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Review: Driv3r (aka Driver 3)

June 2, 2012

So, Driver 3.

I have no idea whatsoever what happens in this game. It starts out in Istanbul, Turkey with an incredibly confusing firefight involving people we haven’t seen yet because we’ve been playing (or rather, watching a movie) for about thirty seconds. Two people involved end up in the hospital and one of them dies, and I can’t tell what the doctors and nurses are saying because they’re speaking Turkish and there are no subtitles. So, to recap, something happened, I’ll be damned if I know what, and then we jump back to Miami, six months earlier.

And then the game proper starts, with undercover FBI agent Tanner at home being called into the Miami Police Station, presumably to assist with a case. This is as far as I got in the game, which I attribute to the controls being, to borrow a phrase from Ben Croshaw, “pants on head retarded”. Oh, I have a list.

It starts with not being able to change controls in the middle of a game, a mechanic I describe as “Seriously? Oh, fuck this shit.” This naturally means that once you find something stupid in the controls, after staring slack-jawed for a moment or two, you have to exit out of your current game, back to the main menu, go down to settings, get into the controls, change the stupid setting, save the one that makes sense (because if you just hit escape, it reverts to its dumb-as-hell default), back out of the controls, out of the settings, out of options, back to the main menu, start a new game, hit spacebar to jump past the cinematics you’ve seen already, start playing again, run into another idiotic control, and finally quit in a huff.

On to the controls that I found particularly dumb. The least of these is inverted y-axis on the mouse. Some people like it, I just happen to find it annoying. But that’s just a personal issue. The dumbest thing, and the one that made me say “fuck it” after accidentally hitting escape after fixing it, was the vehicle controls. The vehicle controls aren’t WASD. They aren’t the arrow keys. They aren’t even ANY FOUR KEYS IN THAT GENERAL SHAPE. No, they had to spit in the face of the established gaming standards, and go with Z and X for left and right, <.> for gas and </> for brake and reverse. What in the everloving fuck.

But, like an idiot, I just now decided to go back and give it another shot. This time, I actually got to the police station (using standard WASD controls, thank you very much), although when I got there I discovered that firing your gun isn’t mapped to left mouse, LIKE IT IS IN EVERY GAME INVOLVING GUNS SINCE THE LATE NINETIES. Fuck. This. Shit.

The graphics are, frankly, sub-par, and I find it clear that they wanted to show off their sunlight system (which, BTW, doesn’t even work right, painting Tanner in a thin coat of white) that they skimped on models and textures, the animations, while not as bad as Rockstar implied, aren’t exactly anything special, and DEAR GOD THE CONTROLS. If you absolutely have to play Driv3r, do it on a PlayStation 2 where it belongs.

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One comment

  1. Personally, I wouldn’t bother playing it at all. The game’s a bit of a fail across all formats. :\



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