Driver '76 is a decent first by Ubisoft and goes a step in the right direction for the franchise.
Being a Driver fan since the beginning I have seen the great roller coaster ride of successes and failures of the series. However, Ubisoft seems to have done a decent job of setting the franchise back on the right path with Driver '76.
Gameplay- The gameplay in Driver '76 is much like the Driver: Parallel lines. The player still has the ability to shoot from their car and the physics of the cars themselves have not changed. However, what makes this game so unique for the series is its easy to use map system. Whether your playing the game on the go or just trying to figure out what to do, the map is always there to get you behind the wheel as quickly as possible. This not only helps '76 to be a decent pick up and play title, it also lessens the time the player will spend driving aimlessly to the next mission area. The only real negative to the gameplay is that sometimes the game will slow down quite a bit when getting into a large crash or gunfight. It's not a game ending flaw, and is certainly easy to overlook, but not having the slowdown would have been better.
Graphics- The graphics for all driver titles have been based around a realistic look, and this title holds that standard. However, having so much detail can also cause some blocky looking textures, and this is the case with '76. This is not to say that the game doesn't look great in motion, but some of the textures during cutscenes can look rather ugly.
Sound- The sound for '76 includes a nice variety of seventies tunes, most if not all ripped directly from Parallel Lines. Once again, there are no radio stations, but then again you're not supposed to be casually driving in this game either. The only large problem with the soundtrack tends to be that there doesn't seem to be enough seventies tracks to keep the tunes from repeating themselves often. Only, the real stars of the game are the vehicles, and in this respect the game doesn't disappoint. The sound effects from the cars all sound different, everything from a slight purr to a loud roaring engine. Just like with any psp game, the sounds can be a little raspy at times, but this is more problems of the handheld itself rather than the game.
Value- The value of the game really depends on how much you like to do side missions, because in the end those activities are going to be what you participate in most. The regular storyline can easily be beaten within hours for hardcore gamers, so doing the side missions are where the game gets its lasting value, and value it has. The storyline, although involving, hardly takes you to all of the nooks of NYC so plenty of cars are for the taking once the game is over. The side missions, although endless, also give a reason for enjoying the great car physics of this game and give a purpose for coming back. My tilt- I tend to play these games by myself, so I am simply rating this game based on its single player attributes. Driver '76 may not be Ubisoft reflections first full original Driver concept, but I can safely say that if you've been worrying about the future of the franchise, it seems to so far be in good hands.