General discussion for the DRIVER series.
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By MattyH1812
#65659
Is it known when each game of the main series takes place?

I was thinking of doing a chronological playthrough, which would presumably start with the first half of Parallel Lines and then jump into Driver 1, but I realised that I don't think the timeline isn't actually mentioned in any other games.

If you go with the idea that the first game is indeed set in the 70s as the cars and music insinuate, that'd make Tanner old af in Driver: SF yet he looks late 30s at most :lol:
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By danfs0
#65665
Yeah, I thought about it too. In my opinion the timeline in this series is just messed up specifically thanks to Driver San Francisco mostly, because they didn't really acknowlodged the stories of the past games, and just threw in the names of the old characters without knowing their backstories very well. I honestly think that San Francisco is a reboot of the series, and therefore not "canon" to the original three-games story arc, but this is just my opinion.

In my opinion the first Driver is in the very late 70's or very early 80's, since the cars look right for that era. Tanner looks young, in his late 20's or early 30's. One can think it's in 1986, because Miami features it's Metromover, which was completed that year, but I don't think that's true since the ambience seen in the .fmvs and of the games in general doesn't feel the late 80's at all. I think it's simply an anachronism error made by the developers, because it's cool to have a chase with the monorail (The Informant) instead of other cars for once.

As for Driver 2, I think it's in the early to mid '80s. The game doesn't feature any cellphones and the calls are still made using landlines and rotary payphones, also the vehicles and the general ambiences of the .fmvs show you that it's no longer the 1970's as compared to the first Driver but somewhat later than the first game.

Driv3r, it's in 2004 since it features cellphones and somewhat modern cars. It features modern day ads and the ambience of the game cutscenes are styled to resemble the TV police investigation drama series of the early 2000's, like C.S.I. or so. While the first two games are inspired by the '70's/80's car chase movies, such as... The Driver!

Parallel Lines is probably the first games that clearly states which era is in, despite being made by Ubisoft and not by Reflections Interactive, it doesn't modify the original story arc since it features a new protagonist - T.K.
I think Parallel Lines and thefore Driver '76 happens before or just right after the first Driver, so it's up to you to decide which game is the first one of the series. If Parallel Lines happened first, then you need to consider that '76 is the first one in the series since it's a prequel of Parallel Lines.

Lastly, there is San Francisco, which states it takes places some months after Driv3r, but that's clearly false since the game screams 2011 all over it, cars, ambience and feels like a TV police drama of the 2010's. As I stated above, it's a reboot because Ubisoft remade the characters from the ground-up; like what the hell, Ubisoft, Tanner is now in his early 40's in 2011, so in the first Driver how many years he had, five? It's ridiculous. It's still a great game though.

Since you ask for a chronological list, here's my personal one.
  • Driver '76
    Driver San Francisco Wii (it's stated that it's a prequel of the first Driver, but it messes up the story even worse than the normal Driver SF. If you consider San Francisco to be in the main story arc, then SF Wii events happen before Driver.)
    Driver Parallel Lines (1978 era) or Driver
    Driver 2
    Driver 3
    Driver Parallel Lines (2006 era)
    Driver San Francisco (reboot, doesn't really fit with the original story arc).
    Driver Speedboat Paradise. :mrgreen:
This is just my theory, and therefore take it with a grain of salt.
User avatar
By MattyH1812
#65670
In my opinion the timeline in this series is just messed up specifically thanks to Driver San Francisco mostly, because they didn't really acknowlodged the stories of the past games, and just threw in the names of the old characters without knowing their backstories very well. I honestly think that San Francisco is a reboot of the series, and therefore not "canon" to the original three-games story arc, but this is just my opinion.
I never actually thought of it this way! That's an excellent theory.

In that case I'm gonna play through the games like this I think:

Driver 76
Parallel Lines (1978)
Driver
Driver 2
Driver 3
Parallel Lines (2006)

I think this will make a nice little playthrough, bookending Tanner's story with TK's :D

Cheers man!
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By Olanov
#65694
Driv3r, it's in 2004 since it features cellphones and somewhat modern cars. It features modern day ads and the ambience of the game cutscenes are styled to resemble the TV police investigation drama series of the early 2000's, like C.S.I. or so. While the first two games are inspired by the '70's/80's car chase movies, such as... The Driver!
This is quite right but there's no exact date. Martin Edmondson, I believe, mentioned it takes place in contemporary times (so, 2003-04 when the game was being made or thereabouts) but with old school cars. It's kind of its own fictional little world. Driver games that never really explicitly stated the dates, I think they wanted us to just more feel like we were in an old school movie than worry about when exactly they take place. It gives them more creative freedom as well.

despite being made by Ubisoft and not by Reflections Interactive
THIS we got to address. Ubisoft is the publisher. They don't make the game. Same as Atari for Driv3r, or Infrogames previously. Reflections DID make the game, same folk with your normal staff changes of course, but they were rebranded Ubisoft Reflections. The same also applies for San Francisco, it was Martin Edmondson himself at the helm as well again! Driver Parallel Lines saw Gareth, his brother step in as Martin was more uninvolved.

They are the same development studio behind the Driver games + concurrently a support studio at Ubisoft. Of course by now, at 2020, since so much time has passed, it's not all same faces anymore but it's always been the same studio.

To bring my own two cents into the topic itself, in my own mind, none of the Driver continuity really holds up well, whether it's the concept of the characters changing, like their voice actor, looks in general, the huge time jumps.

I tend to consider all Driver games best connected loosely to each other, each one being more of their own contained story, kind of like the 007 films.
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