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"Driver is the first game to feature a style of racing that only really comes close to GTA yet is actually far more different than you might think"

Ever since 'The Need for Speed' introduced the concept of being chased at deadly speeds around fast lanes and motorways; others have tried to follow. In fact all the games that have exhibited such a 'police chase' scenario came out quite well, most of them awarded the highest marks. GTA, Midtown Madness and the abundance of NFS games have all used the feature and it does add a lot of depth and fun to the game over just plain racing. Until GTA racing game based around car chases were usually only a tertiary game mode, but now things have taken one step further. Driver is the first game to feature a style of racing that only really comes close to GTA yet is actually far more different than you might think.

The Seventies were rubbish, why build a game in that era?

There's a bit in the new Austin Powers2 movie near the end where Austin convinces yet another big breasted angel to follow him back to his time, the clever thing is what he say's to do it. Big busted girl, "But what about the Seventies & Eighties, I don't want to miss all that", Austin replies, "Trust me BABY! There's an oil leek and some geese go missing and THAT'S.. ABOUT.. IT!". For legal reasons that isn't a 100% accurate quote, but you get the idea. If like me you had been alive for a few years or more of the seventies (getting old) then you obviously understand where that quote came from. Music sounded like the vibrating fart of a cow crossed with it yelping dog, cars were hardly super controllable and you couldn't get laid as easily as in the 60's (not that old).

So why base a game in such a redundant era of all the time periods you could choose? Because in America things were a little different. The TV screens of the 70's were awash with crime dramas and thrillers; deplorable stenches such as 'Ionside' (quiver) and 'Columbo' littered our tubes with nothing but fluff. Sure fluff now but back then they were high-powered dramas, yes I know it's very scary. Much like trying to understand modern politics. This meant huge car chases would often wash our screens as police cars swayed hard around corners in hot pursuit of a getaway car from a bank job or other ominous crime. Picked as the perfect era for a game with a similar style to be set, just what the developer ordered.

Back to tall African Americans wearing tight globes of hair on their heads, back to cars that are named 'sporty' if they even exhibit one curve on their body and most importantly, back to car chases of large intensity and steel grinding together.

Cops on my tail, Smokey and the bandit I am not!

The controls are extremely basic, a simple use of keys for movement, handbrake and turbo are all that you need and the rest are just fun placeholders (horns etc.). This means that have you a full steering wheel or a simple keyboard, the game should be just as fun to play no matter what. Thankfully it is although you might need to spend an hour or so training just so you can get the million moves in required to pass the annoying test you face when starting the campaign mode.

In 60 seconds you have to learn everything from a simple handbrake turn to the depressingly annoying use of the reverse 180 spin, which by contrast is incredibly difficult to master. Thankfully if you get board of the training mode and just want to have some fun then there are game modes specially left open so newcomers can get right into the action. Pursuit (you chase a car and have to ram it, as well as keep up with it) and Getaway (Chased by a hard to shake cop) are just two of about a dozen modes that revolve around high speed chases, racing, time trials and all manor of gaming modes for such a genre.


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