Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Driver: Parallel Lines

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageDriver: Parallel Lines, is the latest in an already very successful series that started back in 1999. We have Driver, the very first with great car handling brilliant graphics and a Car Chase Movie Editor, this game was a little limited, with the fact you couldn’t change car mid-Level, or run people over. Then the follow-up Driver 2 came out, doing everything the first one did better without changing the game too much, which is very accomplished. Then came Driv3r; a massive sequel that either from bad marketing or, more justifiably, just bad game design, flopped horribly in critics eyes when put on the shelves, but, more importantly; not necessarily the consumers. But now you can banish all thought of that title that plagued the Driver name, as there’s now a new driver in town; he’s sleek, he’s smooth and he’s called T.K., aka “The Kid”.

            Driver: Parallel Lines starts by introducing you to this character, it’s 1978 and T.K.’s Electronic Theatre Imagerecently come to New York as an eighteen-year-old wannabe. He started driving people to a from liquor stores to earn a quick bit of cash, but soon his driving skills are noticed by the top cats around the area and suddenly he’s all-in with some very unsavoury people: and the only way out is to drive faster. Eventually the jobs get too risky for even The Kid to pull-off without some loss to his chill and in one very hectic moment, he loses it all – and gets taken to prison for his crimes. Twenty-eight years  later and our man is back roaming the streets looking for old friends, old enemies and new jobs.

            Now as anyone who has even looked at this game will know that the entire rock behind the game play in Driver is getaway driving, so when you start the game the first thing you do is get a bit of the background story in T.K.’s life. You then see him pull-up beside a liquor store just as a masked-man carrying a large amount of cash runs out, he jumps in the passenger side shouts something about the necessity of speed as you see two cop cars swing around the corner in behind you. So starts the very essence that makes Driver: Parallel Lines: driving fast and using every trick you know to lose the cops trying to make your job hard. And there’s many tricks you’ll learn just in the process of running away, like the speedy 180-degree turn, quick parking, doughnuts round junctions, followed by speeding off in a random direction, using your knowledge of the alleys to confuse them, and many, many more.

            The game’s set out as a huge Free-Roaming Map, so you can do anything you like at any point in time, similar to the Grand Theft Auto series, but in each area you’re in there’ll always be at least a couple of Missions and a Garage. There’s also Stunt Spots all around the Map which give you massive bonuses for completing the jump and collecting the Star over it. However, these aren’t shown onElectronic Theatre Image the Map and act as bonus objectives. On the Map Screen you can see every item of importance but the bonus objectives, these are; Safe Houses, Cops (alerted and patrolling), Objective Vehicles, Garages, self created Waypoint Markers (these are a godsend for plotting your way around the very confusing New York City layout) and Mission Objectives.

            The Missions are at set points around the Map, there are red points that signify extra Missions for extra cash and yellow points for the Story Missions. The extra Missions consist of many unique driving and skill orientated objectives, from hunting down debtor’s for loan sharks, winning Street or Circuit races and “repossessing” cars for people, to shoot-outs and scare mongering poor officials. Whereas the Story Missions require more strategic thought and maybe a couple of attempts to complete the task up to standard. Safe Houses give you place to go to Save your progress, and Garages are the all-new amazing addition to the series. Now in many other games similar to this, the Garage is the place you go to lose your Wanted Level or repair your car, well this game has taken it ten-steps further; it lets you customise you car. You can perform engine modifications, brakes, suspension, ride height, change the base andElectronic Theatre Image bonnet colour, add full body customisations and add nitro, you can Save the car to your Memory Card and it’ll be in your Garage wherever you take and leave the car. You can do this to absolutely any car you find in the game, giving you in time, any car you want with any number of customisations to take out into the city. There’s also a Re-Locate Feature taking you to any other Garage on the Map.

            Though-out the game you’ll use many different skills to help you with your illegal tasks, like leaning out of the car window to shoot at people, hand-to-hand combat and many others, though they do take time to obtain they make great additions to the overall gameplay of this title. The driving controls and handling are well done and add a large amount of realism to the title, as do the damage effects to the cars, they will actually break down piece-by-piece if the time and consideration is put in. When running around the game you can see large amount of people and cars around you, showing the work put into this title to make it seem like a true bustling city.

            The draw distance is very good for such an expansive game, though not as impressive as some recent titles such as God Of War and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, but with the amount of moving objects around and the very little object Pop-Up especially when driving at high speeds, it’s more than adequate for this kind of game. The graphics overall are very good looking similar to True Crime: New York City and some of the videoElectronic Theatre Image sequences are truly spectacular, only for the over eighteen’s though.

            This is a well-made game, although not pushing the boundaries of genres; there are some great new additions to the gameplay to make this a game worth looking at simply for what it is. Anyone that likes to drive will enjoy this game, as will people looking for a more deeply structured Grand Theft Auto or a less buggy True Crime: New York City. It’s a kind of game that is just fun to play, even when you’re stuck on a Mission, bored of everything else or even bored of games! Well done Reflections Studios and ATARI, it’s quite a comeback.Electronic Theatre Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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