Yes Everybody remembers the old classic Driver, even the name sounds classic in its own way. Yeah ok trying to type it than saying it may not sound cool but for a game that will nearly be 12 years old from its debut on the PS1 back in 1999. Even after all these years, some of us aswell as me still play it from time to time both on the PS3 and on the PSP, its gameplay and modes still appeal fresh even if you have played it from the launch date or just thousands of times. The Game Driver which was made by the following Company Reflections Interactive now know as Ubisoft Reflections and known for the classic game Destruction Derby.

In the game you play as an undercover cop called Tanner who is asked to go undercover after showing impressive driving skills to some crooks who soon he’ll be working for. It will involve Tanner Following and even destroying other cars,  Delivering stolen cars, smashing through buildings and pedestrian areas to complete jobs for gangs and various criminals in the 4 chosen cities. The game includes 4 cities throughout the undercover mode like New York, Miami, San Fransico and Los Angeles.

It is noticeable throughout the game that it has a heavy 60’s 70’s feels and does copy the style of some blockbuster movies like Bullitt (Steve McQueen) With the car you drive based on a Mustang 69 and other cars in the cities with a 60’s 70’s look  in many chapters throughout the game.

Most of all was the other modes Driver included in the game, aswell as Undercover mode you had Take A Ride Mode( Free Roam) which has become a main feature mode throughout the rest of the Driver Series which allows you to drive and cruise around in any of the 4 cities without having to do the missions in undercover mode, but this depends on how far you’ve progressed in the undercover mode to have the selective choice of what cities to roam in.

There is also Trailblazer mode that involves you driving around and through obstacles under a time limit, Survival mode which see’s you being chased by dozens of police cars at incredible speeds and seeing how long you can last before your car gets totally wrecked. Pursuit mode which involves you chasing a car throughout the city and damaging the car as much as possible to bring the car to a halt before the time limit runs out. Also Getaway Mode which you have to desperately lose the cop car chasing and trying to ram you across the state that you’ve chosen to play in.

These are just some of the extra modes that helped make this game and the future series classics. Considering back in 1999 when most games were just starting to be available in fully 3D with and gradually with more fluid motion controls, the AI (artificial Intelligence) in the game had the best natural movements for its time, with cars blowing their horns at you, swerving and braking to avoid crashing into you. However due to the year the game was out there were some very noticeable glitches in the game, like cars driving into walls and magically disappearing. Some cars even would get stuck in the walls in any map you played which can sometimes cause your car to fall through the floor continuously.

The Games music which changes every time a cop car is alerted by your speeding presence or in one of the various mode options was very well suited to the theme of the game, with a continuous hard cold piano and a echoed bass and drum beat to jazzy guitars and saxophones it really does feel you are playing inside a hollywood action paced movie. Of course if you was under the age of ten around the time the game came out, most would remember or know someone who used to just have the music blaring out without the Sound Effects on. Yes back then most of us were probably only ears on with computer music but hey talk about back in the day! It’s all Artist and bands soundtracks now in games in 2010 (Mostly).  But overall the team who made the music for the game did an incredible job making it all come into one with the games style and motion.

Again Driver continues to show the main influences from various films and even replicates some locations from certain films as well as the sounds of crashing and engine noises. Even though there was no way for you to roam outside of the car on foot unlike in Driver 2 and Driv3r it still had the most fun potential and with the Movie Director mode which you can either use Auto or manual director was a big feature for people wanting to see their best chases and getaways in replay, on top of that with the included extra modes you can forget the idea of being able to walk on foot for the moment while playing the game.

It’s games like these that you still feel the dedication and time effort put into place for this game. How the influences were cleverly inserted not to copy cat the exact influences of the films exact scenes and locations 100% exactly, but appreciate it in its own personal style that relates to it. When someone say’s ( Oh Do you remember that game Driver?) (I was playing Driver the other night) or you hear that high revving of the mustang as you press the circle button with the crazy wheel spin of smoke, you automatically picture the game with a cop car couple of inches away from your back bumper with your felony bar half way and damage near critical. Am i right? Or maybe it’s just me that thinks that anyway (*Cheesy Grin*)

The Game was available on PC and Macintosh but when it came to playing hands on with the game on the PC platform it really felt more like it really belonged and suited to the console platform style of playing controls. When playing it on the PC it is clear to see that better updated graphic textures on the cars and buildings were added, while everything else was pretty much the same throughout the game overall.

Since 2008 the Game is available for purchase on the Sony PS3‘s PSN store (Playstation Store)for under £4 which is under the section PS1 Classics section. It can also be played on any following PSP (Playstation Portable) as all the PS1 games are PSP compatible from the PSN Store. What better way to waste away your lunch time or on the train or in bed getting chased by dozens of cops in survival mode. To think nearly 12 years down the line and it’s still going strong, even on a portable.

On December the 9th 2009 an updated version of the game was ported to the iPhone, it was available for a very short time for free now charging £2.99 which is a bargain. It’s the full game from the PS1 Console, but it the textures have had a major makeover. Driving physics and car AI are pretty much the same but with slight improvements to make it more challenging, especially when taking a ride and under 3 seconds a cop car has you up to half bar of damage already, can be quite annoying at times but once you’ve mastered how to dodge the hits it’s easily fun.

So why not go back up into the loft this christmas and dust out you’re old copy of Driver or if you haven’t got it (Lost it or damaged *Tut tut*). Download it for under £4 on the PSN store or IPhone  App Store. Either way it’s going to bring back the flashbacks and many waisted hours of fun from years ago.

Here’s some more screenshots of the iPhone Version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed on PS3/IPhone

Driver 1 Playstation 1 1999

Driver 1/iPhone 2009 (Updated Version)

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