Should it be let back onto the roads yet?
High Impact Games
Can we make it through this review without mentioning DrivTHREEer? No. No we can't. Because that game was so very, very bad that it has stained the minds of the many fools who were coaxed into purchasing it. So it was with some degree of trepidation that we approached Driver: Parallel Lines (or ignored it, if you were like me), only to find it was a bit less broken, but still not great.
The series hit the rocks, no-one cared about it anymore and something needed to be done: enter Sumo Digital and Ubisoft for this PSP entry to the series, Driver 76, set before Parallel Lines and featuring a new storyline and tweaked gameplay, this entry is looking to restore the series' past glories.
I'm not one to beat around the bush - it fails. Not spectacularly, but this is one hell of a mediocre game.
"Cars are now actually controllable, as opposed to being complete gash in the previous games."
"The police turn up randomly and disappear just as quick; the whole thing just feels dull, empty and very, very short."
The technology of the PSP comes to the fray once more, and it is unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. The game appears to push the system a little too hard in places - the lack of people and vehicles will attest to this, and it seems the game has been a little overambitious in its attempts to bring the series to the handheld. Loading times can be something of an issue too, with some stretching easily into the minutes. Others last just a few seconds though, and it appears to be something of a lottery as to how fast the game will actually load.
"The game looks decent enough by PSP standards, though there isn't anything likely to make jaws randomly dislocate with disbelief."
The basic framework for the future of the series is there - the rough edges have been tidied up, the game is easier and more fun to play as a result and it isn't a broken piece of crap, ala that-one-from-a-few-years-ago. The problems still rear their heads though, and the technology needs to be worked on - loading times of these lengths are ridiculous, even by the PSP's somewhat poor standards, and the empty streets of New York are not what one would call 'an accurate depiction'. Throw in the incredible short-lived experience that is the main story and you're left with a shockingly average experience, worth nothing like the RRP.
The Driver series has had its name dragged through every foul substance present on this green Earth, and the series has been the subject of a rescue mission for the last few years as a result. Parallel Lines was a small step in the right direction, and '76 is another small step the same way. The problems aren't over though, and some new ones have come to light with the handheld nature of this version. It's all terribly frustrating, as the Driver series is one that has a lot of potential.