Worst driving game ever conceived. A travesty of a tie-in to a great movie. Beware: Driven: The Game is n

User Rating: 1.1 | Driven PS2
Driven is, loosely, based on one of my favourite films, which has the same name. Unfortunately its resemblances to the movie stop at its name and Sylvester Stallone's involvement.

The game is supposedly story based, however, the "story" is in fact a mess of stolen set-pieces from the film (And changed into totally different set-pieces at the plot level on occasion). The advancement of said "plot" is through crude semi-animated 2D cut-scenes with minimal voice acting. Stallone lends his talents, essentially saying lines in the "no-one else is gonna talk, so I'll just place bits of their silent lines in mine" style. The commentators offer mostly generic ramblings about the championship and such. This is mostly pointless and can be ignored.

Also notable on the plot front is the fact that the team at the heart of the film is not the same as the team at the heart of the game, nor, as far as I can tell, are any of the teams the same. The car liveries have changed and bland team names like "Team Spirit" have been dumped in.

The film revolves around the career of Jimmy Bly, lovable and mild-mannered rookie racer rocketing his way through the championship, and Sylvester Stallone's seasoned pro guiding him. The game on the other hand has Stallone's character as an over-enthusiastic egomaniac and Jimmy as a useless, and occasionally arrogant, snotty nosed twerp. Hmm.

As for the actual gameplay, I nearly vomited just thinking about it at the start of this review. The game places little emphasis on, you know, racing, but instead on that annoying racing movie crap that Driven managed to avoid pretty well (Not entirely, but far better than the game). The idea that a driver can always go just that bit quicker, which the game calls "The Zone", similar to Microsoft's zens of running and gaming, this is a myth. No real driver is ever giving anything less than 100%.

To get into "The Zone" (Which is, I believe, introduced with a line something like "To be the best you gotta beat the best, to beat the best I gotta get in the zone and get out their and win. Let's win!"), one must drive their car quickly and unhindered for a certain amount of time. The odds of managing this are slim to nill however as the driving itself is wooden and features inexplicable spin-outs and understeer-induced crashes. This problem comes to the fore in the tighter tracks, such as the bastardised version of the movie's best set-piece, the in-city chase with next year's cars. Which is, for some stupid reason, commentated on and has become a race between Bly and his teammate, Stallone's character, to see who's best.

Aside from the dreadful story mode there is a championship mode, which isn't much cop compared to...Well...Anything. I've found deeper, more fun championships in Kart games. There is also a two-player mode, but the only reason to use this is to torture some other poor soul.

I am a seasoned racing game player. Notable as one of few jerks to complete his first Mario Kart game on 150CC first. I am also heavily into the F1 game scene, so I know what makes a good open-wheel racing game even more than a good racing game in general. This game fails at all levels. It even fails to be counted as a game.

If ever you see anyone even thinking about playing this, hit them. We in the business endure this kind of torture so the poor, innocent little Johnnies and Walter Whats-its of the world don't have to.

Beware: Driven: The Game is no game.