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Product: Driver
Company: GT Interactive/Reflections
Website: http://www.gtinteractive.com
Estimated Street Price: 29.99/$39.99
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

So here we have another racing game for the PC that has been ported over from the Playstation...So does it suffer from the constraints of the console? You'll have to read on to find out.

The Criminal underworlds has accepted you as one of their own. You are the getaway driver for hire, speeding through the streets of real cities with working traffic systems, pedestrians and motorists on the street and cops on patrol. You are the best driver in the criminal community, you are the wheelman.

  • Real car physics and damage modeling brought to you by the creators of Destruction Derby 1 & 2
  • Real cities-LA, New York, San Francisco and Miami-All with recognizable landmarks.
  • Over 40 missions of high speed action

Installation, Settings and Intro

Driver comes on just the single CD, which is a blessing these days. Installation is just as smooth as most games these days and Driver can be up and running within a matter of minutes. The game takes up around 165 MBs of hard-drive space on your PC. Once the game is installed you get the chance to select your graphic card settings via a configuration icon in the driver folder, I selected my G400 and ran the game in 1024x768 in 32-bit color.

Once you load the game up, you are presented with a large number of options.

  • Undercover: The main part of the game.
  • High Scores: Read up on all of the highest scores.
  • Options: Change Graphics, Sound or Controller settings.
  • Take A Ride: Free drive options.
  • Driving Games: Pursuit, Getaway, Cross-town Checkpoint, Trail Blazer, Survival, Dirt Track, Time Trial and Carnage games.
  • Cheats: You can enter and use cheats from here.
  • Training: Learn the car moves the easy way.
  • Car Chases: View saved car chases.
  • Film Director: Take control of cameras etc.

Next up I went into the options area and setup the game for both my graphic and sound cards, I went with full detail as I felt the G400 could handle that.

Gameplay

Driver's gameplay while being on the most part very impressive can be downright frustrating. The general gameplay consists of driving from point a to point b (although there are a few exceptions). For the first few games this is all well and good, but it does tend to bore you after a little while of playing. The frustration starts to appear from the very beginning (At least it did for me) In one mission you are asked to chase a car and try to out run and ram him down, but the AI was so hard that it was just too difficult.

driver_2.jpg (76747 bytes)

Driver is also missing any kind of Multiplayer options, which means the score does drop a bit even though I am mainly a single games player. The game isn't perfect but there is just something about driving around San Francisco that gets the pulse racing, from the cops slamming into you and each other to the smashing of cars on the street. Also something else worth a mention is that there are 35 missions in the game, so it has a long shelf life.

Graphics, Sound & Music

The animation is excellent in driver, both the driving and damage models work very well. Crashes and maneuvers are also animated just as they should be in a racing game. The wheels and suspension work exactly how they do in real like, with each impact showing up via the damage models on the car. Driver also manages to maintain a very smooth frame rate throughout the cities. The game is also filled with vehicle lights that work at night, blurring effects and tire imprints on the roads and streets.

driver_1.jpg (45828 bytes)

There are a few graphical problems though - the main one being that the textures used for the city streets are quite bland. Texture problems are also apparent when driving around the streets having buildings or roads popping in and out of  the picture. Sound wise Driver is again excellent, the crunching of the wheels and the screech of the tires is all well handled in the game. The only bad point is that the voice acting is very monotonous. The music is also suitable 70's.

Final Comments

How It Grades
  Originality: 85%
Gameplay: 86%
Story: 80%
Graphics: 89%
Cutscenes: 90%
Sound: 91%
Music: 92%%
Manual: 80%
Interface: 81%
Multiplayer: N/A
Overall: 86%

 

Well what can I say. Driver is exciting and great fun to play, it does though have a number of frustrations, the main one being difficulty - but sometimes in my view a game being difficult means a longer shelf life and more chance of you going back to it. Graphically the game is superb as I have already said, it is just a shame that some of the streets are so bland, but then again this was made for the PSX first. So do I recommend it? Well yes because it has some of the most exciting action of any game I have played recently, it is just a shame that the AI is so hard.

 

Specs & Package
Overall Score 86%
Version Reviewed Version 1.0
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 CD
1 Manual
The Good Points Damage models are superb
Sound & music excellent
Long lasting
The Bad Points Far too difficult
Training isn't as good as it could be
Cities are bland
Similar To Midtown Madness
Reviewers PC Setup Pentium II 450
Windows 98 Second Edition
128 Meg SD-Ram
Matrox G400 32MB AGP Graphics Card
Voodoo 2 - 8mb
DirectX 7a
SoundBlaster Live! Value
17" LG Electronics Monitor
Microsoft Force Feedback Pro
Microsoft Game Pad Pro (USB)
Microsoft Digital Sound System 80
Microsoft Intellimouse

DVD Setup: Toshiba SD-1202 DVD-ROM - 32x
DVD TV Player - Samsung 807

PC Required Minimum System

Pentium MMX, Celeron, Pentium2, Pentium3, or Athlon processor at 233MHz or higher.
64MB RAM (96MB for 3D Acceleration)
500MB hard disk space

Recommended System:

Celeron, Pentium2, Pentium3, or Athlon processor at 400MHz or higher.
128MB RAM
AGP video port
Matrox G200/G400, TnT, TnT2, Rage 128, or Savage3D
1GB hard disk space
Sound Blaster Live!

 

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