“Driv3r,” simply put, commits videogame thievery in the grandest
sense. The latest in the “Driver” series is an uninspired “Grand
Theft Auto” clone from the driving mechanics and fighting system,
all the way down to the signing of A-list talent (Michael Madsen
and Michelle Rodriguez). Even though Atari attempted to emulate one
of the most successful and innovative games on the market, it fails
on nearly every front.

The thrill of the originals lied within its high-speed chases,
which successfully evoked the greatest of Hollywood pursuits.
However, in its ambition to become more than just a driving game,
the core gameplay is lost. The driving occasionally manages to be
entertaining, yet the frustrating controls and insipid graphics
impede the enjoyment.

The game completely falls apart when gamers take the lead
character out of the cars and onto the streets. Combat is clunky
and merely moving can create bouts of dizziness for the player.
What should be the easiest of tasks, like entering a vehicle,
become battles of attrition with the controls. Exacerbating these
poor mechanics are even worse visuals, especially the jumping and
running animations.

“Driv3r” is indicative of everything that is wrong with the
videogame industry. It’s another sequel meant to cash in on the
name of its predecessors, while at the same time mimicking the most
popular game on the market. As far as “GTA” clones go, “Driv3r” is
awful – nothing stands out and it brings nothing new to the table.
Worst of all is the decision to include the “Driver” name, when in
fact the game went in a completely different direction. Atari needs
to bring the focus back to the car chases, add some nice graphics
and sound controls. But until then, don’t play “Driv3r.”

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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