Driver 2 has a lot of spark but little zoom. It's been over a year since
the original Driver was released and everyone expected the same model,
only with a few extra gadgets and enhancements.
Unfortunately, the time
spent delivering an animated Tanner, curved roads and extra vehicles
might have been better expended on building a driving game which
actually moves with convincing speed. The real shock for those who loved
the original game is that Driver 2 is not nearly as speedy as the
Yes, curved roads were a great idea but not at the expense of a
swift frame rate. On one of the very first missions in the game, Tanner
is tasked with chasing a fleeing train through Chicago. The scene is
reminiscent of Gene Hackman's frantic chase through New York in The
French Connection - only re-shot by the Warchowski brothers.
slowdown, provoked by giving the PlayStation too many polygons to push
around, is worrying and merely underlines the feeling the Reflections
have attempted something which is simply too ambitious for the hardware.
The sense of speed is better conveyed in other cities such as
Las Vegas and Havana, and then the game really begins to impress.
Weaving in and out of the traffic as Tanner tries to lose his tail is
one of the more electrifying aspects of the game. There are other
fundamental problems though. The pop-up is absolutely atrocious. The
fact that Ridge Racer managed to all but avoid this problem five years
ago only serves to highlight what a technical disappointment Driver 2
Such problems clearly have a direct effect on the gameplay.
Steering becomes a case of trying not to overcompensate too much when
slow down occurs. While walls, trees, even skyscrapers suddenly
appearing in front of your vehicle makes escaping the police or gang
members more difficult than it needs to be.
But it is not all bad. There is a great game lurking under this
somewhat battered shell if you persevere enough. Thankfully there is
more variety in the mission objectives than in the first Driver.
Tanner's ability to exit the car adds much to the game and the
developers have put some thought into altering the game from mere A to B
driving. Jumping on to a departing ferry, avoiding exploding missiles
falling from the back of a van and wrecking a series of enemy vehicles
in a very short time limit adds a great deal to the diversity .
Driver 2 will be bought by many but may disappoint. An enjoyable
two-player game does make up for some of the technical problems which have
failed to be fine tuned before release. Yet given the original's success
even Arthur Daley would have little trouble flogging this over hyped
vehicle. Though Driver 2 can be fun on certain missions the slowdown can
spoil the overall experience.