Test Drive: Eve of Destruction

Do you remember when you were a kid, and your dad took you out for the night to the demolition derby?  Do you remember laughing out loud in glee when cars slammed into walls or each other, and letting out a sigh of disappointment when their engines didn't ignite?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you'd enjoy Test Drive: Eve of Destruction.  If you answered in the negative, though, you'd probably want to stay away.

Test Drive: EoD is the newest entry into the "Test Drive" family and, keeping in stride with the rest of the series, is pretty standard fare. You are given two option upon start up: action mode and career. If you want a quick race around the track, or you want to face off against a friend, you'd pop into action mode, do your business, get bored after a few rounds and quickly swap into another game. If you want to go the distance with the game, then you'd go into career mode and wade through track after track in your quest for derby immortality.  You start off with nothing but a meager car and the hopes and dreams of your trailer park riding on your back. Career mode is lengthy and will please derby fans who wanted their money's worth.

If I had to describe EoD's gameplay in a word it would be: simple. Four or five buttons do everything you'll need to be victorious in the game, and that includes the button for firing the chicken (yes, I did just say chicken).  The game feels rather sluggish, though, especially after playing games like Burnout 3.  The game offers modes of gameplay other than standard derby like soccer, but even those got pretty ho hum after a while.

The graphics are acceptable, but nothing to write home about. There are racing games out there that look better, but plenty that look worse. If you bought this game, it will not be because you thought it looked pretty. The sound is equally average. EoD does feature a soundtrack with some modern rock bands, but there's only a few songs, meaning you'll be hearing them over and over again. Thankfully, the Xbox version has the Custom Soundtrack option which you can fill with heavy metal, or whatever else takes your fancy.

For those who do love the destruction and bashing of cars, this game is certainly for you.  A wide roster of race types is enough to make the interested stay interested.  The pure destruction a player can cause in some of the modes can certainly cause some amount of glee, and the side games can be silly but enjoyable.

In the end, the game caters to only the Derby faithful. Xbox Live mode would have made the game much better than it is, and the lack of it is pretty baffling. There isn't even an option for leaderboard scores, which is unacceptable! Almost every Xbox game being released features SOME working online feature. The game feels like it could have been so much more, but the developers just didn't have the time or the willingness to tack on everything that could have made the game exceptional.  Tack on an extra point to the score if you're from a red state.


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