Review by Oren Murasaki
"Simply not up to par with the original, but still a good drive"
Even though it didn't provide the option and thrill based gameplay like the GTA series did, Driver still offered a great experience and realistic driving. The stress was apparently on action based thrills, and those thrills were delivered. However, in Driver 2 it feels like a bit of these thrills were too heavily relied on. Graphical problems plague it, glitches slow it down, and the extra foot feature isn't useful for much more than acquisition of cars.
Graphically, Driver 2 simply isn't a terribly huge improvement from the original, however the cinematic events are very well done and interesting to watch. The in-game graphics still suffer and are plagued by problems from the original driver. Pedestrians running are unrealistic, and considering that they run away even if you approach them on foot the same way each time, that only adds to the downsides. There are a decent amount of different cars and differently styled cop cars. The games can glitch up very badly, even though the graphics can be pretty decent. The frame rate slows down considerably at times, and you don't have to get very close to see serious pixelation.
The graphics of the people aren't much better than the first driver, the faces can barely be seen in detail, and when they are it is as if they are simply pasted on. The game hasn't aged well graphic wise, but this isn't really a contributing factor to some of its greater downsides.
The tire marks and rolling hubcaps give a bit of extra detail, but not too much. The traffic lights are visible, the streets curve, alleys feature fire escapes, probably to increase the feel of a criminal atmosphere.
Although the graphics have some serious issues, they aren't bad enough to make the game terrible.
A highly recognizable element. You drive around accomplishing missions ranging from the original story, to survival, to driving through checkpoints and multiplayer freestyle. The replay features allow you to edit the replays so they appear very movie-like, and this feature actually boosts the game play up considerably. Who wouldn't want to view a flying police car from all possible angles and give it a special place in the savable replays?
The controls are fairly simple and responsive, but the difference in handling and speed between cars isn't terribly high, but noticeable in police cars and the hidden sports cars.
Throughout levels, special cars can be obtained by accomplishing certain acts, but any car driven besides the starting one for each of the four cities must be stolen, and there is only a small selection of cars available for the beginning.
Although there are only four cities, the environments are simply huge and full of places that can be easily overlooked and unexplored, adding even more to the feel that the game attempts to give. Beware of slowdowns, glitches, and the occasional freeze. You play as a cop named Tanner trying to trace the truth behind criminal Pink Lenny and the crime lord known only as 'Vasquez'. Since you are undercover and engage in many high speed chases, pursuits, and escapes, the police are after you if you break a law. These include driving on side walks, hitting other vehicles, running red lights, and speeding (of course).
Actually, the cars make pretty believable sounds but they aren't very varied, but that's probably because the selection is low. The music changes depending on the situation, but not that much. You can hear the cops communicating but the phrases are very often repeated.
The voice acting in cinematic events and sound effects are pretty good, though. The crash sounds need a bit of work, but aren't all that awful.
The footsteps are also fairly accurate, but repetitive.
In general, the game offers much in the way of story and driving, and the feature to steal is much appreciated. There are some serious problems however, that prevent this game from matching up in this time as Driver did in its own. In the rare case that you aren't quite into the Grand Theft Auto series, play this or Driver 3.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 07/08/04
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