|Driver: Parallel Lines|
|Publisher(s)||Atari (PS2, Xbox), Ubisoft (Wii, PC)|
|Distributor(s)||Electronic Arts (South America)|
|Designer(s)|| Gareth Edmondson (Reflections Interactive)|
Ken Allen (Atari)
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox, PC|
|Release date|| PlayStation 2 & Xbox|
NA March 14, 2006
|Genre(s)||Racing, Third-person shooter|
|Rating(s)|| BBFC: 18+|
|Media||DVD, Wii optical disc, Download|
|System requirements|| Supported OS: Windows XP or Vista
Driver: Parallel Lines is the fourth video game in the Driver series. The game was released on March 14 (March 17 in Europe), 2006 on the[Xbox and PlayStation 2 consoles by Atari, Wii and PC on June 26 2007 June 28 2006 in Europe) by Ubisoft.
Diverging from previous Driver games, Parallel Lines takes place in just one city, New York City, instead of multiple cities, but in the middle of the story you change to different eras of the city - 1978 and 2006. Due to the underwhelming performance of DRIV3R, particularly the often-derided on-foot sections, Parallel Lines returns to the formula used in earlier games in the series, focusing on driving, although shooting remains in the game. The game was received better by critics than DRIV3R, but still was criticized, including its simple gameplay, hit-or-miss controls, and derivative storyline. This is the first game of the Driver series that does not follow undercover cop Tanner. TK (Terry Kid (see in Corrigan's screen in the "Bear Cage" mission), the new main character, received Game Informer's "Biggest Dork of 2006" award.
Driver: Parallel Lines takes place in an entirely open world environment. Instead of choosing minigames from a menu as in previous Driver titles, minigames are now accessed from the in-game world. Many changes have been made from DRIVER, including visible blood when someone is shot, a money system, fully modifiable vehicles, environment destruction (i.e., lamp posts can now be run over and fire hydrants can break, spewing water into the air), and a new felony system that differentiates between personal felony and felony "attached" to vehicles the player has used. If the player attracts police attention on foot or in a certain vehicle and then loses the police and enters a "clean" car, their wanted level will be suspended. It can be reactivated, though, by spending too much time in the sight of a police officer, who will eventually recognize the player as "wanted". The same principle applies to out-of-car activities, such as weapon use, and allows the player to holster a weapon in order to lose police attention until spotted committing illegal acts again. For the Wii version, the felony bar has been replaced with Grand Theft Auto-esque "stars" which light up when the player attracts police attention. Also, swimming and jumping abilities from DRIV3R, were removed.
The game was originally intended to include online multiplayer, but this was scrapped when it became apparent to the developers that they could not deliver a strong multiplayer mode and wanted to focus entirely on the single-player portion of the game. The instant replay film director mode of previous Driver games was removed from Parallel Lines. Instead, the only available cinematic mode is the fixed-perspective slow-motion "Thrill Camera".
New York CityEdit
The interpretation of New York City in Parallel Lines is not GPS street-accurate like Manhattan. Instead, the game presents a smaller but more stylistic version of the city that includes all the boroughs except Staten Island and parts of the New Jersey shore. The game's Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and New Jersey consists of 222.5 miles of roadway, larger than the combined total of all three cities (Miami, Nice, and Istanbul) from DRIV3R. The game's New York City is also more "life-like" compared to previous games in the series: vendors sell donuts, NPC pedestrians talk rather than simply grunting and screaming, and numerous side jobs (such as taxi driving and car towing) are available. Several things have changed in the game from real-life New York, for example, New York Police Department has simply been dubbed into "City Police". However, the game completely lacks any kind of weather. The only atmospheric changes are the day-to-night cycle.
In 1978, the twin towers of the World Trade Center are present, along with New York City's many other landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Times Square, Central Park, and Flatiron Building in Manhattan. In Brooklyn, the player can visit Coney Island. The game features all of New York City's major bridges except the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Whitestone Bridge, the Hell Gate Bridge, and the Throgs Neck Bridge. The player can traverse these bridges freely from the start. An elevated portion of the New York City Subway that runs from Manhattan to Coney Island is part of the game world, but the subway system is not accessible to the player as a means of transportation, unlike True Crime: New York City where you can access the subway. Trains do run on the above ground railway system.
In the 2006 era, when T.K. goes to his safehouse, there is graffiti on the wall that says "Tanner Lives". This is a nod towards Tanner, the protagonist in the previous three Driver games. It is also a possible solution to the cliffhanger ending of DRIV3R, where it is unclear if Tanner or the antagonist Jericho flatlines in a hospital following a shootout in Istanbul. There is also a dumpster in the game which contains copies of "Driv3r", alluding to the poor reception of the previous Driver game. Also in the 1978 bachelor pad, there is a poster for Stuntman, another game by Reflections.
Both eras included in the game have distinct styles of vehicles, although a few of the 1978-era cars do show up in 2006, and the cars from 2006 can show up in 1978 by using the all cars cheat code, however all cars in from 1978 are all accessible in shop in 2006. Although based on real automobiles, all vehicles in the game are fictitious, and are given fictitious names.
New to the Driver franchise is the ability to customize, or mod, the player's vehicle. Each vehicle can be upgraded numerous ways in Ray's Garage. Upgrades include custom body and paint jobs, although they are preset, increased engine power, nitrous boosters, bulletproof glass, window film and tunable springs, shocks, ride height, brakes, neon lighting, and downforce. A test track is available to "try out" the upgraded vehicles and making any necessary adjustments.
The game follows 18-year-old "TK" (The Kid), a skilled driver who works as a getaway driver for a New York crime ring. Following the kidnapping and murder of a prominent Colombian drug lord named Rafael Martinez, TK is set up and charged with the murder and sent to Sing-Sing Prison for 28 years. While at Sing-Sing, TK hatches plans to kill each of the men who helped to frame him. When he is released in 2006 (Now aged 46), he sets out to kill his former associates, one of whom is now the Police Chief of the New York City Police Department. TK is aided by childhood friend Ray and the daughter of the drug lord that was killed.
The game was intentionally set apart from the other Driver games.
The game got mixed reviews. IGN rated it 7.2, praising the return of the series to its roots, and mentioned that "It's still not perfect, but it's not broken either."
Eurogamer gave 6/10 mentioning that "There's not too much shame in trying to do what GTA does, of course (and at least it's not about bloody gang warfare for once), but while this is definitely a solid improvement on its dreadful predecessor, it needed to achieve a basic level of competence and build upon it, and it only does that to a very limited extent." Gamespot gave it 6.5 calling it a competent GTA clone, but it's far from being recommendable.
Driver: Parallel Lines features a mixed licensed and original songs soundtrack consisting of over 70 songs, ranging from 1970s-era rock and funk to modern alternative rock and rap songs. The songs play while the player is in a vehicle, as if they were on the radio. Notable groups featured on the soundtrack include Funkadelic, Can, Suicide, The Stranglers, War, Iggy Pop, Blondie, David Bowie, Parliament, The Temptations, Average White Band, Public Enemy, The Roots, TV on the Radio, The Secret Machines, Kaiser Chiefs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem. There are also many made up bands in the soundtrack performing fictitious tracks from the 1970's. All music licensing and ingame compositions was done by Nimrod Productions.
It also must be noted that the Wii and PC version features mostly different songs, probably due these versions being released by Ubisoft.
A limited edition version of the game was released along with the regular version. The special edition, costing $10 more, includes an extra DVD containing information about the production of Parallel Lines as well as in-game videos and character profiles. Also included with the limited edition is the official soundtrack, including twelve tracks from the game. The UK version is dubbed "Collectors Edition", and does not contain the DVD, instead only providing the soundtrack CD and a metal case.
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