So with all this variety, custom races, wide selection of cars and properties, and thousands of miles of road to traverse, what could possibly go wrong? Well, aside from the horrendous voice acting, there are a number of other things that make this feel like getting generic plastic army men from the thrift stores when you really asked for the genuine Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow G.I. Joe two-pack. The sound effects overall are pretty average, with the "whoosh" of trees and building going by seeming more random than coordinated. Adding to that is the paring down from several radio stations in the first game to a mere two in this one. They have a sort of hip hop/techno station, and a "hard rock" station that was more a mix of yawn rock and trying to mimic the brilliantly snarky advertisements you'd expect to hear on the radio in Grand Theft Auto, minus the actual humor. Also missing is the option to play your own music stored on the PS3's hard drive. That definitely would have helped. And the controls? Only one config, not customizable. Too bad.
Beyond the mediocre sound are fairly basic visuals. They strike me as being somewhere between the original's PC and PS2 graphics. The draw/fog distance is somewhat better than it was on the PS2, but the frequency and noticeability of draw-in, level-of-detail updates on building and tree models (going from blurry sprites to full 3D in 20 feet), and finer details are sorely lacking the PC original's visual flair. Maybe it's just more noticeable in this version because it's in 1080p and on a giant screen. Bright, vivid colors of the first game are replaced with muted, blurry, muddy colors in the second. Ibiza isn't much to look at, if this game is any indication.
If TDU2 existed in a vacuum, it might be forgivable, but having spent many hours gawking at the vibrant, polished sights of Just Cause 2 and Split/Second on the same system and never dropping a frame, this utter lack of polish would imply a dearth of effort. I did reach Level 10 and fly back to Hawaii to see if maybe it was just a symptom of Ibiza, and while they did use richer shades of green on all the lush foliage, it still lacks the soft focus, motion blur, depth of field, and other tasty effects of TDU on the PC from almost four years ago. They did, however, remember to include worthless features like being able to put your windows up and down and turn signals on and off. Woohoo!