Test Drive Unlimited 2: the single best road in the game

, | Game diaries

When I started writing, I was going to talk about a few different roads. I was going to take readers to some of my favorite places on Ibiza and Oahu. Together we were going to enjoy the coastal roads of Ibiza that wind through rock arches and past old medieval ruins. We were going to discover the interior wilderness of Oahu in a Land Rover. We were even going to take a delightful trip through the heart of Honalulu. We were going to, but then I found the road.

After the jump, let me be your Hawaiian sherpa

The best road in all of Test Drive Unlimited 2 is located in Oahu along the Waianae Range. To get there, head south of the airport but stop north of Waianae. Or find the multiplayer challenge called Volcanyon and warp onto the road there. For this road I’d recommend my favorite four wheel drive SUV, the Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG. It is possibly my favorite SUV in any game. I’ve put over five hundred miles on the thing.

We start at Kolekole Road and head north up and up, farther into a seam of the Waianae range that will allow you to get into the central Oahu plain. This single road is one of the best twisting roads, with a stunning view of rocky cliffs. Few places in the game exceed its beauty, but as you get to its crest you’ll see a dirt road leading off to the east. Get onto it and prepare for some of the best offroading you’ll have in any game.

Initially you might not be too impressed by this change of scenery. But as you keep going further up into the ridgeline you’ll find the interior of the island opens up to you, exposing its central valley from on high. But as quickly as you see it, it vanishes as you work your way through a series of switchbacks that alternate between long open vistas and close views of the looming ridge.

When I entered this road it was dusk and there was enough light to see the entirety of the island as it came into view. As I twisted my way south, the sun faded and the stars came out. For most of my time in Test Drive Unlimited 2, I’ve hated the day-night cycle. I’ve wanted to see the greens and blues of this Hawaiian paradise at their most vibrant, so I’ve shunned the darkness. This time its different. The moon is out, and as I climb higher, I can see it gradually poking up above the mountains. It’s a wonderful scene and it gets even better.

About halfway through the total length of this gravel road, you’ll come across an asphalt road. Take another left to go west. My first time down this route, I kept on going down the gravel road. It was still wonderful, but by this time you’ve had several miles of the same switchbacks. Keep going straight and they get shorter. It’s surely a great drive but you can get the same kind of experience in better surroundings on the eastern side of the island as you try to clear out all the roads in the first Oahu zone. No, its time to head even further up into the very heights of the Waianae Range. You’ll be tempted to gun the engine and try and get over a hundred miles an hour, but when it comes to cresting hills and ridges in this game, its always smart to hit the brakes just before you reach the top lest you go flying over any guard rails. You don’t want to ruin the view by seeing it from an overturned SUV.

When you reach the crest, you’ll see exactly why this is the best road in the game. The Pacific Ocean now engulfs the screen. The remaining length of the island takes up only a narrow strip of the lower screen. It is a great, yet deceptive, view as you still have a few more miles to go before you reach the ocean, or near enough. The drive down is wonderful, transitioning from asphalt to gravel and right back to asphalt until at long last after what must be a half hour drive you plunge onto the twin lane route that charts this portion of the island’s coast. From there it doesn’t really matter where you go, for whichever way you drive you’ll be on another great road.

That’s the thing about Test Drive Unlimited 2, just when you think you’ve experienced all the game has to offer, it puts more road in front of you.

Click here for the previous Test Drive Unlimited 2 entry.

CSL, known in real life as Andrew Dagley, lives in Manitoba, Canada. In between sleeping he occasionally writes about history, after-action reports, or the adventures of Twilight Sparkle.

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