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.
User avatar
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.
crashman2552 liked this
#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.
#61749
Driv3r has one of the best car handlings i've ever experienced, i was able to slide and drift with AC Cobra on the intersection btw. Also driving games like pursuit and getaway were great, i found a lot of ways to evade the cop car in each city, unlike in first Driver where it was a real pain in the ass to evade the cop in getaway, unless you drove around tiny sand hills/heaps so you can trick the copcar to flip
Vortex, crashman2552 liked this
#61775
MattyH1812 wrote: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)

Yes, playing the game now at a solid 60FPS is truly brilliant.
however, the way in which everything is hard coded into the game (making it harder to mod) has brought us guys here...
will we see a brand new driver game soon? I want a driv3r style game -
but with current texture/3D knowledge and cinematics.
(not that crappy Driver Paradise boating game, it is awful...)
#61776
A problem that many have with this game is that, by Atari's own wish for money, it was rushed. At the time, GTA: San Andreas was getting promoted a lot, and this caught Atari's ears, who was spending a lot of that cash on advertising Driv3r in the most Hollywoodian way possible, with many stars voicing the characters as well. Atari tells Reflections to release the game as it is, in June 2004, hoping to succeed in sales and surpass the still-unreleased GTA:SA. We know the rest of the story. But there's also another thing that heavily damaged (and probably still does) the game's reputation: the Driv3rgate scandal.



This video explains the scandal much better than I could ever do. Personally, I think the game is sort of passable. As much as it leaks any sort of glitch and bug it does, it still makes something out of it. If anything, I've found more enjoyment in those things, as of lately, but I still wish Reflections hadn't listened to Atari and released the game much later, no matter how much it would've taken. But some mistakes had to be made to let them learn, I guess. :|
#61865
PrototypeDriver wrote:but I still wish Reflections hadn't listened to Atari and released the game much later, no matter how much it would've taken. But some mistakes had to be made to let them learn, I guess. :|


You don't understand how these big companies work. Executive lifestyles are expensive and that Andes ski trip and new yacht won't pay for themselves. If the Reflections top dog had turned around and said "right, we're taking another three months and you can stuff yourselves", everybody would have rocked up to work the next day and promptly gone home because of the big ass padlock on the office door and/or the big ass security guard only letting the "recovery team" or whatever inside. The game would then be passed to a different team who would be told to package it up as is and get it to the pressing factory ASAP. Everybody who actually worked on the game would have their credits stripped entirely and the new team + executive producers and whatever would get full credit. The game gets released two weeks later than planned and the shareholders are happy with this new product paying big dividends because of the ridiculous marketing budget that went into it, including the paid-for PS2 and Xbox reviews in major gaming publications.
max.thunder liked this
User avatar
By helegad
#61868
It's a product to them, not a game. Upper management sees Grand Theft Auto's success and forces the dev team to incorporate what made GTA 3 and Vice City great to boost sales. Around the time of GTA/London/2 and Driver/2, their ONLY similarity were that they featured driveable vehicles. Remember the famous guns cheat for Driver 2? Run around Wrigley Stadium or that circle road near the amusement park three times and then spin to the left three times or whatever? It was famous because people were like "wouldn't it be great if I could get in a shootout with these cops in this fully-3D open world? Totally worth the half-hour this is gonna take me."

And then GTA III came out.
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