Discussion for DRIV3R (2004)
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By MattyH1812
#61589
When Driv3r came out I was 12, and I didn't own a PS2 or Xbox however I did own the first Driver on PC which was my favourite game. So when Driv3r was released for PC in 2005, I got it, no questions asked. I played through it many times and spend so many hours in Take A Ride, and i loved it, unaware that the game was pretty much slated by everyone, fans and critics alike for being buggy, glitchy and generally a terrible experience, on PC especially.
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.
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By Vortex
#61590
I think the real problem with DRIV3R is what people wanted at the time. People wanted GTA with all the stuff it goes with : side activities, on-foot sections with a lot to do, driving wasn't that important.
GTA "killed" a lot of games that were set in an urban city open world. And today, the diversity is gone IMO.
#61591
Vortex wrote:I think the real problem with DRIV3R is what people wanted at the time. People wanted GTA with all the stuff it goes with : side activities, on-foot sections with a lot to do, driving wasn't that important.
GTA "killed" a lot of games that were set in an urban city open world. And today, the diversity is gone IMO.


Yeah that's true, evident by how bad the driving in those 3D GTA games was, but I think Driv3r has the right balance of everything, focused towards driving of course
#61593
I've always used Driver as a benchmark for how all games' car handling should aspire to be like, and there's not many that stand out apart from ones that surpass in some ways like Gran Turismo. Grand Theft Auto has pretty good car handling, especially IV, which was very unique. Other open world games like Watch_Dogs and Just Cause have really underdeveloped driving physics.

I wouldn't credit GTA with "killing" the game, at the end of the day it's down to the devs to keep their project focused on what they do best. I have no doubt that there would have been less of the violence had the project not been interfered with by "Atari" marketing analysts and other bullsh** from upstairs. But I could be wrong. Maybe Infogrames really did f**k it up themselves. They had what, three years, and the end result was really average at best, and totally unpolished.
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