- Publisher: Atari
- Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
- ESRB Rating: “E" for Everyone
- Genre: Racing
- Pros: Tons of events; great selection of Ferraris to drive; engine sounds; car models
- Cons: Tracks only so-so looking; not enough assist options; cars feel like you're on ice; handling is awful at high speeds; difficulty spikes in career
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends features more than 50 classics from Ferrari ranging from the 1947 125 S model all the way up to the 2007 F430 Scuderia and everything in between including the F40, F50, F355 Spyder, Enzo, FXX, and many more. There is also a nice selection of Formula 1 models throughout the years.
The tracks in the game also span the decades of Ferrari racing. The tracks include Spa, Catalunya, Donington Park, Hockenheimring, Monza, Mugello, and many more. There are multiple layouts of each track, which we've come to expect in racing titles like this, but in an interesting twist there are also versions of some tracks from different eras. Silverstone in 1959 is a different beast than Silverstone in 2009, just for an example. It makes things interesting to see familiar tracks we've played in other games, but different layouts than we're used to.
The career mode is laid out in a linear, menu-driven fashion where you choose from the Golden Era ('47-'73), Silver Era ('74-'90), or Modern ('90-2011) and then run a series of events with those cars. The career is very linear in that you have to win an event to open up the next one and there are a couple hundred events in total, so there is a lot to do here. There is some variety in the events as there are some races, time trials, head to head races, or events where you have to overtake all of the other cars on the track.
There are also, of course, Quick Race, Time Trial, and Xbox Live multiplayer modes available as well, but you have to unlock all of the cars and tracks in career before you can use them in the other modes.
There are three different levels of assists available (you can't choose individual assists, just the three preset levels), but even on the Easy mode that has every assist turned on the game is still an absolute struggle to control in anything other than the Golden era vehicles. The cars just slide all over and never feel like you're actually stuck to the road. Top that off with some incredible difficulty spikes where the events are just freaking difficult to beat and you have a game that gets really frustrating really fast. The Golden era races are generally fine, but the Silver or Modern events are borderline unplayable.
Test Drive Ferrari's biggest issue is that there are just plain better racing games out there. If you enjoy Slightly Mad's gameplay style, NFS Shift 1 and NFS Shift 2 both play better and offer a much better sense of speed. If you want an arcade/sim hybrid, Project Gotham 4 or GRID are the way to go. And if you want to drool all over a huge number of Ferraris, Forza 4 has a couple dozen of them with much better graphics.
Graphics & Sound
The sound fares a little better. The engine sounds are excellent and capture the distinctive Ferrari scream perfectly. There isn't any music during races, which is rather distracting in its absence, but that is easy enough to solve on Xbox 360.