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Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown release date revealed

29th May 2024
Ethan Jupp

It’s been a long time since that first teaser trailer of 2020 but after teases, delays and a frankly sub-par communications campaign, Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown seems to be cooked and ready to serve, with a release date of 12th September 2024. 

The release date trailer was teased with a series of online alternate-reality games, which had us using a series of clues to solve mysteries, which gave us keywords to unlock car reveals. These five challenges revealed the Maserati MC20, Range Rover Sport SVR, Jaguar F-Type SVR, Audi R8 Spyder and Mercedes SLS AMG.

The trailer follows two characters – representing the Street and Sharp in-game clans – discussing their love for cars and racing. Seemingly in a dig at naysayers, we see dates, rolling back through 2028 and 2027, 2026 and 2025 and eventually 2024 to the release date. 

It looks as though these characters are meant to represent prospective players. The cars slowly slide down the pecking order as the dates roll back, opening with a Bugatti Chiron Sport and Lamborghini Centenario in 2028, all the way back to Mustangs and Camaros. The final date, 12th September 2024, is when all of our journeys on this game will begin.

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That means the game will launch a full two years after the original release date, with pushbacks continuing through 2023 and even into this year, with some speculating about a 2025 release date. 

There will be four editions, running through standard, silver streets, silver sharps and gold. Silver editions will allow beta access and a two-day-early unlock of the game, while the Gold Edition will allow VIP Beta and seven-day-early access. The Silver pre-orders will also come with special packs pertaining to the clans as well as some of the cars revealed in the ARG, while all special editions have the 2006 Ford GT as a bonus car, an iconic car in the series first seen on the cover of the original Test Drive Unlimited.

Speaking of which, the Gold Edition early access will allow players on the game from 5th September 2024. That’s 18 years to the day since that original game launched. Some two decades on, that game in the eyes of many hasn’t yet been bettered. Hopefully Solar Crown gives it a good go.

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As a reminder, TDU-typical features like in-depth dealerships, working lights, convertible roofs, indicators, wipers and electrification have all been confirmed for Solar Crown. Player houses were not expected to be a feature at launch, but given the length of the delays, it’s possible, if not confirmed, that they will now be included.

The developers have insisted that there’s been a huge focus on progression and car personality. There’s been an outward criticism of comparable games being too liberal with car availability, in TDU however, a collection of cars is going to take far longer to build up. The focus instead is on players developing stronger bonds with their cars.

Are you excited for Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown? Do you think it’ll actually release on 12th September? We’ve had our fingers burned before, but this time, it feels different. See you on Hong Kong Island.

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