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The Total Recall
DUD OF THE MONTH
COLLECTION!

DRIV3R

Artist touch: Very cool stylist cover here. Cover art rating: 8/10
Month it won:
April 2007

(Atari
/Reflections, July 4, 2004)
Special note: This Driver pokes fun at GTA a bit with characters that look like Tommy Vercetti from Vice City.
Introduction and Story:
Any gamer would tell that some of the best selling and best playing driving games on the original Sony Playstation were the famous Driver 1 & 2. Both games not only sported stylist 3D visuals with sexy cars in cool urban settings but the edgy crime based game play was very intense and even fun to play. Since there hasn't been a new one in a few years and the series would move to the more powerful Playstation2 or Xbox now, a hot sequel like Driver 3 (or Driv3r, nice English morons!) sure has the potential to become the new king of the crime action game. So what the hell happened here?

In this Driver game you finally have a story to go along with the controversial car-jacking and cop killing this time around. Special FBI agent Tanner is trying to do whatever he can to put a stop to a huge international car smuggling ring. Tanner may be a 'good guy' but that doesn't mean he can be a real prick at the same time and to be successful in this game you have to get the job done by any means necessary. If the local cops are on your tail then you have lose them, if a pedestrian is in the way then just run them over. Simple as that.
Controls and Game Play:
Driv3r's main game is the Undercover mode; this is where you can to hunt down criminals by becoming one yourself as part of the story. It may sound like a lot of fun to run down scumbags in thrilling car chases but in this highly linear adventure all it only takes is a few seconds to lose your suspect or friends and then you're forced to start the process all over again. I even found that you can still lose someone even if they are still in clear view. This wouldn't be such a big problem for me normally but you don't have too many choices on vehicles when you go on these wild chases like you would in Grand Theft Auto. It also complicates things when the handling is so bad on many of the vehicles that it feels like you're braking at the slightest move. Although Driver vets will be able to breeze through this short game because they may be use to these awkward controls, casual players will be quickly frustrated by these tedious games of catch.

Driv3r also has missions where you have to hunt down crooks on foot as well. This could have been a great way to break away from repetitive car chases yet the producers even screwed these action scenes too. Not only is the Lock-on system quite spotty when using your guns but the enemy Artificial Intelligence is so stupid that it doesn't even matter if you aim is a bit off. All they do is just stand there and wait to be shot! The driving missions are way more fun then the foot ones and that's not a good thing when those are not too great to begin with.
Graphics and Sounds:  

Now this is a driving game.
At least the graphics fair better then the shallow game play. Reflections did an solid job with the big car crashes and who could forget that the producers faithfully re-created major cities Miami, Nice, and Istanbul here too. The detail in the buildings and the streets look especially impressive. If there are any problems with these outstanding graphics here it would have to be all the sudden appearances of buildings in the distance or as its better known as: 'pop up'. You usually don't see too much pop up on PS2 games these days because of the high power of the system but here it is and it even worse then the Xbox edition. Driv3r also has some great looking Computer Generated cinemas with some of the most realistic human characters and shadows I ever seen in a video game. The actual game still looks pretty bad when you have buildings magically appearing from no where but man, those cinemas are cool at least.

I would have liked if there was well produced dialogue in the cinemas because it can be hard to hear what everyone is saying half the time. That brings me to what this game has for sound. Some of the light rock music fits the game well enough but many of these tracks feel out of place during a big chase.
The Bottomline:  
Driv3r has a lot to lure the public into buying it if you follow the hype. The game comes loaded with three huge real-life cities, the graphics look fairly decent at some angles, and the violent car and gun action is definitely here. The big question is since this game took over 3 years to develop then why are there only a mere 26 missions? It will only take a few days to go through a rather predictable story mode and once that's done; there isn't much reason to play it again either. Add to the fact the game's controls are far too sensitive so most players will be frustrated in no time plus the game is loaded with ugly graphical glitches as well. Just like the lame cars in the game, it isn't even worth stealing.

If you are looking for a bad game make sure you look for the Total Recall seal of dishonour for the cutting edge of virtual multimedia crap. It insures you are getting the very worse in interactive non-entertainment.
Conclusion:  
DRIV3R
overall rating: 40/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature

graphics: 7/10
sound: 5/10
gameplay: 2/10
replay: 3/10

-StarSoldier
(Ryan Genno) 2007


See other Total Recall duds of the month