Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown gameplay revealed, open beta & 2024 release confirmed

TDU Solar Crown Header Art

KT Racing and Nacon have finally shared the first gameplay of Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, giving us a roughly 30 minute look at the game and showcasing its communal multiplayer approach. They also confirmed an early 2024 release window, and announced that an open beta will take place from 24th – 27th July – sign up for the newsletter on testdriveunlimited.com for a chance to get in.

This TDU Direct stream featured Alain Jarniou, Creative Director at KT Racing, presenting a new look at this revived open world racing series, but he brought several others to race alongside him in a multiplayer showcase – this was played with an alpha version of the game, with lots of chatter between the players in that kind of game reveal stream way that used to be a Ubisoft staple.

Solar Crown will take players to a full 1:1 recreation of Hong Kong, from the city centre to the beaches and lush countryside, and all of this can be the playground for your racing. The game will immerse you within car culture in general, but features the narrative hook of the Sharp and Street clans vying for supremacy. Sharp is focussed more on the luxurious vehicles and Street clan being into the nightclub scene.

The two sides will have their own HQ that any player can access, but only aligned players will be able to enter the VIP area. You make your choice, and then have a social space in the opulent and fictional Solar Hotel that you wander around in a first person view with a personalised avatar, and buy a room to call your own.

The gameplay demo led into a 3v3 showdown between a trio of Sharp players (of which Alain was one), and a trio of Street players. There was plenty of racing game shenanigans with a more social style to it, banter flying and some… dirty racing tactics on the highways of Hong Kong.

This led to the Street HQ in a much less opulent setting, but it’s far cooler in a different way, as an underground, neon-lit club, where you can dance and hang out. Sharp HQ, by contrast looked more like an upper class gentleman’s club or restaurant with jazz playing in the corner. All players can visit the HQs, but only those who are aligned can enter the VIP areas.

The stream wrapped up with another head-to-head race between the two sides – no spoilers for which side won.

A beta will be coming on 24th July with KT Racing encouraging keen players to sign up to the newsletter for a chance to get in, while the full game will then launch for PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC in early 2024.

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