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Driver is a driving game on Playstation, the first of a series of Driver games that were brought to the market and great fun. In the game you play as the character Tanner and journy about with him as he attempts to become the best getaway driver in history. He is not a nice man and has no real morals.
In the game iteself you get to drive around four different cities, Miami, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. They all seem pretty realistic to the real thing. As you drive about you are given a map which is displayed in the bottom right hand corner of the screen so you don't get lost on your travels through the streets. If you want to view the whole map you have to pause the game and view it, whereas otherwise you get a section at a time.
There are three options in this game which for me gave the game a fair bit of replay value and hours of fun. You can either choose to drive around the cities with no purpose and this is good if you want to get used to the car and gameplay without worrying about completing a mission. There there are seven different driving games to choose from as well which are all good. And then. lastly there is the Undercover mode.
If you choose the first option you drive around aimlessly in a city of your choice and check out your surroundings. However, there is a twist to this part of the game in that if you speed you can get caught by the cops or chased and if you crash into another car the same will apply if they spot you. I can be easy enough to outrun them though as they are not that intelligent and their only aim is destroying your car and don't worry about knocking over pedestrians or crashing into buildings in their pursuit. I found this part of the game pretty fun as you can do almost what you want with on constraints like runningin in tables with people sitting at them and cones etc. You can lose this particular part of the game though if the damage on the car becomes too high or the cops find and capture you.
The second option included several driving games you can play including Trail Blazer, Pursuit and Survival. Some of these you drive around like an idiot and try to damage the car as much as possible which is similar to Destruction Derby. In others you have lose the cops and perhaps the best one, Survival, is where you have to try and survive for as long as possible with a swarm of cops on your tail. This is pretty hard to survive for too long.
Undercover mode is probably the best mode of all of them in this game. This is the section where you actually play as Tanner who works as a getaway driver for some of the worst and most notorious criminals in the land. You initially have to go through a training session in car park to get used to the moves and then you are given jobs to do from driving people around from place to place trying to avoid detection from the cops, or delivering something like the car or a package.
The graphics in this game are okay without being spectacular but the cities are done pretty well and look life-like enough with a fair bit of details. All the cities have normal residents wandering about as in real life and the buildings have words on them which you can read too. The controls for this game are easy to learn and it's a pretty basic game to learn but not always that easy to master.
Overall this game may not be as great as Grand Theft Auto games that came out later but is still very enjoyable and I would say you could pick this game up very cheaply now which means it's worth it.
After Grand Theft Auto hit big upon its release, it was only a matter of time before plenty of games would follow in that stead, one of the best of which was Driver, a more "tasteful" and toned-down version perhaps, but one which is on its own merits utterly thrilling and an incredibly entertaining throwback to the morally soupy crime TV shows of the 1970s and 80s.
You play Tanner, an undercover cop who is going after a Mafia family, but in keeping his cover does jobs for them spread over San Francisco, Miami, LA and New York, while trying to keep away from the police and risking exposing his cover. You drive around the cities performing various speed and shunt-related missions, and the breadth and depth of the cities was very impressive for its time; observing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was particularly dazzling.
This is a game that's customised throughout for film fans; ramps and other goodies are designed with stunt work in mind, allowing you to recreate some of your favourites chases from the likes of The French Connection. What's more, there is a Film Director mode built into the game, allowing you to save footage and then re-view it and change the camera angle. This was a hugely hyped feature and a revolutionary one in melding the worlds of game and film, and it is still considered quite a novel move now, having recently been used in the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV.
There is also a Take A Ride mode if you just want to relax, but of course the regular rules still apply to obeying the law, and if you get reckless, the police will come for you, and boy, are they persistent. This adds a real sense of challenge to the game, and the main campaign mode has some very tight time-related missions, although it becomes annoying when the checkpoint arrow is in sight and you JUST miss it so have to start the whole thing again! It isn't the easiest game in the world but it is a legitimate challenge and the graphics are pretty good despite the occasional hiccup with texture pop-in.
Driver is the perfect way to fulfil all your starsky & hutch fantasies without ever leaving the comfort of your front room, pursuing bad guys through four large cities driving through cardboard boxes and construction crates as you go.
The player takes on the roll of an undercover New York cop called Tanner who is called upon to complete various missions of progressing difficulty. from getaways from bank raids to chasing down drug lords, Tanner will see his fair share of action before the games completion.
The game is similar to the hugely succesful GTA but with a heavier focus on driving and less on foot action. There are no weapons except your trusty 70's muscle car, but unlike GTA you cannot kill innocent civilians. Although this may sound a little restrictive compared to some other games, it does make the game feel more like a 70's cop show rather than a pschopathic rampage.
For the time (1999) the graphics weren't too bad at all, the physics of the cars handling felt weighty and more realistic than GTA, altogether less arcadey.
The games four cities are mapped realistically with Tanner traversing America from San Fran to New York and LA to Miami.
Driver has several endings depending on how you complete it and there are plenty of fun and involving missions to suit everyone.
I reccomend this one as a less insane counter to GTA, think of it as GTA meets Gran Turismo.
You can see from the prices advertised on this website (0.95) that this is going dirt cheap now and if you haven't already played this game then you will definitely get 2 pounds worth of entertainment from it.
Driver is or at least was a very original game concept- a car game but rather than racing you had to complete missions. Missions would vary from typically picking up or dropping something or someone, to tailing someone or to smashing someone's car in. You are in a car throughout this game. As some others have pointed out the graphics are terrible by today's standard and the physics of the car movement also aren't all that great, but this game still has that something which means you can get past these things and enjoy it for what it is. There are some very nice added touches such as the hideaway, from which you access missions via recorded messages on your answering machine.
Be very clear, this is a very old game and plays like one, but it is also a classic and if you fancy a blast from the past look no further
Do you love driving games? Do you like having freedom of driving on games. Do you also like missions whilst driving? Then this might be the game for you.
I bought this game ages a go for about £9 and I thought it was great, at the time I thought the graphics were great, but as time has gone on and things have got better I can see that the graphic are not so good.
Your can use the free drive mode, and try and be good, so the police don't chase you and smash your car up, unless you use the cheats so you don't have poile or are industrable.
In the missions, you either have to do things like collecting the flags, in as least time as possible.
The controls are pretty simple the and left to stear left and right to stear right, but if you get a wheel with some certain feature on it you can choose how far your wheels turn, so its more realistic.
I think this is a great game and is wonderfully adventrious.
Before there was a 3D Grand Theft auto the closest thing we had to that type of game was a little crime game based in the 70's known as Driver. Yes it went on to have sequels that got progressivly worse but this game was cutting edge when it came out. Basically you play a cop that goes undercover to join the mob and try and bust to the top gangsters in town. But to get to the top guys you've got to prove yourself a good gangster yourself by acting as a getaway driver for all the seedy undergrounds needs.
Graphically this was great, even now it still looks pretty good with some really nice streets and quite detailed roads and cars. The gameplay was awesome as the car went at break-neck speeds , flying over hills and spinning over in some great crash scenes. Sound was good , had a neat background track and the sound effects were all beleivable.
All in all this was a great game at the time, it was challenging enough to keep you coming back and fun enough to keep playing for hours, a great effort and the beginnning of a new era in games in many ways.
Driver: the driving force of GT's revenue Ever since 32-bit consoles first appeared on the horizon, a new era of 3D gaming was spawned. Gamers everywhere looked forward to the day that they would be able to play games in total 3D. Thanks to British developers Reflections, that day has arrived. Driver is a fully 3D game where you can cruise the streets of four fully 3D cities - Miami, San Franciso, Los Angeles and New York. Driver borrows elements from several other games. The fully functional cities are from Grand Theft Auto, the '70s theme is a bit like Vigilante 8, the way the cars smash and damage each other reminds me of Destruction Derby 2 (which was also made by Reflections) and the cop chases are similar to Need For Speed III, only far better. No doubt that a concept like Driver will go down well with the game-buying public. One would expect Driver to be one of the best selling games of the year. Driving around cities wherever you please, smashing into other cars, frightening pedestrians, running red lights and disrupting traffic is something that anybody who knows how to drive would probably dream of doing. But all this would mean sod all if the game was poorly designed. And fortunately, Driver is an entertaining game to play. Married to the mob What you basically do in Driver is roam around cities in your automobile to complete missions for the mob. It's a bit like a 3D version of Grand Theft Auto, only far more tame. You can't run people over or steal cars here. Missions involve doing tasks like driving to a certain point of the city in a set amount of time, chasing and smashing target cars and generally being a nuisance to society. Along the way the pigs will chase after you and they'll do anything to stop you - including blockading streets and ramming the crap out of your vehicle. As you progress each mission gets harder and requires more driving skill to complete. Before the mob hires you, however, you have t
o pass a test which involves doing things like burn outs, 360s, speeding and reverse 180s. To stop people from getting bored there are several mini games in Driver. Survival is one where a large number of cops are on your tail and you've got to try and survive without wrecking your car for as long as you can. There's another one where you have to chase and bash another car; one where you're required to try and lose the cops and another game which involves driving to certain points throughout the city in as least time as possible. There is also the option of just driving around the city and doing whatever you please (until the cops catch you). This is good for exploring the cities. Cruisin' USA The cities in Driver are beautiful. Each of the cities has its own unique land marks and is vastly different from the other. Miami is around the beach (what land marks does this place have?), San Francisco consists of a hilly environment with trams and all the other crap, while New York features buildings that make the city famous like the Empire State. Although the game's graphics fail to match that of say, Gran Turismo or Ridge Racer Type 4, Driver is one of the best looking titles on PlayStation. There is a variety of weather (rain, sun, etc.) and different times of day (day time, night driving, etc.). The graphics are by no means perfect, for example there seems to be a lot of pop-up. The audio in Driver has nothing that sets it apart from other games. You'll hear familiar car engine noises, crashing sounds and police sirens. The '70s theme means the music is going to sound like something from that era, but overall it is nothing really impressive. She's so high Unfortunately, in my opinion most magazines and commercial web sites have rated Driver a bit too high. Most people gave this game a score of 9 to 9.5 out of 10 (or 90-95%, 5 stars or whatever). As good as Driver is, I don't think i
t deserves such a score. There are a number of flaws in this game which undermine its lastability. For a start in 'Undercover', the main part of the game, the missions can get repetitive after a while. All you do is chase this car, drive to a certain point in a time limit, pick someone up, etc. Since most of the missions have to be completed within a time limit it discourages exploration of the cities. The fact that there is a lack of variety in the missions means that Driver's staying power is going to suffer. That is why I do not believe that this game deserves the high scores that many other reviewers have given it. I'm not saying that Driver is a bad game - it provides generous amounts of entertainment - but it is lacking variety to keep people from playing it for months on end. It's a tough decision whether this game is worth a purchase - I am leaning towards a 'yes' because it is one of the most enjoyable experiences the PlayStation will ever give you. However, keep in mind that Driver might not be a game that you'll be playing three months from now.
Duke of Hazard, Knight rider, Proffessionals ect and the Ateam were one of the best things to ever to hit early evening TV back in th 80s. I think the game designers must have read my mind when they brought this game out. The Physics they have recreated in the game is fantastic. You really get a sense of loss of control when you go way too fast, but its not just the free driving I like. But the story. Under cover cop doing certain tasks to gain street cred and work his way up through the gang. Bad points of this game. Once you have done the first level there isn't really much variation in what you are actually doing. Basically you are getting from a to b with the Five-O behind you, but the story does keep you going you will want to complete the level to see what happens. The free driving is good but coming from England I would be soooooo happy if they had a version of London. They do tease us at the end with a Daimler driving round the streets but its not the same. Mid town madness 2 does this but the car physics which I was blahhing on about earlier isn't as good. Good points. I was in the middle of my A levels at the moment and I am at the moment in a court case trying to sue them for my poor grades.(not really, did'nt think you believed me any way) I wouldn't recomend this game because I think driver 2 is better where by you can acutally get out of your car and steal other vehicles. How kewl is that. Or if you have a PS2 then get GTA3.
Steve McQueen angles the front wheels right up to the line. His vehicle of choice sits at the apex of a classically steep San Francisco hill. A quick glance to the left, a glimpse to the right, a shifty at his stopwatch and before you know it he’s floored the gas pedal and is hurtling across the tarmac at a frighteningly illegal pace. How many of us wanted to be him? It’s about speed, it’s about status, it’s about rebellion and a wanton abandon for all things establishment. Hello, Driver. From the creators of Destruction Derby 1 & 2 comes quite possibly the most testosterone-flooded, muscle-rippling game ever to hit the PlayStation. Played Grand Theft Auto? Here’s your chance to play it in glorious 3D. A driving game with a difference, then, as Driver sees you assuming the identity of Tanner, an undercover cop trying to expose a crime syndicate. To convince your mob employers that you’re legit you must undertake a variety of missions ranging from simple bank heist getaways to classic car chases, to being ordered to deliver a new sports car to your Boss without damaging it. All the time, of course, avoiding the unwelcome attentions of the boys in blue. First of all, the visuals take the Destruction Derby graphics engine a step further, employing even more polygons to make up the collection of muscle cars you get to drive. Like Derby 2, your cars also have 'real' suspension and require real practise to handle successfully. The attractive visuals, however, come at a price and that price is slowdown. When the coppers get wind of your crime spree and you find yourself with more than two law enforcers on your tail things can get very jerky indeed. Like, coincidentally, Grand Theft Auto. But dodgy graphics can always be forgiven if the gameplay is up to scratch. Now, I’m not a fan of time limits. I hate them, as a matter of fact. I hate not being able to fully exp
lore every aspect of a game because I’m in such a rush to beat the clock. Driver has time limits. Driver has the time limits from Hell. When you start a mission you generally have to go and pick up your partners in crime and, rather inexplicably, you’re given a time limit to do so. What, could they not just wait a bit longer? These time limits are strict - VERY STRICT. Trying to make it from one street to another four blocks over, in the pouring rain and in busy traffic in absolutely no more than 60 seconds is the gameplay of the Devil himself. Prepare for many a disgusted hurl of the game pad when you miss the limit by half a second - "WHAT?!? Half a second late and it’s GAME OVER?!?! And you generally have such inflexible chronological boundaries when it comes to getting to the heist (or whatever) in time. Sometimes, the game throws you a real curveball when it tells you to get to the rendezvous point without any police tails - however, to get to the venue on time you have to speed; speed and you’ll ALWAYS attract the attentions of the coppers - see what I’m getting at? Stick with it, though, and the real fun quickly begins. Most of the time your actual getaway only demands that you "lose the tail, man!," as one of your criminal mates usually yells at you from the backseat. Hurl your car round bends (all of which are, bizarrely, 90 degree angles), launch yourself over hills, tear through car parks and across private gardens - anything to lose the cops. And real fun it surely is. Once you get the hang of your car’s twitchy handling you can create some truly classic car chases. You can even drive down alleyways and go smashing through conveniently placed piles of rubbish - just like the movies! And if that wasn’t enough, the game records your chase and then lets you replay it from any angle you want, allowing you to direct your very own car chase movie!
There are several sub games you can access from the start menu but they generally consist of getting away from coppers in different ways - fun for a few minutes. You can also select a "go for a drive" option which lets you just drive around the cities (once you’ve unlocked them), taking in the sights and, should the impulse take you, casually breaking the law and incurring the wrath of the local constabulary. It takes a bit of work to get into (not least of all the nightmare first level, which sees you trying to pass a mob driving test in a cramped underground car park in, you guessed it, under 60 seconds) but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with a genuinely exciting gaming experience. Worried parents can relax - the game won’t let you mow down innocent pedestrians, a la GTA (there is, however, a smattering of naughty language). And the rest of us? Well, the rest of us can simply turn off the lights, turn up the sound and become our favourite movie star. See Steve McQueen. Be Steve Mc Queen.
When I first heard about Driver I was expecting something along the lines of Grand Theft Auto in 3D (at the time GTA3 wasnt around). I got a hold of a copy of Driver for the PC and started to play it immediately, only to find to my horror, that it was nothing like GTA, and to be honest, wasn't that good. At first I thought this may be due to the fact that my PC at the time wasn't particularly fast, and so I decided to get a hold of the Playstation version from my mate and give it a go. Expecting the pace to be a bit faster (as well as the framerates) I was really disappointed to find out that the game was nowhere near as good as I'd hoped, and nowhere near as playable. Don't get me wrong, it looks pretty good and (allegedly) all of the maps are recreated from real American cities (having never been to America I can't comment on this) but it just gets so boring so quickly. For anyone who isn't familiar with the formula of the game, it basically places you in control of an undercover cop who is acting as a getaway driver for various mob activities, in order to infiltrate said societies. This basically takes the form of various missions where you have to pick guys up, drop them off, follow cars and the like, all the while avoiding being caught by the cops. Ah the cops! The over zealous fuzz! Yes things can get a bit hectic, with cop cars flying all over the place, smashing into you with complete disregard for themselves! It's just like watching an episode of Worlds Scariest Police Chases! But, before you can get into the action, you have to complete the most annoying traing level/bit that I have ever come across in my whole life! This involves you proving to the mob leaders that you are a worthy getaway driver, by performing various tricks, including burnouts, handbrake turns and the like. The problem with this section is that you have to perform all of the tricks exactly correct in the allocated
time before you can go on to the real game itself. Believe me, much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair will ensue as you try to complete this section! (The only way I could get through it was to cheat by the way! I got fed up trying!). Then when you finally get into the game, you wonder what all the fuss was about. Constantly having to restart levels because you failed to take a corner fast enough, or because a car pulled out of a a junction in front of you is most annoying. The controls themselves aren't too bad to be honest, and using an analogue pad helps a lot. A major disappointment was that you were unable to leave the car and go into another car. The car you picked at the start, is the car that you have the whole way through. (This problem was rectified in the sequel Driver 2). The game isn't all bad however. There are some nice touches and features in the game. The ability to just select a city and just drive about amuse for a little while, although like the main game becomes frustrating and boring after a while. A nice graphical feature is when you take a corner too fast and too tight, you will see the hubcaps rolling off and into the distance. Pedestrians run out of the way just in, although how they manage this when your plowing down on them at 60mph is beyond me! Unfortunately you cant run them down a la Caramageddon, but perhaps this is a good thing! (NOTE TO KIDS: do NOT steal a car and try to run people down! This is not big nor clever and will result in you ending up sharing a cell with a big fat man named Bubba!). So not the great game that it could've been and too be honest not even a mediocre game. It gets too boring too quickly, so it would probably be advisable to try before you buy, or just avoid completely. Or you could buy a PS2 and a copy of GTA3, the game that Driver shouldve been. But that'd be just mad wouldnt it!?
Recently I have had an eye for a bargain. Whilst in Asda the other day i noticed they were selling Playstation games for £6.67. I thought it was well worth a look and was very surprised to find Driver in this selection. I knew from popular opinion that it was a very good game and I decided to buy it. When I got home I put it in my PS2 and got straight down to it. A minor mistake on my part as I dived straight in to the Undercover option without doing some training first. (Suggest reading the manual fully before starting and definitely do the training game). Once I had mastered the basics I decided to see what options there were and was amazed at the variety. There are 4 main cities that you can drive around. Miami and San Francisco are the main ones to start with. The best option initially is to 'Take a Ride' around the cities. This option allows you to drive around the city and familiarise yourself with the map and the city. Once you think you know your way around you can try some of the driving games. These involve you driving round your chosen city completing a certain objective. One is to destroy a car that you are chasing. Another is to lose the cops. There is one called Survival where you have to avoid being smashed to pieces by the cops for as long as possible. Also there a cone challenge, where you have to drive over 100 cones in the time allowed. All are good challenge and are a lot of fun to do. Once you have completed a few of these you should be able to start the undercover game. In this option you have to infiltrate a bad guys organisation and bring him to justice. First you have to earn the job. You do this by completing a course around a car park. Training will show you how to do this. If you complete the course in under a minute then you get the job. You then have to complete a series of missions which involve picking people up, chasing people, evading capture, moving shady
goods around, etc. This is great fun and there are a number of choices you can take for different jobs which have an effect on the storyline. There is also a massive sub game that involves making your own films. The idea is to film different chase scenes that you are involved in and make them into one big chase. I have not yet explored this option but there are a lot of pages in the manual dedicated to this and from the glance I had at the option there is a lot that can be done. Finally there is an option for time trials to prove your worth. Overall it is a great game and if you can find it for cheap it is well worth the money. Personally I think it is one of the greatest games for the Playstation
Driver is a racing game with attitude, it?s a funky l don?t give a damn kind of game and owes a great deal of this to 70?s car chase films like Bullit or The French Connection plus a nod to Tarrantinos dialogue. In the main game you play an undercover agent infiltrating a criminal syndicate by undertaking assorted driving tasks, complete a mission successfully and you will receive other job offers on your telephone answering machine. Sometimes part of the mission will be against the clock forcing you to break the law and in doing so grabbing the attention of the local cops, full scale motoring mayhem is guaranteed to follow with cop cars in hot pursuit trying everything including ramming you head on in an attempt to apprehend you. Other missions or parts of missions may necessitate you driving slowly with the flow of traffic in an attempt to remain anonymous, this adds a surprising amount of tension to the game. The action take place in four American cities San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles and New York (Los Angeles and New York are locked at the start of the game).The graphics for the cities are excellent especially San Francisco with its steep hills and trams instantly recognizable from countless American films. The funky American feel of the game continues with your 70s muscle car pitching and rolling around corners tyres screeching and hub caps departing very convincingly. The missions increase in difficulty throughout the game but in a smooth attainable way, long term interest may be this games Achilles heal because although the missions are varied eventually the mechanics of the missions become evident (fetch, carry, evade ,avoid etc). Music in the game is only average but the dialogue of the miscellaneous characters is fairly amusing, along the lines of Samuel L Jackson . You will have to wait for Driver2 before multiplayer or online gaming is supported, but it is not missed that much with Driver being the sort of game yo
u just pick up and play for the odd twenty minutes. There are a number of sub games included, Survival where you are tracked down immediately by squads of cops and Pursuit where you have to ram another car and tail him for a given time being two of the best. If you are in a law abiding mood you can just ?Take A Ride? around the cities. Driver was released late 99 but is ageing well and if you can get hold of a copy at a reasonable price l don?t think you?ll be disappointed, it has been surpassed in graphical terms by the excellent Mid Town Madness 2 since its release but in gameplay it?s a much closer call.
Ever dreamed of being Steven McQueen and racing around the streets of San Francisco, well nows your chance with this superb game. You play the part of an under cover cop named Tanner, trying to bust the criminal underworld wide open. You have to ram other cars, transport some rubbish stuff across the city and other dodgy duties for the crime world. While your doing all those shiffty activities you must avoid the attention of the Pigs who are more than happy to chase you ass all over town. However the missions begin to get a bit boring after a while and its all too tempting to see what your car can do. You do all this and more in Miami, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. You can even make a movie of all your crazy car chases to watch and laugh at. Sadly you can't run anyone over, cause any explosions or anything fun like that, Grand Theft Auto for the kids. Theres also no multiplayer option which is a crying shame, but you do getting training exercises to do to practise your driving skills. Not as much fun as GTA but give it a go anyway.
In driver you take the role of an undercover policeman, your mission is to infiltrate a crime syndicate playing a getawat driver. You have all sorts of missions to take part in and they get progressively more difficult as you progress through the game. The game is graphically very impressive. The three dimensional buildings and cars are well animated and are constructed in a manner that gives the impression of depth. This depth is helped by the lighting and shadows included in the game. A feature of the game that I found pretty cool was that once you have finished a level/mission you can watch all the stuff you just did on playback and even edit regarding camera angles and stuff to make it look cool. My friends however thought it was a bit sad :( The gameplay is excellent the handling of the car is incredibly responsive and the missions ae fast paced and adrenelin rush inducing. The car you are driving is very resposive to the playstations original packaged pad (the only pad I have played this on, so can't comment on others). There is not over steer or anything it is perfect in this respect. Many of the missions are on a timer and have all sorts of variations giving this game shelf life, you won't get bored quickly with this one. All in all this game is fantastic. Everything about it is top notch; the graphics, the game play and just the way it ... feels. I highly reccomend this game
Driver Review by Jordan Bush Category Racing / Action Players 1 Difficulty Medium Review Date 17/01 Publisher GT Interactive What stop sign, officer? One of the highlights of being a teenager is learning how to drive. It's a necessary evil in this day and age, one that often requires long hours spent behind the wheel with mom hollering barely coherent directions from the passenger seat. Learning to drive may also include taking lessons from a 'driving instructor,' usually some middle aged guy with bad breath, cheap clothes, and absolutely no desire to live. My greatest moment came during my first lesson with a driving instructor. After a leisurely cruise through my suburban neighborhood, the instructor told me to pull out onto Wilshire Boulevard (a major street in Los Angeles). I hid my terror beneath a crooked smile and pulled out into real traffic for the first time in my life. After a few uneventful blocks, I began to relax. Suddenly, I saw a small child chase a ball into the street about half a block away. I eased off the gas and began slowing down. Things seemed perfectly under control, though my fearless instructor felt otherwise. With a gurgled cry, he thrust his foot down onto the passenger side brake (you gotta love those Teen Auto cars) and we jerked to a stop. However, the truck behind us was not as fortunate. The collision was epic. Shattered glass, twisted metal, and thankfully no injuries. The funny thing is that we were a good 100 feet from the kid, who barely took notice. When we got out of the car, my instructor whispered in a low voice, "Man, I gotta get a new job. That's my fourth accident this month." I swear this is true. So I sort of feel that I was meant to review a game like Driver, the latest from GT Interactive. Developed by Reflections (the Destruction Derby folks), Driver takes the racing game genre to new heights wi
th an explosive combination of action, realism and depth. With a revolutionary replay feature and the best gameplay I've seen in ages, this puppy is simply the hottest game in town. If you somehow missed the hype, here's the scoop. Driver puts you in the role of Tanner, an undercover cop trying to infiltrate a crime ring. You pose as a 'driver for hire,' escorting members of the underworld around the city. You'll have to contend with the cops on patrol, other criminals, and a fully functioning city filed with pedestrians and innocent motorists. Driver is essentially a racing game, but not like any you've seen before. Each city is a fully functioning place. Traffic lights actually work, and other cars will follow general traffic laws. This means that if you slam into a car and create a big accident in an intersection, traffic will actually back up for a block or so. Plus, breaking the law pisses off the cops, who will try to stop your illegal driving with reckless abandon. You have two meters to keep track of -- Damage and Felony. Take too much damage and it's game over. Break too many laws and your Felony meter increases. The higher the meter, the more ferocious the police pursuit. The main way to play is in 'Undercover' mode, where the story unfolds through over 40 missions spanning 4 cities: Miami, San Francisco, LA, and New York. The missions cover a range of objectives, though most involve trying to get from point A to point B in one piece. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Like any good Hollywood action flick, Driver puts you in situations that lead to some hysterically thrilling racing moments. A typical 10 seconds may involve skidding around a blind corner, narrowly missing a tree, and slamming on the brakes right as a cop tries to run you off the road. Then you'll peel out straight into oncoming traffic, bouncing off cars left and right, resulting in a monstrous cong
estion that leaves the cop stranded behind a blocked street. This game stops your breathing. Driver excels where other games have failed by striking a perfect balance between action and realism. Car handling is a wonderful mixture of true physics and arcade functionality -- not as nitpicky and sim oriented as Gran Turismo nor as ridiculously implausible as SF Rush. Driving follows the 'easy to learn, hard to master' formula, though the first mission (The Interview) will have novices begging for mercy. In addition to the excellent car physics, Driver has full damage modeling. Back into a telephone pole and you'll see an appropriate dent; smash into a throng of police cars and you might find the handling out of whack. The detail can be seen in little things, like smoking tires when you peel out, hubcaps flying off as you careen around corners, and thick smoke pouring out of your engine after a particularly nasty collision. You'll find plenty of replayability in Driver. In addition to Undercover mode, you can Take a Drive through any of the 4 sprawling cities to better familiarize yourself with the area (the maps are huge). You can also engage in a variety of Driving Games, ranging from Checkpoint racing to the awesome Survival mode. In this mode, it's you against a seemingly endless number of extremely aggressive cops, leading to some amazing crashes. As if this wasn't enough, Driver comes packed with an extensive Film Director. After a race, you can cut and edit the replay to your liking, and then save your movie. While the editor is hardly a simple tool (editing a 3 minute race could take 30 minutes), it's well worth it, especially after a particularly brutal experience. And if you're not in the mood to do it yourself, you can always watch the Quick Replay as shown through an auto-director. Though surely a tremendous game, there's always room for improvement. Graphically, Driver is
n't spectacular. It's good, but the pop-up is noticeable and things are a little grainy. However, the graphical problems are mainly a result of the Playstation's limited power, and the PC version due out later will likely improve this area. Also, the FMV and voice acting are not very good. Higher quality video and actors would have helped the story out. Further, Undercover mode follows a preset path. You often have a choice of missions, but if you fail, you don't keep going. I'd like to see a story mode more like Colony Wars, where success isn't the only way to proceed. It would have been more interesting to see the story break into different paths. I may be stretching here, but I have to complain about something. Shall we call these ideas for a sequel? In the end, I just don't have the words to describe how much fun this game is. Rarely does a game captivate the stoic and hypercritical Game Revolution office, but Driver has done just that. We're hooked, and we highly advise getting hooked yourself. Besides, it's a better way to learn how to drive than Driver's Ed. Trust me. Report Card A + Fantastic gameplay + Balance between realism & action + Cool replays + Great details + No need to practice parallel parking BEST GAME OF 1999