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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation 2
PUBLISHER:
Atari
DEVELOPER:
Reflections Interactive
GENRE: Driving
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
June 21, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Mature
IN THE SERIES
Driver: San Francisco

Driver: San Francisco

Driver: San Francisco

Driver: San Francisco

Driver 76

More in this Series
 Written by Alex Fitzgerald  on January 21, 2003

First Impressions: This game's been in development ever since before the PS2 launch, and after all this time we get?(drum roll) one minute-long trailer? Man, I hope Atari doesn't pay the Reflections employees too much for their two-hour work days.


The original Driver game for the PSX was a smash-hit when it came out back in 1999. Taking concepts already defined in games such as Midtown Madness on the PC, developer Reflections created a living, breathing, cities complete with pedestrians, traffic, etc. The best part about this virtual city was that you could take your car and freely go wherever you wanted inside of it. If you got tired of just driving around that city however, you could run missions inside of it as well. The missions had you playing as a cop, who was undercover, and therefore had to work as a wheelman in various crimes. With this plotline, gamers embarked on many enthralling wrong-side-of-the-law missions that would continually enthrall you with daring cop chases, frantic pursuits, and even a little good-old city destruction.

This formula won Driver great sales and a great reputation, which, unfortunately, would later be tarnished some with the release of the game's disappointing sequel Driver 2. Nevertheless, developer Reflections, along with new publisher Atari, has decided to do another sequel to the 1999 hit game, entitled Driver 3. Though the game was announced ages ago, only now has Reflections released a few news bits and a brief trailer for the game, so still little is known of the upcoming title. Using my Driver knowledge though (that only comes through being obsessive enough to finish both games without cheats) I have attempted to decipher any and all information given out by Reflections on Driver 3 in an attempt to get a closer look at what Driver 3 might turn out to be. Of course, remember, this is just speculation and educated guessing on my part, so please don't get mad if some of the things I guess will be in the game aren't, or vice versa.

One of the first things you notice when you're watching the rather brief Driver 3 trailer is the town it's set in. The town sets a dark tone, with rather cheaply made houses only divided by rough dirt roads. What town is this? According to the trailer, the town is Istanbul. Another city shown in the games trailer is Miami, richly decorated with palm trees, and brightly lit streets, bringing out all the feelings that only come with the taste for the night-life. All the other Drivers however featured more than two cities, so if such is the case with Driver 3, what are the other cities? The answer to this question is not known at the moment, and likely will not be until Reflection's leaks out more information on the game.

Another thing you notice when watching the game trailer is that at one point it appears that Tanner (the game's main character) appears to be wielding and firing an Uzi. Now, this could mean one of two things. 1) That Tanner will once again wield weapons in the game's cut-scenes, but no where else in the game, or? 2) Reflections will finally make good on allowing Tanner to leave his car and carry out the rest of his missions on foot, much in the fashion of games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

The most obvious thing in the game's trailer is the expected graphics update given to the game thanks for its shift from the PSX to the PS2. The game's environments are now far more detailed than before, and the graphics are a lot cleaner looking than when they were on the PSX (no more jaggies!) Character models also have gotten a swift-kick-in-the-pants, as Tanner now looks more lifelike than he has before.

Final Thoughts
The Driver series used to stand alone in it's genre, but now, it faces stiff competition from the GTA series, and numerous other games with the same formula, such as The Getaway, and True Crime: Streets of LA. With all this new competition the Driver series is facing, Reflections is going to have to pull out something extra special to make this franchise stand out again when it comes out sometime this year.


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