Eden Studios confirmed at a Namco event in Barcelona today that the Hawaii setting from the first Test Drive Unlimited is to be included in the sequel, although you'll be experiencing it "as you've never have before".
But that's not the best bit. Sounds as though the developer's taken the concept of a "free-roaming" game literally: you're going to be able to get out of the car this time.
Johnny Cullen's in Spain with Namco, and was one of attendant press that saw Eden showing off open-space racer TDU2 today. The studio said that a fully revamped Hawaii will be joining the already-announced Ibiza as a massive area in the game.
Players will start on Ibiza, with the island's airport becoming unlocked at a certain point in the game, giving you access to Hawaii.
More then 600km of new asphalt and off-road network has been added to Hawaii, as well as completely new missions and challenges. Reading from a fact sheet in his hotel room just now, Cullen said Eden's thinks you'll "experience the Hawaiian island as you've never have before."
Hawaii aside, Eden dropped a proper bombshell in Spain today, saying there's a whole new "out-of-car mode" where you can walk around and interact with others players. You couldn't leave the car in the first game. Apparently every aspect of your avatar is customisable, from hair and skin to clothes.
The game is "always live with automatic content updates and seamless online-offline integration," said Namco today.
"New content, challenges and feature will integrate dynamically into gameplay as the world evolves over time."
And you can buy a yacht. I didn't quite understand this bit. Cullen was just shouting, "You can drive your car into your yacht," into his laptop microphone. Whatever: you can buy a yacht.
Other feature additions include motion blur, car damage and a "completely new handling model," apparently.
It's out this fall for 360, PS3 and PC.
Johnny's interviewing Eden tomorrow. If you've got any questions for the team, stick them in the comments below.