Ah, the Driv3r saga. Forget last year's botched console release and the ensuing furore, the real saga occurred here at PC ZONE. Naturally, early review copies were notable by their absence, in a textbook application of the traditional damage limitation exercise favoured by publishers hawking ropey products. With the game safely on the shelves, two copies were dispatched to the ZONE office, and your reviewer summoned to collect them. Dave Woods had considered selling one for a sandwich, but deemed it only fair that I take that option in order to cover my travel expenses (4.70).
With the games handed over, alcoholic refreshment was drunk, resulting in a huge row between Sefton and Woods over how long the review should be. Woods argued that its failings should be exposed over two pages, while Sefton maintained it was old news and should be a solitary page. Unfortunately Sefton is in charge now, and the package was signed off by way of commission.
One tequila frenzy later, and that package remained on the back seat of a black cab, an unwitting gift for the kids of the thieving driver (or passenger).
Some days later, a third copy arrived at my house, and promptly failed to run on my PC. This left me trying to assemble a brand new Alienware rig (that didn't work), and finally I had to make a last-minute dash to the local computer store, which I was pleased to discover had closed down.
All of which brings me back to the ZONE office a week later, playing a PC conversion of a nine-month-old console game. Apart from the addition of
'One Exclusive Mission!', very little has changed in the interim, the game boasting high production values and celebrity voice-overs, but hampered by technical inadequacies and design flaws.
The major beef was that the on-foot sections were unplayable; here the mouse control improves this markedly, although ropey AI still ensures that it's little more than a glorified shooting gallery. Elsewhere, the gaps between save points are still ludicrous, forcing you to replay great swathes of the game, much of which is simply travel. Cock up a shooting section and you have to spend five minutes driving back to the location. The simple addition of a quick-save function could have gone some way towards rectifying this, but it seems that Reflections has spent nine months doing nothing, and the game has arrived stillborn.
Some parts are playable, the driving sections retain the trademark swagger, but taken as a whole it's not really the full ticket, as suggested by the budget price. While nowhere near as bad as the baying nerd community would have you believe, it would appear to be th3 3nd of th3 lin3 for
Good. Bad. Both
- Decent music
- Reasonable voice-acting
- Occasionally tense
- Too difficult
- Sparse save points
- Technical issues