Flash forward ten years and I'd pretty much left PC gaming and with it, Driv3r, behind in favour of console gaming. But recently I built a PC that was capable of running games at a high standard.
Among the first things that I installed was the original Driver game, and having played through that, I decided to emulate Driver 2 and buy another copy of Driv3r to play through as well. (I had given away my original copy).
I was skeptical at first as to what it would be like, those negative reviews at the forefront of my mind. I was praying that it wasn't just my naive memories of the game that gave it some sort of reverence in my mind. But I needn't have worried.
I honestly don't know where all the negativity came from! Everything I remember being great about the game was still great playing through it again now, and there were unexpected bonuses too:
Rendering the game at 1080p in 60fps and using a Widescreen Fixer really makes the game look amazing for when it was made. (Better than other games from the same time at the same resolution).
I used an Xbox game pad to play, apart from the combat sections where I used mouse to aim and shoot, and these sections felt great.
The storyline got a bit of flack as far as I remember but I found it to be engaging and exciting.
The cutscenes are so well animated it's hard to believe they're from 2004.
I encountered no serious glitches of any sort on my playthrough, no falling through the map, nothing gamebreaking and no game crashes. It make me wonder just where the reputation for being a buggy game comes from.
Finally, the driving physics. Oh my God the driving physics! On the Xbox pad it was simply amazing. All of the cars felt different to each other and some were even challenging requiring throttle and steering control to drive well. This was by far the most enjoyable thing coming back to this game.
So there you have it, my 2 cents on a game that was received badly on release, but which remains firmly in my top 10 favourite games of all time.
I would urge anyone who has a PC to pick up a cheap copy of Driv3r and play it at HD resolution with a gampad, regardless of your view on the game. If you hated it, it might well change you mind, and if loved it, you'll love it even more.