Review by Millers C

"No real Improvement, though."

For those of you who don’t know, Driver 2 is, surprisingly, the sequel to the already platinum Driver. You played the role of the laconic and mostly harmless undercover cop Tanner, and even more surprisingly, his mission was to trundle around in his zippy motors wreaking general havoc. The game was a smash hit, featuring the cool San Francisco, Miami, LA and New York and some hot wheels from the smashing seventies. And now, we have the sequel.

Reflections has been quite proud of the fact that Tanner now has the ability to use his own two legs and is able to jack cars on his own. Those expecting GTA Style mayhem will be disappointed. Only a few cars are available on each city, and all handle pretty much the same. Well, except for the bus, perhaps.
The new cities are Havana, Rio, Vegas and Chicago-The reason for this stems from a much tighter plot that centres around the battle for control of Chicago’s drug market. It all kicks off with a fat man called Pink Lenny, the moneyman for a Brazilian drug lord named Alvarro Vasquez being shot at in a bar by goons hired by Vasquez’s rival, Solomon Caine. This incident gets cop Tanner and his partner Tobias Jones in on the act. This is presented to us in superb CG technology. Probably the best use of FMV I’ve seen on the humble PSX for quite a while.

As well as the impressive cut scenes, there is effective music use throughout the cinemas (Including that cool Big Lebowski song-I forget the name). You can, also play the cut scenes over and over if you wish. Inside the game, though, it isn’t that pretty. The first Driver looked good enough, but in some respects was a dog’s dinner. Cars these times round are actually much better drawn and detailed and can be trashed accordingly. Not enough, but average I’d say. No parts fall off either, so it seems a bit crap being that GTA3 is out on the market if you have a PS2. Outside the car, the backgrounds look bland and ugly. You will pass the same building 3-4 times in about 2 seconds. I know the PSX can’t handle games of epic proportions, but I’d just point it out. Once you get Tanner out of the car and look at him- well, he looks like an applicant for an Evil Dead Zombie. He is that poorly drawn. Runs like a chicken too. Roads this time round are curved, but I never noticed they weren’t in the original.

Missions this time are a lot more interactive. You will need to get out on foot sometimes in order to complete a mission. These range from planting C4 on boats, smashing cars with a bus and chasing an El train throughout Chicago. They certainly are diverse. Missions can be done with any vehicle you want, get the van and take it slow or the speeder that’s round the corner. No prizes for guessing which one you will use more often. The choices, with all due respect, are stupid and you will only need to choose once or twice within the whole game. Unfortunately, Reflections have included some near impossible missions again. That’s not on. Yes it makes the game last longer, but if it’s impossible it will remain in the closet. And gather dust. The controls of the car are pretty good, handbrake turns and all, they really work like a real car should do, and actually are diverse handling wise. The bus handles just as you would expect it to. The Cop car zooms along at high speed. But there still aren’t many cars to play with. But still.

Reflections have enabled multiplayer action. Initially I was impressed. Soon I got annoyed. And bored.
The problem is you get cut down versions of the cities to drive in. Not that bad…But you can only use the rubbish Front view. Which I HATE. Ruined it for me…
There are a few options to tinker with (Cops and Robbers), but it is too lacklustre to persevere with.

Driver 2 is a sequel that has not really improved. New cities yes. Get out the car yes. Better gameplay. No. Sadly, Driver 2 is riddled with glitches and poorness in some areas that hardly make it a very worthy buy if you are expecting more. I suggest getting to your local Blockbusters and finding out for yourself.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/10/02, Updated 03/05/02

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