has you race against previous lap times or online phantoms to best them in laps. Multiplayer allows up to eight players with an array of options but limits cars and tracks to what you have unlocked. AI cars (up to six) are also an option. The AI difficulty can also be set. Players can also upload and save replays.
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends is not quite the game we were expecting. The campaign may be lengthy but it borders on the too realistic with the difficulty. If you are good with realistic racers, you can bang out the campaign in five to eight hours.
Audio/Visuals – 4/5: Looks great and has a cool filtering for the older years. It may not be the best looking driving game but for the Test Drive series it is still very good.
Gameplay – 2/5: Campaign is rather tedious for casual racing fans and is better suited for the hardcore Ferrari aficionado. Difficulty curve will require retries for those good or ‘perfect’ runs as the game progresses. Game offers more frustration than enjoyment.
Innovation – 1/5: The only innovative aspects of the linear, and basic driving simulator exclusively with Ferrari vehicles is the whole Ferrari through the ages part of the Campaign. Other than that it is a basic stay on the green line driving simulator.
Value – 2/5: Difficult and lengthy campaign with multiple difficulties. Multiplayer is dead for the most part so if you are big racing simulator fan it is worth a rent for trial purposes. Otherwise, there are better options in the genre.
Final Score: 2/5