Driver: Vegas Review

Driver: Vegas is vaguely reminiscent of the old-school Grand Theft Auto look and feel, but it fails miserably in almost every aspect of its execution.

The Driver series, with its focus on high-speed pursuit, seedy criminal themes, and cinematic stylings, has always been a kissing cousin to the Grand Theft Auto games. The relationship between the two grew much closer with Driver 3, which aped the free-roaming gameplay style innovated by Grand Theft Auto III. The series continues to crib from GTA with Driver: Vegas, which takes on the top-down perspective of GTA of yore, though it also comes saddled with a diminished scale, a repetitive design, clumsy controls, and a surplus of frustration.

Driver 3 wasn't so good. Driver: Vegas is tangibly worse.
Driver 3 wasn't so good. Driver: Vegas is tangibly worse.

As best we can figure, Driver: Vegas takes place shortly after the events of Driver 3, following undercover agent Tanner as he continues his hunt for criminal mastermind Jericho. Despite his supposed undercover position, Tanner isn't much for subterfuge or finesse, and your missions boil down to tailing cars, shooting cars, and shooting villains. There's a little bit of Speed thrown in there too, where you'll have to keep your car moving above a certain speed for the duration of the mission.

The monotony of the mission design would be more forgivable were the fundamental controls any good. The game uses the outer ring of numbers on your 12-button pad for directional control, with the 5 button used to fire your weapon and the 0 button used for entering and exiting vehicles. This is OK when you're on foot, but it makes for some awkward driving, and it feels more like you're in a tank than behind the wheel of a late-model sedan. Weird collision detection exacerbates things, and even slightly grazing a piece of the environment will bring you to a dead stop--other cars on the road, which have a tendency to break more traffic laws than you do, don't help matters much, either.

If not for the repetitive missions, bad control, and frustrating perspective, Driver: Vegas might be fun. Maybe. But probably not.
If not for the repetitive missions, bad control, and frustrating perspective, Driver: Vegas might be fun. Maybe. But probably not.

The stiff controls on their own are frustrating, but compound them with a perspective that is zoomed in way, way too close and labyrinthine level designs, and you'll want to snap your flip phone in half. The core visuals are competently drawn, but they animate poorly, and the cars snap mechanically between their eight different directional positions. The sound does its part to make the package that much more irritating, with canned engine-revving and tire-screeching effects repeating over and over again. The game would have been better off with a MIDI loop.

Action games of any scale are simply tough to pull off on mobile phones, which might earn the developers of Driver: Vegas a little sympathy, but that doesn't mean you have to play this mess.

The Good
Umm...it kind of, sort of, almost reminds you of old GTA..
The Bad
Repetitive mission structure
Limited scope
Useless camera perspective
Clumsy, tanklike controls
3.9
Bad
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Driver: Vegas More Info

Follow
  • First Released 2005
    unreleased
    • Mobile
    Driver: Vegas is vaguely reminiscent of the old-school Grand Theft Auto look and feel, but it fails miserably in almost every aspect of its execution.
    5.8
    Average Rating26 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Driver: Vegas
    Developed by:
    Glu Mobile
    Published by:
    Glu Mobile
    Genre(s):
    Driving/Racing, Arcade