Platform/console: Playstation 2, Xbox, PC
Players allowed: 1
ESRB rating: M (violence)
Production company: Atari
The action on foot and needs a lot of work, but, the driving action makes up for it. Your main character Tanner, voice by Michael Madsen, can swim if he falls in the drink, but his control and overall effectiveness ranks low.
Gamemakers fail to capitalize on the high-profile voice talent that includes Ving Rhames as Tanner’s partner Tobias Jones, Michelle Rodriguez as Calita, head of the South Beach gang and Mickey Rourke as the main antagonist Jericho. You hear plenty of great music, but not enough of these recognizable voices.
You advance in the “undercover” mode which also features a very creative, but time-consuming “film director” mode where you can replay your activities while adding special effects. You have limitless ammo, but watch out for the innocent (three shots usually kill non-criminals).
You can also defeat ten Timmy Vermicellis (suspiciously similar to another famous videogame character) to unlock more items. The “take a ride” mode has no police and the great driving games include quick chase, get away, trailblazer and survival.
It would be very surprising if a game series called Driver didn’t have strong vehicle gameplay. You get buses, motorcycles, trucks, cars and even boats. The long alleys help you avoid trouble and most of the car wrecks and stunts are just incredible though big hits occasionally crash the game. You can always take someone, alive or dead, from their vehicle, but watch your damage indicator and bail when the smoke from damage turns black.
Most levels are difficult and the crime filled story isn’t very deep. You get minor benefits from the new elements created for veteran players of the crime genre (e.g. Grand Theft Auto, True Crime), but it’s the driving elements that elevate this game to a credible status (**1/2 out of four stars).
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler