This review is by no means an objective analysis of the games inherent quality, or a representation of anything other than the reviewer's personal experiences with the game. Any recommendations given out are based merely on the preferences of the writer and are by no means a guide for the reader to warrant purchases. Any reader should take this review with a grain of salt and if they are unsure as to whether the game will please them, to try it out before buying, as we all have our own personal preferences.
This is one of those few occasions where I can say very easily that I "hate" a game. There is just so much wrong with this game that trying to sift out the good is just a test in patience rather than one of enjoyment. Everything is mired with technical problems, poor implementation or is just downright stupid.
Being a huge fan of the original two Driver's on the PS, this was pretty much the biggest disappointment I've ever had in my entire gaming lifetime.
All of the elements from the original games are here, but the attempt on behalf of Reflections to integrate GTA elements alongside of them just left all of them drowning in a sea of filth. The controls work moderately well in a vehicle, but the way in which they control Tanner on -foot is just embarrassing. The gunplay is awful, unintuitive and completely unnecessary.
The biggest issue in the single player portion of the game is that the missions don't focus on driving, many of them focus on shooting and running around, combining poor design with horrible controls just causes a lot of problems and severe frustration.
There are a few moments where some enjoyable things shine through the mountain of manure, but they are few and far between, and its hard to enjoy them due to the lingering smell.
Generic tracks and sound effects. Nothing horrible but nothing good.
Framerate drops are everywhere. The engine definitely exceeds the capabilities of the hardware, and the drops get to the point where the action on-screen almost comes to a complete stop. Had this game been released on more powerful hardware, with better polish, this wouldn't have been a problem... but "reach far exceeding grasp" comes heavily into play here.
Not much art in this game. It was clearly designed to look "realistic" and it is all mostly bland and extremely underwhelming visually.
Considering I could not even force myself to go beyond Miami (The Gator's mission finished me), I cannot really comment on the story. However, it seems unfocused and all over the place from what I gathered. This was another problem the series faced in the previous iteration (Driver 2). Jumping from city to city required some ridiculous reasons to get the characters to move, and they usually just undermine the whole story.
There is definitely a lot of content here, but when most of it is either broken, unenjoyable or just boring, it really makes for a game that really isn't worth playing, at any price. I paid $15 for a mint-condition copy of the game, and feel like I was completely ripped off. This game is not worth anyone's time or money. It is an embarrassment to the series and the developers, and denying its existence can only help Reflections in their future efforts.
It can be all over the place, from laughably easy, to downright impossible, and the cop AI that seems to always be faster than the player just makes this game cheap and frustrating. Not challenging or fun.
There is barely anything in this game worth commenting positively on. There was a lot of potential for it to be a great game, but the attempt on behalf of Reflections to turn it from a driving-focused game into Grand Theft Auto caused a lack of focus and ended up ruining the entire effort. It really is a shame considering how promising Driver: San Francisco is and how this game's poor execution and infamous reputation will keep people from enjoying an effort that did everything right when this did everything wrong.
Don't play it. Get Driver on the PS or San Francisco on PS3/360/PC and avoid this game like the plague. It isn't worth it. Even to see "how bad" it really is.
Note on score: The way I score games does not in any way reflect its content or quality. This score is merely a quantification of how much I enjoyed playing the game, and how "good" of a game it is to me. As the reader, you may disagree entirely, but this is how I felt about the game, and not how I think others *should* feel about it. Go and try it for yourself before you decide whether or not its worth your time and money. I am merely writing this review for my own benefit. If you get something from it, that's great.