Friday, May 27, 2011

Driver Parallel Lines: Review

Driver, the driving game series that I have spent the majority of my virtual street racing life playing. The game normally puts you under control of Tanner, an under-cover cop. However this game decided to break with the trend and bring out a new driver ,T.K. Set in 1970's and 2000's New York you better fasten your seatbelts.

If you're a fan of Driver, you should already know that story is a minimal feature in the games and that VERY little is placed on it and in fact what draws a lot of people to the game itself is it's LEGENDARY take a ride mode where you travel around cities you like. The story in Driver Parallel lines is...well... possibly the worst story i've ever encountered in my life. It makes no sense about making no sense (See it's rubbed off on me as well). The game opens pleasently enough with T.K doing a mission in '70's "New York" with some Blondie music blaring in the background. Then it does mini mission after mini mission and then suddenly i'm in New York 30 years later. I personally don't get it. I was playing through the game normally enough went away and the games yellow hud has changed to an ugly blue and my character is in his 60s. Maybe the PC version was missing missions but I personally don't understand how I could miss such a HUGE leap in the story.

Driver has always been known for it's amazing driving engine, although not known well, it was nearly always better than the driving in GTA. The whole car system has been completly revolutionized with changing tires, suspension and such allowing for experiments to get the car that's perfect for you easily... as long as you have the cash. Any car you pick up and store in a garage can later be used, repaired, cleared of felony or customized. However I strongly disliked the whole custom body kits, which gave some bitching bodies to cars but covered them with hideous paint job. The cars as usual have excellent precision and driving capabilities with the engine being even more accurate it can allow even a new player to quickly master the controls and being timing jumps right and making use of the hand brake to avoid the police, who have greatly evolved since the cops of Driv3r who made me see what it would be like if a mentally deranged squirell were behind the wheel. Also cop chases are now more expansive in terms of more frequent road blocks, more cars in a chase and helicopters in the sky. The Felony system has had it's sensitivity reduced, now when you crash a car into a wall the police won't go red alert on your ass.

Violence has nearly always been kept to a minimum in Driver. In the early drivers you just couldn't hit peds with your car. In driver 3 they drought in guns which were awful all around, however it was their first time so it was passable in terms of that. Driver PL changes the weapons set around and introduced auto targeting to the mix. However they share the same buttons no matter what so it makes it impossible to do my favourite move to police ( Do a 180 turn and shoot out their wheels while reversing). It always locks onto the enemies themselves and if you're unlucky they can wreck themselves into a nice impenetrable package. Jumping was removed as well for no reason that I can see. It wasn't that good in Driv3r but it was handy. There have been so many times that my character has been bested by a tiny 2 foot wall. It's my Runescape days all over again....

Swimming, another key point of Driv3r was stolen as well and if you have played Driv3r i'm pretty sure that you can work out your self that means NO boats. While the boats weren't something I used often and WERE something that was horrifically bugged such as the lack of police boats ever appearing on my PS2 and PC versions it still would've been nice to take a poat out around the Hudson Bay.

Take a ride has been removed and so have driving games and have been rolled together with the campaign for one big super open world.

Graphics and Music:
The graphics in this game have taken a huge leap up from what was in Driv3r. New textures were brought in, windows didn't keep the same animation when smashed, more detail but into simple things. These new graphics did make a good change and made the slo-mo car jumps over roads, ditches or rivers all the more enjoyable. The music was barely passable. For once Driver got with the times and put in a radio station instead of crappy OST in each game. The music in the 70's was alright with a few songs getting my nerve. The music in the 2000's made me want to cut myself. Seriously when did driving music become trance and dance music? There was only one song I liked which is the alternate rock song, Oh My God by the Kaiser Chiefs. If I recall, people use Powered Rock Ballads from bands like Motley Crue, AC/DC and White Snake. Sure it is meant to be the 2000's so those wouldn't be really fitting seeing as AC/DC are the only ones still writing new tunes but their new stuff would be suitable, Bands like Motorhead, Disturbed, Foo Fighters, Kiss and so on would've been so much better. I've found myself muting the music in the game and turning on either the Brutal Legend soundtrack or some general rock songs to keep my sanity.

So in conclusion
What I liked:
Improved Graphics
Setting of 1970s New York
Better car customization and driving engine.
Open world with missions
Better police

What I disliked
Seeming irregular story,
Boats missing
Jumping Missing

So what did I think overall? This game gets a

4.5 /10
This game is barely even worth pirating, which i'm glad I did first because it definitly isn't worth any price north of €5,00. A lot of the good features of it were removed making it generally un-enjoyable or just plain irritating.


Jason Flowers said...

Great review. I laughed at the end. Not even worth pirating huh? Driver is ANOTHER series i never even played. My cousins always used to tell me how much time they wasted playing it on the playstation. Just shows you can never play every videogame series (in my case).

LoneIslander said...

So a waste if HD space I guess? lol

Theusualtype said...

I pirate my games but if I REALLY enjoy them I eventually buy them as can be seen in my Minecraft review,

Anonymous said...

i disagree the driver series is fun.

Anonymous said...

No offense, but I own this game. It is fun, entertiening and something that I kept going back to play every weekend. I think that this game deserves better.

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