You’ll need to be connected to the Internet to enjoy Nacon’s upcoming social racer Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown. This brand-new trailer, which shows the off-road areas of Hong Kong Island, demonstrates the breadth of experiences available in the upcoming game – and it also showcases its MMO aspects, which have been a big part of the property in the past.

“While driving, you always have other players around you, which creates a living, breathing city,” a press release reveals. “In Test Drive Unlimited, this love of cars is also experienced in the social aspect of dealerships and workshops where you can chat about your next purchase, the car of your dreams, and how you’re going to customize or upgrade it.”

Of course, this all comes at the cost of an always-online requirement: “For various reasons, these social features require an infrastructure that is constantly connected to online databases: leaderboards, races, inventories, moderation, live events, anti-cheat measures, and the overall game experience. An Internet connection is therefore required to play Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown.”

While it’s not a massive surprise for a heavily online-centric experience like this, it does mean you’ll be at the mercy of Nacon’s servers – and PSN to boot!

Still, it sounds like the racer is really shaping up. In a development note, the team points out that it’s still optimising the particle effects for this off-road gameplay, as it’s struggling to replicate the large dust clouds from its WRC games in a shared world, sandbox environment. “We’re still working on integrating and optimising these effects,” it admits. “It’s an important element of off-road immersion but also resource and performance intensive.”

That said, it’s confident it’s on the home straight at last: “Although a launch date has been considered several times, we want to take the time needed to ensure that your experience of Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown is as smooth, stable and fun as can be. Many of you have already pointed this out to us: take the time to release a game that matches your expectations. That’s why we’re working flat out on several aspects, including the stability of the server infrastructure and optimising the game’s performance.”