Everything old is new again.

What you need to know

  • Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown was revealed during the Nacon Connect online show.
  • The series picks up in the same universe as the previous two Test Drive Unlimited titles.
  • The last game to launch in the series was Test Drive Unlimited 2 which debuted back in February 2011.

Having previously been teased in recent days, today’s Nacon Connect online event finally revealed a new game in the Test Drive franchise. Nine years after Test Drive Unlimited 2, its successor, Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown has been revealed to the world.

Or rather…it’s existence has been revealed. Because aside from the 25 second sizzle reel above, we know basically nothing about the game.

From the official press release:

“It’s confirmed: a new game in the Test Drive Unlimited franchise is in development at KT Racing. Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is the new ambitious project from Alain Jarniou and his team. Leveraging their experience making motorsports simulations such as the WRC series, KT Racing and NACON are offering their new vision of the franchise. Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown retains the DNA of the series, which is based on a love of beautiful cars and the joy of driving around a luxurious island world recreated at 1:1 scale. Players will compete against each other in the Solar Crown, a competition with mysterious stakes, to elevate their character’s status within the community.”

The Nacon Connect stream did provide some small snippets of information. The big one is in the name of the game, with the Solar Crown event from TDU of the past clearly being at the core of the new game. TDU Solar Crown is being developed by KT Racing, with influence on the team not only from previous TDU development team members, but also those involved in building the WRC series of rally games.

It was touched on briefly that the engine Solar Crown is built on has influence from that which powers WRC. That actually sounds like a pretty good fit, since Solar Crown will take place on a dedicated island that was designed at 1:1 scale and will encompass a range of different surface types. Just like a rally game. And honestly, I’m a big fan of the last two WRC games, so I’m interested to see how the tech helps out in Solar Crown.

We’re promised a revival of the series’ DNA, and while we have no specifics on exactly what Solar Crown will contain, it’s pretty easy to make assumptions based on what we’re told. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine aspects like buying and decorating your own house, for example, will make a return, likewise actually going to a specific place on the map to buy a car.

And given the European trailer carries a PEGI 18 rating, would it be safe to assume the Casino is responsible for that?

Besides all the obvious questions without answers, the other biggie that Nacon hasn’t even hinted at yet is a release window. Not even a year they hope to have this in our hands. So it could be next year. It could even be two or three years away. We have no idea. But I really hope it’s the first one.

It’s been a long time since this famous franchise was on our consoles, and just the mention of it puts this one towards the top of my own “most anticipated games” list. And I’m probably not alone.