Driv3r - Xbox

Also known as: Driver 3

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Also for: PC, PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Adventure: Free Roaming
Combat Game: Driving
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Reflections Soft. Co.: Reflections
Publishers: Atari (GB/US/GB)
Released: 25 Jun 2004 (GB)
21 Jun 2004 (US)
18 Feb 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


Five years on since the series' last outing on PSX and the third instalment in Reflections' remarkably successful Driver franchise finally gets to see the light of day. Both conceptually and gameplay-wise things remain pretty much unchanged from Driver 2, with a large array of high-speed and frantic driving-based missions making up the main meat of the proceedings, served up with assortment of pedestrian-based, gun-fighting levels, and garnished with almost an hour's worth of CGI-fuelled narrative. Obviously, things look a hell of a lot nicer thanks to the current generation hardware, especially with this Xbox version.

Again, you take on the role of Tanner, the undercover cop and master 'wheelman' who, in typical fashion, will do whatever it takes to bring the bad guys down. The story this time sees Tanner, along with longtime partner Tobias, infiltrating a global car theft ring - a task that, as you'd expect, involves plenty of car chases and firefights, as well as objectives such as tailing gangsters, chasing witnesses, stealing cars and, well, shooting lots of guns.

In similar vein to GTA, the game world is both expansive and detailed, with three large cities playing host to the tyre-screeching action, including Miami, Nice and Istanbul. Within these lies over 150 miles of major highways and city streets to explore, as well as a good deal of uncharted open areas, alleys (complete with cardboard boxes, no less) dirt roads and smaller byways.

As far as the actual cars are concerned, things have expanded here a little, with Tanner now able to take to the wheel (and other assorted controls) of over 50 different vehicles, including not only the standard four-wheel types, but also motorcycles, boats, police cars, vans, mopeds, muscle cars and even 18 wheelers. Each of the vehicles benefit from fairly intricate destruction models, meaning that they crumple and break realistically as you less than subtly wreck the hell out of them.

As well as the main single-player experience (known as Undercover mode), DRIV3R also offers an option called Take a Ride, which allows you to select your city, time, vehicle and weather options before going for a spin at your own leisure. And as befits such a title, there's also the addition of a number of Driving Games offering a large array of painfully addictive challenges such as Quick Chase, Trailblazer, Survival, and Checkpoint Race.

Reflections has once again proven its ability to deliver a great racing game, bringing us a wealth of extremely fun and difficult to put down arcade racing, which features admirable physics and a generally immersive feel to the controls. The game is not without its bugs, and the on-foot aspect is considerably below par in comparison, but this is not what the game is about, nor the reason you would buy it.