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Driv3r Preview for Xbox
Posted on Saturday, December 20, 2003 @ 03:36:34 am E.S.T

With such titles as Wipeout, Stuntman, Twisted Metal, Destruction Derby and Driver 1 and 2 to accredit their name, no one can possibly claim that Reflections Interactive’s Driv3r will be another GTA clone. Its photo-realistic graphics, huge cities—three, in fact—and supposed stellar driving mechanics will surely set it apart from its crime-based counterpart and make it a legend in its own name.

As said, Driv3r will be enlisting the use of three huge cities: Miami (cringe, if you will); Nice, France; and Istanbul, Turkey. Before you start complaining that this is one less city than in Driver 2, you should know that each city is photo-realistic, and some cities are created to a point of their real-life counterparts, much like the real-life mapping that occurred in Activision’s True Crime: Streets of L.A. Just so you can appreciate the enormity of these sites, let me spout some numbers at you: overall, the game has nearly 31,000 buildings, thirty square miles per city, and if you drove through all three cities, a hypothetical odometer would read about 150 miles. How’s that for big?

While playing through Driv3r's missions, you’ll once again be in control of Tanner, a roughneck cop seeking to overtake an underground car jacking ring. While the story might be old, the gameplay isn’t. Using the Stuntman engine as a base of operations, vehicle mechanics have been overhauled, making driving more realistic than ever. Now when a vehicle takes damage, not only does it show damage realistically, its performance suffers, too; You lose your front two tires, you’re at the mercy of your car, truck, or boat. Here’s what Mark Edmonson, creative and managing director at Reflections Interactive, had to say – “You can actually crumple the shape of a car. In Stuntman, when you smack into something, the car stays relatively rigid. Here, if you hit something at an angle…one side of the hood will come up and the other won’t. You can really wrap around objects you collide with.”

In addition to the car physics, Reflections has also improved on on-foot sequences. Supposedly, the too-rigid camera of the past will be replaced by a free-moving one. What’s more, firearms will be available for use in this installment of the Driver series. While a small number of guns available in the game have been disclosed to the public, we do know that players can use both Berettas and MAC-10s. While this may somewhat be copying the ‘gun’ trend GTA made so popular, hopefully Driv3r will improve on the manual aiming, which was one of GTA 3 and GTA: VC’s biggest faults.

In an attempt to add to the game’s “interactive movie” feel, Reflections Interactive has hired some top-notch Hollywood stars to voice the main characters of Driv3r. Michael Madsen (Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Donnie Brasco) will be playing Tanner; Ving Rhames (Con Air, Pulp Fiction, Mission: Impossible) voices Tanner’s partner Tobias; and Michelle Rodriguez—who needs no introduction—will be Calita, super-sexy leader of aforementioned car theft ring. When asked why Driv3r would be using so many Hollywood stars in the game, Steve Allison, vice president of Atari Inc.’s Los Angeles studio, responded, “By casting the game with top Hollywood talent, Driv3r truly solidifies the look and feel of an interactive movie. Atari is well known for pushing the envelope of collaboration between the video game industry and Hollywood, and Driv3r will once again raise the bar for what gamers will come to expect from interactive entertainment.”

So far, Driv3r’s multi-player and online options are non-existent, but hopefully we’ll hear details soon. Delayed from its 2003 release, Drive3r will be hitting shelves in Spring of 2004 for the PS2 and Xbox.

Preview By: Stealth52 - 2253 Reads

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