One of my favorite things to do with my friends a few years ago was to play PS on weekends, staying up late and going through any number of driving, sports, or action titles throughout a Saturday and Sunday evening. One of these that I particularly enjoyed was the original Driver, as I remember friends and I would constantly try to see who could use the glitches the best and do things like shoot our own cars or cop cars 400 feet in the air and things like that after head-on collisions. Well, here we are again, getting another installment to the Driver series with Driver 3, but unfortunately, I think it’s safe to say that this version has definitely taken a wrong turn somewhere.
Driv3r once again stars it’s leading man named Tanner as he this time goes undercover to bust a ring of car thieves looking to ship some high-end vehicles overseas. Basically, you accomplish this by going through a series of pretty well-acted cutscenes and some missions (which I’ll get to in a second) which will have Tanner doing things undercover both in and out of his vehicle. Ultimately, think GTA III with you playing as an undercover cop versus a bad guy.
The character controls are pretty standard to both third person and FPS titles, but they are very stiff and slow. Not the kind of thing you want in a shoot-out or high-speed chase. Also, the gameplay in the story mode is mission after mission after mission, which gets repetitive after a period of time (especially when you have to try do a mission more than 5 times), and the AI is definitely below average.
Miami from the top of a building looks pretty sharp in the night, but it’s not enough to save it from all the other things wrong with it. There are collision-detection problems everywhere, and the pop-up and draw-in distance is horrible. There are also random problems, like losing life for no reason, and the overall look to the game is almost into original PS style in some places (four-sided sprite trees … yuk!)
The voice acting was done well, and was entertaining, but the music really didn’t do much more than add in some background noise. Also, the cars sounded very droning, although they had their own unique sounds, and there was a little more that could have been done here.
Due to driving cars that handle like dump trucks, chases can be a real pain. Also, the missions that are timed were repeated constantly, usually due to not having a clear notion on what to do next, so be ready for some do-overs.
Driver was a great game, but unfortunately, we seem to be headed in the wrong direction with the third installment. I was really hoping for more, but ultimately this feels rushed and unfinished
Well, I would love to recommend this title, but I would even warn Driver fanatics to be careful if you are thinking about buying this game. Wait until it goes used and hits the $20 or under the mark or just rent it for a weekend, since after a few hours you may find it to be too frustrating and not really worth your while.