Driver

aka: Driver: Você é o Motorista, Driver: You are the Wheelman
Moby ID: 309

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 82% (based on 67 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 121 ratings with 5 reviews)

Initially a lot of fun, then you start to notice all the flaws

The Good
The chase are a real blast, lots of authentic-looking streets to drive through, excellent driving model, ability to save chase replays and edit them with the "director's mode", third-party mission editor

The Bad
Brain-dead AI for the cops, infinite cop respawn, some extremely frustrating missions with too-tight time limits, too many missions based on time limits, some multi-part missions with no end in sight and carry-over damage, cars are too "bouncy", strange physics bugs that sends cars flying hundreds of feet into the air when colliding near a wall, ridiculously hard initial "test", virtually impossible final mission, absolutely NO multi-player (not even modem or split-screen), lousy voice acting and goofy looking movies, console-style design that has absolutely no concept of a "computer mouse", only 8 replays slots and 8 save slots... the list goes on and on.

The Bottom Line
Driver is a game where you drive through game-ized versions of Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, avoiding cops and fulfill objectives. With plenty of streets to drive on, you can pick your own route, cut through grass, drive on sidewalks, drive on wrong side of the street... Anything goes, just don't get caught! (i.e. have your car smashed into immobility by the cops) While there's a backstory about you being an undercover cop trying to track down a conspiracy (which eventually involves the FBI, plenty of local police, the Mafia, and the President of US), the action is in driving, and just driving. You get messages on your answering machine in a hotel room, and by choosing which message you answer, you go on different missions. Most missions are time-based. A typical mission: Go to location X in 2:30 seconds, no cops following you at the end! The cars look authentic, and the streets look pretty good (if a bit repetitive), but all the streets intersect at right angles, making this part look MUCH worse than Midtown Madness. Though you'll be driving so fast you'll hardly notice. The cars you drive are 70's muscle cars, though they all have automatic transmissions and they handle not that differently.

The problem with Driver is the developers ported this from Sony Playstation, and they did a very lazy job. The game does not use the mouse in any way even though it would make sense to use that in the main menu (you have to use keyboard). The options are console-style "hit left-right to toggle through the choices" when it makes more sense to use "drop-down" on a PC. The initial version does not even allow mixed keyboard and joystick controls!

Driver could have been THE cop chase game with a bit more effort like ability to export chase movie to AVI, use mouse in the interfaces (including director's mode when editing the chases), ability to bypass missions after X attempts, little touches like that. As is, it's a game with great premise but lousy execution that should have deserved better on a PC.

Windows · by Kasey Chang (4598) · 2000

Groovie!

The Good
First of all, lemme tell you, this review might be a bit biased, simply 'cuz I'm mad about 60's - 70's american muscle cars! So, having that said I'll leave it up to you to decide if you'll get on reading, you dig?

San Fracisco, sometime in the 70's (can't remember now, it's been a loooooong time). My black '71 Plymouth GTX purrs on idle as I'm about to push the pedal to the medal and become a screaming fury out in the streets. The thug's orders on the phone just a minute ago where clear "Yo driver! I've got a little job for ya. Git yourself down and pick up our friend cause he needs a little ride". I didnt' answer, but they knew I accepted the job. After all, they were my talents that got me the inside all this. Driver. I pushed the monster out and my rear wheels started spinning and screaming, eating sunny tarmac. The driver's loose baby! Big time!

That's what I loved in the whole game! The atmosphere! Driver really puts you in the seat of an undercover police officer x-racing driver, who's mission is to witness the deeds of some mafia circuit and bring them to justice.

In the game apart from being able to drive all sorts of nice and cosy vehicles (and wreck'em to pieces) you'll get the chance to get in contact with the creme de la creme of the crime scene. What's good in that? I hear you say. Well 2 things basically, first it dresses the whole game with the crimey atmosphere veil it was mented to have and secondly if you're not American (like myself, I'm Greek) and never lived to the U.S. it's good for your English learning 'cause you can pick up some badass slang, you dig cowboy? I know there are hundreds of games that are doing that too, but as I said this is review is biased!

Ok, seriously now, Driver wouldn't be as good without the crime storyline. Also the playing worlds, which are mapped after the real cities are quite big.

On the driving aspect now, the game enables you to do a few tricks, that you wouldn't be able to in a real situation! Let's face it; How many times have you passed a police car in the middle of your town by oversteering though corners? And how many times have you passed a red traffic light, did a 360 spin in the middle of the crossroad and then driven away only driving on the wrong side going against the traffic. Well, that's an idea of what you can do in Driver, or to put it right: that's what you need to do in Driver in order to survive.

Gameplay wise, there is a strong storyline which keeps the game together. The good news is that you have many options to choose from on which mission you're going to follow. You see cowboy, if your wheels ain't good for driving me downtown, how about taking this little package to my friend? On the beggining of each drving session you're at your apartment where there's an answering machine (it's vintage style too! yes) where the creme de la creme leave messages for jobs you have to do. You don't have to drive each one of them, just one will do the job and get your status to the next level. The crimes that you'll get involved in are of various types like: your everyday bankrobbery, your everyday getaway, your everyday nasty delivery, your everyday get a girl who's just ODed to the hospital and finally your everyday presidential assasination, to name just a few. All of them requires driving your monster through the hostile city environment and get away from cops.

The vehicles handling is arcadey to say the least. Ofcourse this helps the game excitement levels and you soon forget that. After all this is not a simulation.

The chasing cops AI is relatively good. They get easily on your tail, but with a few tricks you'll be able to lose them. It's not easy, but you'll get it.

The music's cool too! Strummin boogies and funk, what else suits best your enormous collars, fly-shape shades and bad wheels?

The Bad
The bad and the ugly is that the majority of vehicles you get to drive are nowhere near the famous and fabulous sportscars (or sports editions)of the era. Most of the cars at your disposal are everyday simple versions. One explanation to that could be, that a sportscar would get more easily noticed (oh yeah! as if the way you're gonna drive on this game won'get you noticed at all). If somebody could explain me though how come all of the cars you get to drive have burnout abilities (which means biiiig horsepower) and they only get to top speeds of about 110mph (i think). So forget the camaros, forget the hemicudas, the corvettes and the firebirds too... :(((((

Also could somebody explain me what is this Wrangler Jeep is doing to one of the later levels???!!! Way out of date cowboy!!! The wranglers begun to be produced in the late 80's, not the 70's. Maybe they couldn't find a photo of the Renegade Jeep, Wrangler's predecessor.

Graphics-wise, the game will never be noted for it's outstanding graphics. I dare say that it's graphics are nuff and dull and boring in the end. The cars models are nothing too spectacular, nor the world that you will encounter on your driving ventures. Detail is kept to a minimum, something that applies to models and textures too.

On the sound department, things aren't spectacular either. The engines sound all the same, the engine sound tries to immitate the sound of a real V6, comes close but fails in my opinion (needs more bass!!!). The rest of the sounds are ok, but nothing too special.

The Bottom Line
Let's face it! It's the storyline and the whole concept behind it that holds the player and not the gimmicks. And that's a success for a game, i believe.

It's a big success for a game that doesn't boast superior graphics and sound. Yes, you'll be coming back for more and more, especially if you like old American cars and exciting driving.

If you don't then maybe it's the 70's concept the one that will get into you, but I'm afraid that you'll get bored with Driver quite easily, cause it's not just a 70's lifestyle game. It's lifestyle, crime and cars above all. You like all these, you're in for Driver, you don't you can still have a try cause it's addictive.

Windows · by SifouNaS (1309) · 2007

A massive game - huge storyline, huge choices - everything Midtown Madness should have been.

The Good
It's big. I mean really, really big. The four cities are obviously greatly simplifed (every bend is a right angle for example), but they are big. The main game is the undercover section, which is a well-written, in-depth story spanning all four cities. I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't got that far, but it's big.

There are so many sub-games to choose from, each has its own unique challenge. In Pursuit you have to tail another car as long as you can; in Trailblazer you have to follow a course knocking over cones to gain time; in Survival you have to survive as long as you can against a whole bunch of homicidal cops; in Carnage you get to see how much damage (in dollars) you can cause in one minute. Each is quite tough in its own way, and damn fun to do. With a whole group of high score tables you also feel a pressing urge to try to better your previous best.

The graphics in this game a pretty good, even at lower resolutions. The cars, both yours and the others are well-drawn and easily recognisable for what they are. None of them a painted stupid colours (as with Midtown 2), so the whole scene has a sense of reality about it.

There is also a very well developed replay mode, allowing you to replay a particular incident (or the whole race) in close detail. Choose from a huge variety of camera angles, and create a little movie! There really are some quite spectacular crashes, which can be a lot of fun to replay over and over.

Unlike Midtown, this game is a constant challenge, and it will take quite a while to get through everything. Occasionally it can get a little frustrating, but it is always worthwhile.

The Bad
The graphics are good, but you'll need a good spec PC to get the most out of it. If I connect my steering wheel, the frame-rate drops a long way, making the game almost unplayable, which is a pity.

The cops are complete lunatics. Even one minor infringement, and they will do all they can to destroy you. Doing 56 in a 55 zone? If they see you they will come after you and not quit until your car is wrecked. This can be a little annoying at times.

The car handling is very loose. This is the style of the game, and attempt to recreate Hollywood style car chases of the 70s, but it can be bloody annoying to drive when you have no grip and super-soft suspension.

The cities are vastly simplified, but that's not really a problem. It's not that kind of game. But why is it always night-time in LA?

The Bottom Line
Brilliant. Lots of fun, great story, great action. Not as much fun to drive as Midtown, but it beats it in almost every other area. And it's really big. This game will keep you busy for weeks.

Windows · by Steve Hall (329) · 2000

Insanely difficult, there's other carfish in the sea

The Good
The concept is really cool. You are a getaway driver for the mob. Through objective-based gameplay, you take on a good variety of missions carting people around, performing insane car chases while taking care of business.

After all is said and done, you can go back and review your chases from different angles, which is a really nice touch. You can also select a variety of locations to just cruise around before embarking on the game's main mission.

The Bad
The controls are completely obnoxious to the point of unplayability. Almost every turn results in a burnout, which is particularly obnoxious seeing as the police will pursue you without fail for having done absolutely nothing wrong and will attempt to obliterate you into a pulp if you don't frantically scramble away, which, for this reviewer anyway, typically resulted in a spectacular crash.

While there's a good array of missions, nearly all of them involve driving person x from point a to point b, and take several attempts. Many of the missions are timed, which means you're not allowed to deliberate on how to avoid a spectacular end by strategizing a method around the abominable controls.

That's only if you can make it out of the gate -- Driver's training mission is mandatory to complete before you can begin the main mission, and requires you to pull off nearly every stunt in the game's repertoire to perfection; something that would normally take time, or that you would learn along the way in a balanced game. Driver is the opposite of balanced.

The Bottom Line
Driver is a cool in theory, but provides neither the sandbox wonder of Grand Theft Auto nor the maniacal entertainment of Carmageddon. If you're looking for a cool driving/crime sim, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a cool replay function to bide your time between Dukes of Hazzard reruns, look no further.

PlayStation · by jTrippy (58) · 2010

Huge Areas, High Speed, and 3 Cities.

The Good
This game's lovely areas are great to drive on, the sounds are great. There are several game modes like Undercover, Take a ride, and Survival. The story is great, you are Tanner, an Undercover cop who must work undercover to find out the secret of the most fearsome Mob Boss in America.

Contrary to other driving games you can drive in parks, alleyways, and wreck almost everything!

The Bad
The graphics are extremely dissappointing, your turns are very sharp, making the car very difficult to control.

The Bottom Line
This game is NOT a traditional driving game, this game is extremely violent, you will have to destroy several objects, and completely destroy cars, you will also need to maintain your car (don't damage it too much or your game will end), keep away from cops, and drive decently.

Windows · by Jim Fun (207) · 2001

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by nyccrg, Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen, Seth Newman, Alaka, mikewwm8, Jeanne, vedder, Zaibatsu, Big John WV, ryanbus84, Parf, Scaryfun, Wizo, Plok, COBRA-COBRETTI, firefang9212, jean-louis, Kabushi, Alsy, lights out party, CalaisianMindthief, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), Klaster_1, Foxhack.