Review by SLASHR4
"The Cutting Review"
Once again, Tanner returns to the wheels as an undercover cop just like the prequel. However, it has a new twist to the storyline involving underworld gangs based in Cuba, and the aim of Tanner's mission starts out when a mysterious man from Cuba gets killed in a bar with weird tattoo markings on his arm. Thus Tanner returns to the roads, burning rubber on the tarmac in different cities. Each city is much bigger than the those from the first Driver. Anyways, more on this in the gameplay section.
The graphics, are, to say the least, pretty poor. the civilians that walk on the sidewalks are flat and look generally like walking cardboard pieces. Visually, it seems quite clear that none of the graphics have been updated from the previous Driver and it would seem to suggest that Infogames were more concerned about ripping off a concept which worked well with their first Driver, to increase their own profits. Having said that the introduction of being able to drive around in a yellow school bus in Chicago does provide some graphical amusement despite the fact that the graphics are far more inferior to other driving games currently available on the market such as Gran Turismo 2 and Ridge Racer R4, as comparisons. Thus the graphics scores a remarkably low 4/10.
The sounds fare much better than the graphics by a long way, and may what be the game's saving grace. The voice-overs of Tanner and his co-ops does much to help set the scene of a seedy, underground operation at work. It is therefore a very effective source in contributing to the game's atmospheric touch. On top of that, combined with the usual SFX of crashes, and the purr of the different engines of cars, as such a distinction can be heard between a Cadillac and another different car, it helps build a solid platform for a fast, rubber burning, mayhem causing game.
The music on the other hand, suits the levels, and it is not particularly relevant, as most of the SFX would cover the music and what really sets the pace and the tempo of the game is the squeal of your tires, desperately gripping onto the road, and the roar of the engine that catapults you forward to the completion of your target. Overall the sound section scores a decent 7/10.
The gameplay in itself is not that different from the prequel and has a few neat additions added to make the gameplay slightly more interesting than its predecessor. One of these examples are the new additions of a proximity bar which appears on several tailing missions. This feature makes it more interesting for if one tails to closely and the proximity bar reaches the danger region, then the mission would be unsuccessful. It therefore provides a new dimension to the game rather than the straight chasing as it requires more patience to do.
Also in some missions, it requires Tanner to get out of his car and physically chase somebody down or activate switches. This is a completely new departure from the predecessor as you can now walk around stealing cars and doing particular things that driving alone cannot do. Because of this new ability, it makes the game more tactical as you will have to judge when you should switch cars for greater speed, or simply to ditch the car to get rid of the felony bar. In this light, and combined further with the fact that the missions are much more challenging than the original, plus that it is much bigger in terms of map size it certainly makes the game even more fun to play just taking a casual ride and not doing the missions. Thus the gameplay here, scores a reputable 8/10
To sum up therefore, the game itself is pretty decent all round, and if you have enjoyed the first one, the second one should also provide a couple of hours of fun despite being let down by the graphics. One must not make the mistake of comparing this game as a 3D Grand Theft Auto, as it does not allow you to kill pedestrians and moreover, ally yourself with the other underlords which you can do in Grand Theft Auto 2. On top of that, the car handling has a completely different feel than that of the Grand Theft Auto series. Thus all in all, the game's total score amounts to a reasonable 7/10
Review by SlashR4
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/03/00, Updated 12/03/00
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