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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Driver Review Video Game

Driver's core game design is so strikingly original and fun that it can be enjoyed without embellishment.

Like many console-to-PC ports, Driver suffers from being translated verbatim and taking little advantage of the more powerful PC platform. However, Driver's core game design is so strikingly original and fun that it can be enjoyed without embellishment.

As its name implies, Driver is a game about driving - at dangerous speeds through densely populated city streets. The game was designed by the makers of the Destruction Derby series and casts you as an undercover 1970s policeman motoring your way into the heart of mob territory through the criminal application of your cop-honed driving skills. Rather than focussing on racing as in Microsoft's recent city-cruising game Midtown Madness, Driver is all about the interactive re-creation of classic car-chase movies like Bullitt and Freebie and the Bean. Pursuit, evasion, survival, and the judicious implementation of all-out vehicular mayhem compose the core of the action.

You'll also enjoy discovering the many creative ways in which Reflections has used the relatively simple components of its gameworld to concoct a wide variety of interesting scenarios. The missions range from timed trips across town, aggressive pursuits of other vehicles, and eluding the fuzz, to unusual and surprising tasks such as scaring the hell out of an informant by taking him on a wild ride, and sending a message to another gang by smashing through the plate-glass windows of its legitimate businesses. Saving the game is only permitted between missions, but it's a testament to the game's success that this fact never becomes a liability. 

Playing Driver is such great fun and the levels are designed with enough common-sense brevity that restarting a mission almost never becomes frustrating. Car physics are definitely more arcade-like than realistic, but they make for a thrilling mix of impossible, hubcap-flinging turns and stomach-dropping jumps, especially when careening through the streets of San Francisco.

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