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Monday, August 07, 2006

Ubisoft Is The Wheelman

Driver was a pretty seminal game for it's time. Before any of us ever got into a big debate over Grand Theft Auto, there was Driver. Even though you weren't really a bad guy (undercover cop), it was hard to tell the difference. And a lot like games of the past (the original Test Drive comes to mind) ... Driver proved that it could be fun to be bad.

The franchise has faltered and stumbled these days, but apparently that will be Ubisoft's problem now. Ubisoft generally does pretty good work, so maybe they can give the series a shot in the arm.

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jvm said...

I hear Driver 2 wasn't that good, suffering from a game engine trying too hard on the poor PSOne. I haven't got around to playing it myself.

I also never got to play Driv3r, but I do have a copy of Driver: Parallel Lines that I haven't gotten to play yet. Lots of games like that in the Curmudgeon Gamer Memorial Library, I fear.

But the original Driver...that was something special. I played that on my PlayStation 2, exclusively, and I still remember the thrill of that last mission. It was exceedingly difficult, but when you realize who you have in the back seat, you just know you have to get it right.

One other story: what convinced me that I wanted Driver was that my brother-in-law installed it on my father-in-law's computer when we were visiting one time. He said "Sit down and play this. It's the best driving game I've ever played." So I did, and five minutes later, he was having to tell me to stop swearing or my parents-in-law were going to kick me out of the house. (Very conservative, but anyway.) I'd slipped right into my "holy s--t!" excited gaming persona without realizing it. That was when I knew I needed that game. :^)

Josh said...

I almost didn't get into it because of the lousy "training" mission in the very beginning. I'm quite glad I did.

It was almost like the thinking man's racing sim. You had to think on your feet, improvise and drive like hell. Likewise, reviews of it's sequels kept me away from them.

I think GTA3 was actually detrimental to Driver. I think it made so much money and was derivative enough that people assumed Driver 2 should be like GTA3. I whole heartedly disagree. I'm not sure it should have done anything more but expanded on it's roots. GTA3/VC/SA is complete arcade in terms of driving sim. I'd happily take a deeper driving game and forsake the shooting missions.