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Score: 96%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: GT Interactive
Developer: Reflections
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Mission-Based Driving/ Action

Graphics & Sound:
Excellent! Driver is funky, clever, and cool. Whereas most games involving driving show beautifully rendered pristine cars which can’t be damaged, Driver STARTS with ‘hoopties’ which you get to utterly thrash as you run rampant around the city. All the while, the beauty of the rendering quality itself compares quite favorably to the much celebrated Gran Turismo. This ‘Retro’ look is reinforced by very nice (and cheesy) grooving soundtracks transported straight out of the ‘70s. Far out, man!

A riot! Driver is an ABSOLUTE RIOT. This game lives up to and BEYOND its commercials. You’re an ex-professional racecar driver-turned-cop-gone-undercover (yeah sure, it COULD happen). Your job is to show the underworld that you are good enough to get the job done. You gotta show your stuff by doing some crazy moves in a half empty parking garage, then your adventure REALLY begins!

Okay... So that’s the HARD part. The ‘test’ that you are required to complete before you can continue in the undercover mode is unnecessarily difficult. However, while you try and try to get past that part, you can practice by playing one of the other modes, such as the driving games like Pursuit, Getaway, Cross Town Checkpoint, Trail Blazer, Survival, and Dirt Track. There’s also a mode in which you can choose to just ‘take a ride.’ All of which are addictively fun in their own right. Eventually, when you decide you want to make a go of it and try to pass the driving test, there’s a training mode that shows you how THEY (the developers) did it. That doesn’t mean that it is the ONLY way, or for that matter, even the EASIEST way. For an easier way to finish the driving test, check out PSi’s exclusive home-brewed strategy guide for Driver. It has an ‘easier’ way to pass the driving test, as well as some general tips for Driver.

First, let me say that for the most part, this game is a blast. It’s hard to get used to the control of the cars in Driver, but since you get to bust things up while you’re making your mistakes, it’s not so much of a bother. The main objective should be to have fun. Shoot for that, and you can’t go wrong. However, the driving test required to begin the Undercover mode is pretty tough.

Game Mechanics:
The physics engine in Driver is very nice. The graphics engine does for 70’s cars what Gran Turismo did for new ones. The difference? The licensing agreements for Gran Turismo (I’ve heard) restricted the developers from allowing any damage to occur. In Driver, you get to ‘tear it up!’ Also, once inside the Undercover mode, the interface is absolutely fine -- a 3D, funky, reproduction of a cheap apartment... the (suitcase sized... remember?) VCR is used to save your game, the answering machine is used to receive your new missions... it is TOO cool. This game is well made, ‘fits together’ with a high degree of professionalism, and is gobs of fun to play (for hours and hours). GT Interactive may just have an award winner on their hands... time will tell.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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