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Driver : Parallel Lines

Memory Usage
3rd Person Action Free Roaming Game
148KB Minimum
March 2006

Drive Within The Parallel Lines.

Review Date: 01/06/06

The first driver game was released on the ps1 in October 2000 then followed Driver 2 they were both based on car chase missions, then came the 3 game that include on foot missions and guns for the ps2 but was a big disappointment, which then brings use to Driver: Parallel Lines the fourth game in series.

The driver games have always had the main character Tanner as an undercover cop but here you take control of someone new, ďThe KidĒ also known as ďTKĒ, you been living in New York City for a few years as a young rookie wheelman, which is a driver for people that do robberies. The year is now 1978 and you friend ďRayĒ an ex-wheelman himself, has a contact to help you move up in the world doing bigger jobs.

So This contact ďSlinkĒ who loves his parties, girls, booze and is a smooth cool guy that gives you a quick driving job as a interview, ones passed he then shows you how to handle a gun. As you progress through the game you start from going small jobs to moving up to bigger once, from stealing cars, setting up other gangs and killing them, braking out a member out of jail and taking hostages for ransom.

After some big jobs and some well earn money it goes wrong and you are set up to take the rap being send down for everything, (takes place about half way through the game) you then emerge back in to the world 28 years later in 2006, more wide, tough and out for revenge on all that had sent you down.

The graphics has 2 different qualities, as you may have guess thatís the actual game and the cut-scenes. The cut scenes, which is also known as CGI or FMV is some of the best work you can see on the PS2 which means that the lighting and graphics makes it look very real along with the facial animation but the only think with this is they are short videos and are spread very rarely through out the game as its only used for the main parts of the storyline.

On the other hand thereís the actual gameplay graphics has been slightly improved over the last game, but the main good point is that thereís no glitches that no ones found so far and that there are now slow downs. With a game of this type, by which I mean free roaming game like True Crime and Grand Theft Auto that like this has now loading time as you moving around the big open cities. There is nothing that sticks out as excellent in the graphics side of things apart from which I should mention is that the city is pretty well designed and that the cars look appealing to drive with some nice detail to them, although thereís not car licenses they do appear to look like real cars that you can tell like a TVR, Austin Martian, Mustang, Lexus, Cadillac Escalade, Mazda RX-7, Chrysler and others of you that known your cars.

One other thing the add here is that the damage effects looks good from the smashed windows, bumpers hanging, bullet holes and more to the destruction of explosions and the barrels, dustbins that bounce about when driving down the alleyways.

The voice acting overall is pretty good apart from Slick which is quite annoying person but there are many other characters with great personality. The sound side of things is good enough with the car engines and skids all sounding real, plus the gun firing all sounds stop on but the main reason this section scores high is because of the great music that is played.
As the games set in 1978 at the beginning and then 2006 after prison, there is a very good mix of sound tracks of over 80 songs from the classics to the modern day featuring some exclusives never heard from before by legends and new entertainers like Iggy Pop, Wreaking Crew, Charles Wright, Blondie, Kaiser Chiefs, Paul Oakenfold, Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy and many, many more filled with top tracks being played as you drive along.

The controls are easy to use and you shouldnít have any probably mastering it, only thing that I recalled is that I did press Triangle a few times when drive as this makes you dive out of the car were as the previous drivers the button was for handbrake. The controls are now more like other games of its type where as the X is to accelerate and square is for brake and reverse. Guns can be changed with the left and right on d-pad, where as L1 draws the gun and R1 is for shoot. Newly added is that you can now shoot your gun while drive so its makes it easier when chasing someone or if trying to loss the cops.

The handlings of the cars are easy enough and not over sensitive apart from some of the racing cars have very quick response and needs more skill and talent. One you put in some practice you be able to zoom in and out of the traffic and also handbrake around corners at high speeds with out losing it.

The thrill cam is still here but where as before itís used in replays, you can trigger it when playing the game. I love using it myself when you handbrake it around a corner and with a quick press on the down with the d-pad actives the thrill cam which puts the view to an angle that looks at your car and makes it does slow-motion. This is very cool to use but donít over used it, especially in missions as you canít so whatís in front of you and can end up making you crash. For anyone who thinks this is a strange power to have in this game: itís not a power itís a camera view thatís used for replays but here itís used in real-time.

The gameplay starts of with some simply driving/chasing missions but then turns into jobs that involve shooting. The missions Varity and are good, some that involve good challenges. The main difficult part of the game even for myself a regular gamer was not the actual missions but just the simple driving which is not so simply. Where as other games of this type you can drive straight done the road at 100mphs or so but here each and every road is packed with traffic, with even the short and small roads thereís load of cars going both ways as well as packed cars. You will find that you be hitting every car and then will have to be nicking others just the get to the end of the road. One the bigger road with many lanes itís easier as thereís more room but you still need to gather some skills and be more careful, as you drive you will be switching lanes all the time and using the brakes is a yes when its get heavy, youíll also see yourself going for a gap in between two cars or going onto the pavement as this can be the only space sometimes.

With time you should improve and you feel on top of the world when bombing through the traffic at high speeds for miles with out hitting anything. Sticking with cars with about the maximum speed of about 90-100mphs helps with successful driving until your skills improve.

The other new feature in driver is you can now modify your vehicles which is a warm welcome but could have been better still. With earning money you can take any vehicle into your garage and from there you can add bodykits thatís comes with its own graphics, change colour, add tune ups to your engine and a nitro for a nice bit of boost. Also which helps in missions you can also buy bullet proof tires and windows as well as tint them. You can do this to all and any vehicle you like from cars, trucks, dustbin carts and also firetrucks. This is not an in-depth thing, so you will be disappointed if you are looking forward to great customization as it donít let you add alloys, bumpers or spoilers separate as they come as a package.

Thereís also new felony system that you have 2 a personal felony and felony attached to vehicles the player has used. So were as the police are chasing the car your in, if can pick up the car again once that have lose you but if your were to get out of the car when they are not about, they would have now lead of who to follow. If you had a felony for shooting of foot you can get into a car and hide parse unless they see you through the window if up close.

The whole game is set in New York which lets you visit Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and so on which consists of about 260km of road, making the single city larger than the total of all three cities from the last Driver game. This makes it very cool to drive around in with no loading times what so ever which now focus on more driving than on-foot missions.

Where as if you just played the main missions and followed the storyline then should easily complete the game with in a week. But were is that not half of the fun as there are main side missions to play which involve getaway driver, taxi missions, checkpoint racing, street racing, dept collector and many more which has 3 difficulty settings. My favorite side missions myself which Iíve not mentioned is the circuit races where there are 3 of them that lies with each of the garages. Its best to start from easy and the cars are much faster on the other settings, you race 5 other cars on a made race course were as the two higher settings unlock more fast racing cars for you to drive.

The nice this also with the driver is that any of the vehicles you drive back to your garage then gets saved, where you can repair and upgrade anytime and can be used for any mission. Thereís about 80 vehicles to find and collect in your garage and along with 50 hidden stars (just like GTAís hidden packages) to find all over New York adds replay value and also at each 10 you get gives you extras like 50 more health, double boosters and so on.

With many cool weapons from both eras to try out and unlockable cheats to get as you progress should add more replay value to the game.

Any fan of the driver games should buy it as itís the best one they have made and for anyone who enjoys the Getaway, True Crime and Grand Theft Auto games should also try it as itís the same type of genre though now were as good as GTA.



Replay Value,
Final Rating:

Review Date: 01/06/06

Thereís also a special collectorís edition that may cost more depends on where you buy, that comes in a tint case and has free music cd featuring the official soundtracks of the game.

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