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The Driver series started off so promisingly, with a great first installment, a solid sequel, and then a third game that was, for want of a better word, tosh (so bad, in fact, the developers bribed a few notable gaming publications!).
Parallel Lines, the fourth game in the series, tries to go back to basics, with a fairly routine revenge plot, in which you play a youngster named "The Kid". The game begins as you've been turned on and banged up in prison for someone else's mistake. After years in prison, you emerge and want to take revenge on the people who put you inside. Presented like a film, with a rather good cinematic style, it gets you in the mood to kick some butt!
The driving is the best aspect of the game - it has been refined and tuned to feel quite realistic, more like GTA4 than any game before it. Also, you can crash into a good amount of the environments with your car, causing unspeakable bouts of chaos and mayhem. Given how dire it was in the last game, it's no surprise that the shooting has also been revamped, and now the baddies actually respond to the bullets! Also, escaping the heat is now not as impossible as it used to be - you can hide and change cars in an attempt to escape the fuzz.
I must commend the game from a graphical perspective also - they've done a very good job bringing New York to the PS2 - all of the main monuments are there, and from my understanding they did a very good job recreating it. The vehicles are also excellently modelled and greatly resemble their real counterparts. From an aural perspective, things are also quite pleasing - the vehicular sound effects seem very realistic, and there is also now a radio station system much like that of the GTA games.
This is a solid game that doesn't have the "oomph" factor to make it something to compete with GTA. Rather, it feels more like a decent copy of GTA than anything else. That said, there's a lot to do here and I enjoyed the game as an improvement on the dreadful Driv3r.
Driver Parallel Lines is an action game developed by Atari for the Playstation 2.
The story follows TK (Tanner from all the previous Driver titles is nowhere to be found!), he is a getaway driver and works to create a giant drugs smuggling ring, the police eventually catch on and TK is set up and takes the fall for all his accomplices, he is sent to jail for 28 years and once he gets out he starts on a path of getting revenge on all the people that set him up. I actually found the story to be quite interesting and the change of the eras of before and after you get out of prison is a really neat touch.
Driver puts you in a replica of New York City, car handling has been tweaked again from the realism that Driv3r went for back to a more accessible arcade style of driving. This certainly makes it easier and less frustrating allowing you to pull off some pretty impressive car stunts without to much hassle.
Missions in the game have a distinctly Grand Theft Auto vibe to them and involve alot of driving and shooting enemies, you do the usual racing type missions along with hunting down targets and some epic car chases which are made more fun because you can now shoot from inside your car.
The on foot portions of the game have improved from Driv3r, for a start your character actually moves and animates like a human being. The shooting mechanics on foot are a little less good however with the lockon system never really being quite as precise as you would like it to be.
Graphics are reasonable for the Playstation 2 but they don't look significantly better than Driv3r. The voice actors in the game do a good job too.
This is a return to form for the Driver series and a good action game in general.
Driver:Parellel Lines is a driving game set in 1978 and 2008. It follows the story of TK in New York, who is an 18 year old driver trying to make money,get girls, blah blah. He ends up in jail, framed for a murder, so decides to murder the men who got in there. 28 years later, the now forty-something TK sets out on his journey.
The game graphics are surprisingly good, though TK looks a bit like Peter Crouch in Fifa Street 3. All the cars unfortunately look the same really, and the car mods are surprisingly dull. The missions aren't very fun, due to the very unrealistic gun battles and TK's lack of spectacular driving manuvers. One very good point, though, is the cop chases that you get into which are fun and realistic, and the notoriety system allows for much more realistic gameplay. The police, unfortunately, are simply dummies who shoot at you no matter what is in the way.
So, if you want a rampaging GTA style game with massive gameplay and great graphics, don't consider this. But otherwise, this is quite a good choice.
Personally, I was disappointed when I first played the new Driver. Atari had obviously seen the success of GTA San Andreas and tried to model the game around that. All the features that made Driver games what they were are gone. They are all repaced with a lame replica of Grand Theft Auto games. Almost all of the typical features of the Driver series have disappeared.
On the other hand, Driver 4 does have very good graphics and the maps represent a realistic reconstruction of New York. The graphics are not only good on the cars, but the surroundings as well. The car choice also boasts a good range. Since the career of the game is set in 2 timezones (1978/now), the game allows you to switch between them in free roam. Meaning that the car choice doubles when you switch between them. The range of weapons on offer is good on the whole, although there are some exceptions.
In terms of the career, the main storyline is set around the main character being jailed for 28 years, when he comes back, you need to fight against the people who put him in there (revenge basically). On the whole, I liked the missions, however some were quite hard to complete. Like chasing down 3 different moving vehicles around New York in a tight time limit. Outside the set missions there are other side missions such as races etc.
The final point I am going to make about this game is that it is only 1 player. A downside from my point of view.
However, on the whole the game just doesn't feel that good.
Driver: Parallel Lines for the PS2 is a third person driving/racing game and was released in 2006 and is the fourth game in the Driver game series. The game is only single player.
The main character you play is TK ( The Kid) who is a get away driver for New York City crime ring and it starts in 1978, as the game goes on you soon get arrested for kidnapping and murdering a Colombian drug lord and sentenced to serve 28 years in prison. You get released in 2006 and you are out to get revenge on the people who set you up.
The actual game play feels and looks very much like Grand Theft Auto. There is over 30 levels to play, over 80 different vehicles to modify including cars, bikes and trucks you can modify most things from paint work to nitrous boosters or bullet proof glass, you can also test drive on a special track any modifications you make.
The soundtrack is pretty good as well and there is a decent selection of songs to choose from.
The controls for the game are pretty easy to use and the handling when driving is fairly easy. The graphics for a pc game are not really that good and could have easily been improved.
The AI is pretty good and the game itself is pretty hard to complete.
Value for Money -
A game that is very similar to Grand Theft Auto but is still fun to play and a decent improvement on the other games in the series. The game is pretty well written and the story is pretty good. With plenty of vehicles to choose from and modify is there is plenty of options and always something different to do.
My rating 6 out of 10
Much was expected when Driver : Parallel lines was released as before GTA hit the PS2 , this was the precursor on the old PSX to all the Grand Theft series. At the time it was cutting edge but to see how far their fall from the grace of originiality is, is quite sad. This is a very cheap knock off of Grand Theft Auto 3 and in comparison it's paler than the Grim Reaper in winter! The story is that you were once a buddng young racer but entangled in a cocaine ring. Imprisoned for 28 years you're out and looking for revenge. Gameplay is shaky at best and awkward at worst. The Graphics are ok but not up to standard with similar PS2 titles and the missions offer very little in the way of an intriguing storyline. If i'm forced to say one good point of Driver though is in the failure of a mission , you only have to tap the button to retry the mission whereas in the GTA games you have to go right back to hospital or police station and find the mission again then try to complete it. Thats not really enough for me to give this anymore than a thumbs down.
Genre = 3rd Person Action Free Roaming Game
Developer = Reflections
Publisher = Atari
Players = 1 Player
Online = No
Age = 18+
Memory Usage = 148KB Minimum
Platform = PS2 and Xbox
Released = March 2006
The first driver game was released on the ps1 in October 2000 then followed Driver 2 they were both based on car chase missions, then came the 3 game that include on foot missions and guns for the ps2 but was a big disappointment, which then brings use to Driver: Parallel Lines the fourth game in series.
The driver games have always had the main character Tanner as an undercover cop but here you take control of someone new, The Kid also known as TK, you been living in New York City for a few years as a young rookie wheelman, which is a driver for people that do robberies. The year is now 1978 and you friend Ray an ex-wheelman himself, has a contact to help you move up in the world doing bigger jobs.
So This contact Slink who loves his parties, girls, booze and is a smooth cool guy that gives you a quick driving job as a interview, ones passed he then shows you how to handle a gun. As you progress through the game you start from going small jobs to moving up to bigger once, from stealing cars, setting up other gangs and killing them, braking out a member out of jail and taking hostages for ransom.
After some big jobs and some well earn money it goes wrong and you are set up to take the rap being send down for everything, (takes place about half way through the game) you then emerge back in to the world 28 years later in 2006, more wide, tough and out for revenge on all that had sent you down.
The graphics has 2 different qualities, as you may have guess thats the actual game and the cut-scenes. The cut scenes, which is also known as CGI or FMV is some of the best work you can see on the PS2 which means that the lighting and graphics makes it look very real along with the facial animation but the only think with this is they are short videos and are spread very rarely through out the game as its only used for the main parts of the storyline.
On the other hand theres the actual gameplay graphics has been slightly improved over the last game, but the main good point is that theres no glitches that no ones found so far and that there are now slow downs. With a game of this type, by which I mean free roaming game like True Crime and Grand Theft Auto that like this has now loading time as you moving around the big open cities. There is nothing that sticks out as excellent in the graphics side of things apart from which I should mention is that the city is pretty well designed and that the cars look appealing to drive with some nice detail to them, although theres not car licenses they do appear to look like real cars that you can tell like a TVR, Austin Martian, Mustang, Lexus, Cadillac Escalade, Mazda RX-7, Chrysler and others of you that known your cars.
One other thing the add here is that the damage effects looks good from the smashed windows, bumpers hanging, bullet holes and more to the destruction of explosions and the barrels, dustbins that bounce about when driving down the alleyways.
The voice acting overall is pretty good apart from Slick which is quite annoying person but there are many other characters with great personality. The sound side of things is good enough with the car engines and skids all sounding real, plus the gun firing all sounds stop on but the main reason this section scores high is because of the great music that is played.
As the games set in 1978 at the beginning and then 2006 after prison, there is a very good mix of sound tracks of over 80 songs from the classics to the modern day featuring some exclusives never heard from before by legends and new entertainers like Iggy Pop, Wreaking Crew, Charles Wright, Blondie, Kaiser Chiefs, Paul Oakenfold, Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy and many, many more filled with top tracks being played as you drive along.
The controls are easy to use and you shouldnt have any probably mastering it, only thing that I recalled is that I did press Triangle a few times when drive as this makes you dive out of the car were as the previous drivers the button was for handbrake. The controls are now more like other games of its type where as the X is to accelerate and square is for brake and reverse. Guns can be changed with the left and right on d-pad, where as L1 draws the gun and R1 is for shoot. Newly added is that you can now shoot your gun while drive so its makes it easier when chasing someone or if trying to loss the cops.
The handlings of the cars are easy enough and not over sensitive apart from some of the racing cars have very quick response and needs more skill and talent. One you put in some practice you be able to zoom in and out of the traffic and also handbrake around corners at high speeds with out losing it.
The thrill cam is still here but where as before its used in replays, you can trigger it when playing the game. I love using it myself when you handbrake it around a corner and with a quick press on the down with the d-pad actives the thrill cam which puts the view to an angle that looks at your car and makes it does slow-motion. This is very cool to use but dont over used it, especially in missions as you cant so whats in front of you and can end up making you crash. For anyone who thinks this is a strange power to have in this game: its not a power its a camera view thats used for replays but here its used in real-time
The gameplay starts of with some simply driving/chasing missions but then turns into jobs that involve shooting. The missions Varity and are good, some that involve good challenges. The main difficult part of the game even for myself a regular gamer was not the actual missions but just the simple driving which is not so simply. Where as other games of this type you can drive straight done the road at 100mphs or so but here each and every road is packed with traffic, with even the short and small roads theres load of cars going both ways as well as packed cars. You will find that you be hitting every car and then will have to be nicking others just the get to the end of the road. One the bigger road with many lanes its easier as theres more room but you still need to gather some skills and be more careful, as you drive you will be switching lanes all the time and using the brakes is a yes when its get heavy, youll also see yourself going for a gap in between two cars or going onto the pavement as this can be the only space sometimes.
With time you should improve and you feel on top of the world when bombing through the traffic at high speeds for miles with out hitting anything. Sticking with cars with about the maximum speed of about 90-100mphs helps with successful driving until your skills improve.
The other new feature in driver is you can now modify your vehicles which is a warm welcome but could have been better still. With earning money you can take any vehicle into your garage and from there you can add bodykits thats comes with its own graphics, change colour, add tune ups to your engine and a nitro for a nice bit of boost. Also which helps in missions you can also buy bullet proof tires and windows as well as tint them. You can do this to all and any vehicle you like from cars, trucks, dustbin carts and also firetrucks. This is not an in-depth thing, so you will be disappointed if you are looking forward to great customization as it dont let you add alloys, bumpers or spoilers separate as they come as a package.
Theres also new felony system that you have 2 a personal felony and felony attached to vehicles the player has used. So were as the police are chasing the car your in, if can pick up the car again once that have lose you but if your were to get out of the car when they are not about, they would have now lead of who to follow. If you had a felony for shooting of foot you can get into a car and hide parse unless they see you through the window if up close.
The whole game is set in New York which lets you visit Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and so on which consists of about 260km of road, making the single city larger than the total of all three cities from the last Driver game. This makes it very cool to drive around in with no loading times what so ever which now focus on more driving than on-foot missions.
Where as if you just played the main missions and followed the storyline then should easily complete the game with in a week. But were is that not half of the fun as there are main side missions to play which involve getaway driver, taxi missions, checkpoint racing, street racing, dept collector and many more which has 3 difficulty settings. My favorite side missions myself which Ive not mentioned is the circuit races where there are 3 of them that lies with each of the garages. Its best to start from easy and the cars are much faster on the other settings, you race 5 other cars on a made race course were as the two higher settings unlock more fast racing cars for you to drive.
The nice this also with the driver is that any of the vehicles you drive back to your garage then gets saved, where you can repair and upgrade anytime and can be used for any mission. Theres about 80 vehicles to find and collect in your garage and along with 50 hidden stars (just like GTAs hidden packages) to find all over New York adds replay value and also at each 10 you get gives you extras like 50 more health, double boosters and so on.
With many cool weapons from both eras to try out and unlockable cheats to get as you progress should add more replay value to the game.
==BUY OR NOT TO BUY==
Any fan of the driver games should buy it as its the best one they have made and for anyone who enjoys the Getaway, True Crime and Grand Theft Auto games should also try it as its the same type of genre though now were as good as GTA.
Graphics - 8/10
Sound/Music - 9/10
Controls - 9/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Replay Value - 7/10
FINAL RATING 8.2/10
Amazon.co.uk = £22.99
Play.com = £29.99
Theres also a special collectors edition that may cost more depends on where you buy, that comes in a tint case and has free music cd featuring the official soundtracks of the game.
Thanks for Reading.
The genre-defining Driver franchise returns to its gameplay roots in Driver: Parallel Lines, with highly sophisticated, adrenaline-pumping car chase AI and unprecedented vehicle dynamics and physics. Driver: Parallel Lines is set in a photorealistic interpretation of New York City, features a seamless open mission structure integrated around a central storyline, and will be one of the first games of the genre to incorporate online play for console versions. Driver: Parallel Lines is being developed by Reflections Interactive and is scheduled for release in 2006.