Review by Millers C

Reviewed: 10/21/01 | Updated: 03/05/02

Glitchy, but rewarding

Driver is true to the title: You are the Driver. Unlike GTA where you took on the role of a hardened criminal, Driver lets you play as an undercover cop, who is after the Castaldi Family, the Mafioso who has rackets in Frisco, Miami, LA and the big apple itself. With such diversified surroundings, it really allowed for a lot of depth and it shows. First off is Miami, where you can drive from all the Great places you’ve only read about in books to Hump back bridges; the source of every stunt man’s dream. Miami is a beautiful city. In the game, the roads are paved in brilliant white; with the Scenery all lovely drawn and actually being different for different parts of the city.

You get to drive some sort of sports car (Unknown, I guess Psygnosis got a bit Skimpy on the Licensing) throughout, but what would have helped would have been the ability to drive all cars, as you could in the superior PC Version. In my honest opinion, Frisco is the best city. From the tramlines to the remarkably detailed Golden gate, just about everything is there. LA is a gloomy city, fuelled with turbo cars, and a vast night cityscape. That was my main concern regarding the cities. I prefer playing at day, and hence me discarding the LA levels. New York is just as you expect. Cabs, Smoking sewers and Wall Street make an appearance.

You can recreate films such as Bullet, The French Connection and more recently Gone in 60 seconds. The cities all allow for some wild stunt action, whether it be ramps, hills or crashing into trams, you wont really get tired. That’s just Take a ride mode. Undercover mode takes you to the four cities as you undertake jobs in order to capture the Mobsters. There are 26 levels that need to be beaten in order to complete it, however, the game is non linear and you can choose which levels to undertake. Will it be the Hard mission where you get to drive a Ferrari, or a boring chase mission? The choice is yours. Miss out on a decent level, and you’ll have to replay the game. In fact to maximize all the features in the game, you must go and play it again. That said, there are also some demanding one-player missions, which include survival (Trying to evade the attentions of four Robocop’s in supercharged cruisers), Getaway (Like Survival, but you need to simply Getaway), and checkpoint (Get through a whole city). Driver is certainly a game that has tones to do.

Gameplay wise, the cops are very strict. Run a red light and he will speed after you and try and destroy your car. Ok it is a game, but do real life cops really do that? Secondly, you have strict time limits. Get a split second out and you will fail a mission, even though the stupid red arrow is right in front of you! Allowances should have been made for this (It did in Driver 2). Graphically the game is stunning enough, however there are a few glitches and errors, for example you can drive through barriers and drive through glitchy scenery with no chance to get back into game play. There fore, if there are places your not supposed to get to, don’t include them in the game. Sometimes this plays like a beta test version. Finally, it isn’t perfect: It’s glitchy in places, but ultimately rewarding. There is enough driving action to keep gamers happy, and some substance as there is quite a lot to come back for. It is easily better than WSPC on the PSX, and just muscles out The Italian Job to stake a claim to the free driving crown on the PSX. Surpassed only by the sequel. Oh did I forget to mention it? Buy it now!

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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