Discs Are Rated
review by Angelo C.
Retail Price: $39.99
As an avid racing game fan, I've tried almost every
driving game out there for PlayStation, and I've noticed a
few trends here and there. First, the all out racing
simulation games, such as Gran Turismo 1 and 2. Then there
are the drive anywhere, cop chasing, mission-based games.
The first mainstream game of this type was Driver. Since
then, many developers have tried to replicate this tried and
true game style, but none have even come close. Until now,
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, on to the game.
Driver 2 has basically the same theme as the original, but with
added depth. The story line seems similar but it has a much
more involving plot than the original. You become an
ex-convict named Tanner, who is now an undercover cop and is
out to clean up the underworld of organized crime. Along
with your partner, Tobias Jones, you embark on a dangerous
excursion in four different cities around the world.
Tailing criminals, stealing cars, and outthinking the cops
is the name of the game. When the game starts, you are
greeting with a short movie and then a menu screen with four
choices. "Undercover" is obviously the main part of the
game, where you begin immediately on a mission, but a simple
one at that. Then there's "driving games" and "test drive".
Both of these require some kind of driving skills, but for
beginners, "test drive" allows them to basically drive
around two cities (to start out with). But of course, the
ever so sneaky police are always watching you. These are
all great driving adventures, but the most interesting
feature is multi-player. You and a friend can take a drive
or play "cops and robbers" and other similar mini games.
There is no driving test in this sequel, which is a
relief. In "undercover" mode, the missions range from
chasing a train to getting to an airport with at least 4 or
5 cops on your tail. Speaking about cops, they're much more
intelligent in this sequel. Not only can they ram you, but
they can also call back up and chase you into a dead end.
In addition to that, it's much harder to lose the cops.
This is definitely a welcome addition since taking a turn
faster than usual could easily lose the police in the
original game. Yet another welcome addition is the added
feature of getting out of cars and stealing new ones. You
can literally spend hours on the test drive option by
stealing new cars every time your car gets beat up.
As for the graphics, wellÉ. A lot of work went to
upgrading the AI in the game and enhancing the overall
physics of the cars, so I guess Reflections pushed graphics
down their list of priorities. Pop up is a very big problem
this time around. You can only see a few hundred feet in
front of you, and this definitely is a let down. The first
game had less pop up, just as a reference. Although the car
models and the environments have been cleaned up, the
viewing distance from any point around your car is reduced
compared to the original.
This game is very enjoyable, from a racing fan's
viewpoint. If you liked Driver 1, you will absolutely LOVE
Driver 2. Even though the pop up does hinder the overall
look of the game, this becomes virtually unnoticeable when
you're really involved in the story and the driving
experience. I recommend this game to any PlayStation (and
PlayStation2) owner, but for non-racing fans, I advise you
to rent it first.