The predominant emphasis of any good car racing or test driving simulation should focus mainly on the automobiles themselves. To it's credit, Test Drive III: The Passion delivers handsomely in affording the player a chance to simulate sitting behind the wheel of three super vehicles. First up is the incredible Lamborghini Diablo with it's international high-tech design that features a V-12 engine (48 valves), 485 hp, and top speed of 202 mph. Following that impressive beast is the prototype Pininfarina (Ferrari production) Mythos with a top speed of 180 mph and a Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection engine. The third toy to play with is a Chevy. What? Well, it's a slightly modified Chevrolet, called the CERV III (Corporate Experimental Research Vehicle III), that tops out at a rousing 225 mph with it's innovative six-speed automatic churning out 650 hp. The manual calls it an "exotic cousin" to the revered Corvette. In early 90's dollar values, you could own all three for a little more than three million bucks.
Having met the dream machines, the focus turns to game play. Does Test Drive III: The Passion deliver a simulation worthy of these awesome cars? You bet it does. An innovative course design allows you to energetically put these autos through their amazing paces. You'll zoom through tunnels, past farmland and beaches, rocket over mountains and zip through valleys and maybe even try to outrun that train that's about to reach the railroad crossing ahead! Maybe the scenery isn't the greatest you've ever seen, although the graphics are quite nicely done (VGA 256-color is a must), but who has time to see it anyway when handling what amounts to rockets on wheels. The overall test route begins near the Pacific and ends in the scenic vistas of Yosemite. The route is broken down into five specific test runs, each with more than one highway or road to travel. Additionally, as a well appreciated bonus, each route has an uncharted shortcut that's left for you to find (take at your own risk!). The individual legs of your test drive trip include Paso Robles to Monterey (Scenic Coast), Monterey to San Luis Reservoir (Coast Hills), San Luis Reservoir to Merced (Valley Farms), Merced to Mariposa (Foothills), and Mariposa to Tioga Pass (Sierra Vista). The interface is flexible with both keyboard and joystick options available. Game play is smooth and the game contains many small but thoughtful extras such as readable road signs when going the right way (you only see their backs if going the wrong way) and changeable radio stations. Options include nine skill levels to choose from (the first three with built in automatic shifting), two computer-controlled or three human opponents, and varying conditions such as clear skies, rain, fog, or snow as well as dawn, day, dusk and night driving. Instant replays from various angles or viewpoints from which to watch your most spectacular crashes or crowning achievements add additional flavor to an already tasty simulation. Test drive it -- it's a blast.
Graphics: What the game lacks in detail it more than makes up for in performance. Graphics are a mix of bit-mapped and polygonal visuals and the interior of the cars is digitized.
Sound: Mood inducing music and smart sound effects add luster to the game
Enjoyment: If you enjoy being behind the wheel of a sports car or simply envision yourself racing the fastest cars in the world, you won't be disappointed.
Replay Value: Always room for improvement (cut those seconds off your total time) in driving skills and with the added design feature of multiple roads within each route and shortcuts to challenge you, replay is a must.
Drive exotic cars while fleeing police in this sequel of the popular Test Drive series. New features include a true 3-D engine, a selection of music on the radio, police evasion, instant replay, digitized dashboard/interiors, and larger, more diverse driving environments with multiple routes.
Definitely the best in the famous Test Drive trilogy (I know that there were mode TD games made after those three, but they were not made by Accolade and were not sims but more like an action games). Test Drive did it again - new things never seen before in a computer game! Those were the radio stations in the car, lights, horn... All made to make You feel as You were really in the car. The graphics are MUCH better than in any other TD game and this time You can pick one of the three cars. Tracks, opponents, police, cows on roads... There's a lot to be seen and You can't miss this one!
People who downloaded Test Drive 3: The Passion have also downloaded:
Test Drive: Triple Pack, Test Drive, Test Drive 4, Test Drive II: The Collection, Test Drive 6, Test Drive 5, Test Drive, Testdrive 2
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