Driver 2 Review

If you're up for a challenge and enjoy racing games even a little, then you'll find that Driver 2 is an extraordinary game.

Driver 2 is a great sequel. It has everything that made the first game a hit, plus tons of new features like the ability to get out of your getaway car and run around on foot. As such, everyone who liked the first game is going to love Driver 2 - the new types of missions, cities, and gameplay features, as well as a fantastic, original story, make Driver 2 a winner.

Driver 2's story picks up in Chicago, where a mob bookkeeper by the name of Pink Lenny cuts a deal with a rival mobster. This new alliance upsets the delicate balance of the underworld, which ultimately causes a tailspin of drama. At this point, the police decide that the situation is too dangerous to ignore, so they send you and your new partner on a mission to defuse the situation by finding the mob turncoat who's causing problems for everyone. To do this, you must go undercover and infiltrate the seedy underworld where the secret war is being waged. This is where the game begins, and the rest of the story is revealed as you complete the missions. But despite the strong story elements, Driver 2 is actually all about going - going really fast and not stopping for anyone, not even for the cops.

You get a real adrenaline rush as you swerve through narrow streets evading the police, as well as the first time you hear a cop's voice over the scanner say "We've spotted 'em!" which is followed by the screaming of police sirens. This sensation alone practically makes Driver 2 worth owning. But fans of the first game know all about this feeling, which is why some major gameplay enhancements have been included in Driver 2 to truly make the sequel different and therefore give fans of the original game a new kind of experience.

What really separates Driver 2 from its predecessor is the ability to get out of the car and freely interact with the environment on foot. This almost makes Driver 2 into a 3D version of the driving action game Grand Theft Auto, since now you can carjack anyone who's unlucky enough to cross paths with you on the street - even school buses are fair game. Being able to move freely within the game's extremely large levels lets you do all kinds of cool things like set bombs and actually enter various locations and buildings.

Aside from being able to carjack unassuming drivers and run around the streets a bit, Driver 2, like the first game, is still all about being good behind the wheel of a car. For instance, when tailing another car, it's imperative that you pay close attention to the flow of traffic, as you could get caught at a stoplight and lose the other car, and you'll blow your cover if you get too close. Of course, knowing the streets of the cities you're cruising around helps quite a bit. Especially since the game's four locations - Chicago, Las Vegas, Havana (Cuba), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - have all been modeled after the real cities. The designers have even taken the flow of traffic of each city into consideration, which makes it particularly rough getting around the tight, crowded streets of Rio de Janeiro. The various cars you can drive in the game are also very realistic, and each vehicle reacts to sudden turns and even to damage as realistically as possible. Taking a high-speed hairpin turn down a busy Chicago street takes skill - skill that you can only learn after playing Driver 2 for some time. Fans of the original game will of course already be used to the game's physics and controls, since they are basically identical to those of the original Driver.

Visually, Driver 2 is a really good looking PlayStation game. The models used for the cars are extremely detailed, which makes it easy to tell exactly what make and model each car is. The textures used for the cities, cars, and other objects in the game look fairly detailed from afar, but once you get close they look a little rough. Unfortunately, Driver 2 suffers from a bit of slowdown and some pretty heavy pop-up on the horizon, although neither of these things really interferes with the gameplay. Fans of the original won't see many visual improvements between this and the first game, aside from the game's prerendered cinematic sequences, which look spectacular this time around.

As for the sound, Driver 2's soundtrack has been vastly improved over that of the original. Driver 2 features licensed blues and soul tracks that really help set the mood of the game's seedy atmosphere. The sound effects in the game are also quite authentic, including police sirens, sounds of the tires screeching, car crashes, voices - everything.

In the end, Driver 2 is a terrific game that fans of the original game will enjoy completely. The new ability to jump out of the car and run around in the environment really makes Driver 2 seem different than the original game. The game does have a steep learning curve, as you'll likely end up trying to complete a level several times before actually getting it down right. But if you're up for a challenge and enjoy racing games even a little, then you'll find that Driver 2 is an extraordinary game.

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Driver 2 More Info

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  • First Released
    • PlayStation
    If you're up for a challenge and enjoy racing games even a little, then you'll find that Driver 2 is an extraordinary game.
    8.1
    Average User RatingOut of 1790 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Reflections Interactive
    Published by:
    Infogrames, Atari
    Genres:
    Driving/Racing, Arcade
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Animated Violence