Online multiplayer remains relatively unexplored territory for FFG. In recent months we’ve been making attempts to rectify the situation, albeit with very little success. Several hours, for example, were spent tinkering with network and router settings in the hope of getting Rise of the Triad deathmatch to work on DOSBox (which it did, eventually, but only for about 30 seconds – long enough for Stoo to type “Is this working?” while I shot him repeatedly in the head).

Undeterred, we moved onto something else (which I won’t name here, lest it expose an embarrassing delay with the planned site content associated with these efforts) and spent roughly the same amount of time tinkering and restarting, but this time with absolutely no game-time to show for it.

Given that we’d both set aside some time for multiplayer fun, it soon became a question of whether we could find any game that a) we both owned and b) we could set up and get to work without too much fuss.

What we came up with was: Test Drive Unlimited. And it was all rather hassle free to set up and fun to play, which is supposed to be the point of these things really.

Annoyingly, for me at least, the game won’t allow you to transfer the progress you’ve made in the single-player to the online mode if you accidentally created an ‘offline profile’ when you first started. (The manual even crows, ”Beware: If you create an offline profile, you won’t be able to turn it into an online profile afterwards!” – although perhaps I added the exclamation mark myself.) So I had to start again, again (a previous profile had already been erased thanks to a truly terrible menu system that makes such an accident all the more likely).

Stoo, meanwhile, didn’t even have the game installed, so I guess it was just as well that we were both lumbered with unexotic, entry-level cars usually driven by estate agents.


Once we were up and running, it was a no-holds-barred grudge match (or, you know, a moderately diverting series of races around Hawaii) which was quite evenly balanced, considering my supposed ‘expertise’ in the genre. One track in particular caused a mental aberration on my part as I repeatedly missed the same turn, allowing my opponent to race to victory. Stoo’s creative use of off-road short-cuts also proved my undoing on more than one occasion, most memorably when I realised he was nothing more than some red text and a cloud of dust in the middle distance.


The embarrassment was compounded by the fact my friend and colleague had access to a microphone, which captured and relayed any comments and/or laughter relating to the on-screen action through my speakers. Meanwhile, I had to settle for typing garbled insults on the keyboard while trying to keep the car straight with the joypad (don’t type and drive, kids).

Still, it was all jolly good fun. We might do it again sometime.