|Developer(s)|| Ubisoft Reflections (formerly Reflections Interactive)|
|Publisher(s)|| GT Interactive (1999)|
|Genre(s)||Action, driving, third-person shooter|
Driver is a series of mission-based driving video games developed by Reflections Interactive (now Ubisoft Reflections), and originally published by GT Interactive and later by Atari. The gameplay consists of a mixture of action, driving, and third-person shooting in open world environments. Since the series began in 1999 there have been five installments released, with a sixth one on the way.
The series main protagonist is usually Officer Tanner, an undercover cop who most do missions behind the wheels, but sometimes on foot as well. Other protagonists include TK and Ray. Most of the missions consist of pursuing another vehicle, ramming in another vehicle, reach to a certain location before a certain time, deliver a car to a certain person under a limit of time, etc.
Since Driver 2, the series has implemented an on foot option to give more freedom to the player. So if example, the player car's wrecks, he/she will have the abiity to get out of it and steal another. And since DRIV3R, the player can use weapons, ride bikes and boats.
Main series Edit
These are considered the main games in the series.
Driver: You Are the Wheelman Edit
The first game in the series, the game features Officer Tanner.
Driver: You Are the WheelmanEdit
- Main article: Driver: You Are the Wheelman
The first game of the Driver series was released for the PlayStation on June 30, 1999 in the US. It was later released for Game Boy Color in May 2000, PC in September 2000, Mac in December 2000, and iPhone in December 2009. In the game you play as an undercover police officer named Tanner. It featured a storyline set in the 1970s and based in four real-life cities; Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City.
Formerly a race car driver, Tanner becomes an undercover cop and is given the task of infiltrating the Castaldi family, a dangerous organized crime family in United States, as a getaway driver. He first must prove his skills in an interview in a garage. After this, he starts working for various gang members in order to discover what the family's true intention is.
It was the best selling game of the Driver series selling more than 3 million copies and an evolution of the freedom to explore a city as brought forth in the early "Grand Theft Auto" games.
Driver 2: The Wheelman is Back/Back on the Streets Edit
- Main article: Driver 2
The second installment in the Driver series was released for the PlayStation on November 13, 2000 in the US by Infogrames (now known as Atari), and later ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2002. Some years after the original Driver, Tanner with the help of his partner Tobias Jones, must find a man named Pink Lenny, a money man who formerly worked for Solomon Caine, but he later joined Caine's rival, Alvaro Vasquez.
The game features four more real-life cities (Chicago, Havana, Las Vegas, and Rio De Janeiro). It was the first game in the series to feature 2-player modes, curved roads, and the ability to get out of your car at any time in order to steal another car on the street.
- Main article: Driv3r
DRIV3R takes Tanner into a more current world in 3 cities including Miami, Nice and Istanbul. The story goes that Tanner, along with Jones, must stop the illegal shipment of 40 cars to Russia. The game's antagonist is Jericho.
Driv3r was the first in the series to get Rating by the ESRB, was released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on June 21, 2004 in the[United States to generally poor reviews (despite new features such as the ability to use firearms). It was subsequently followed by versions for the PC, and Game Boy Advance. The game sold rather well despite poor reviews, and Reflections paid notice to the complaints about the insipid story line, poor controls, and abundance of glitches in order to improve the series' standings with critics and gamers in the fourth installment of the series.
Driver: Parallel LinesEdit
- Main article: Driver: Parallel Lines
The fourth game in the series, Driver: Parallel Lines, was released March 14, 2006 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and June of 2007 for PC and Wii. It is the most violent of the series—the first one to receive an 18 rating in the UK. Reflections intended Parallel Lines to "return the series to its roots" by focusing more on driving.
The game differs greatly in other aspects from its predecessors, though, as the story no longer follows undercover police officer Tanner and the game takes place in only one location, New York City. The new main player's name is TK, a criminal rather than a cop. The game includes two time periods, 1978 and 2006, when the main player is sentenced to prison for 28 years and returns in 2006. The game received mediocre reviews and, unlike Driv3r, did not sell particularly well.
Driver: Vegas (released in 2006) and Driver: LA Undercover (released in 2007) are two mobile exclusive games featuring Officer Tanner, the protagonist of the first three Driver's. Vegas features his exploits in Las Vegas in an attempt to exact revenge on Jericho after Driv3r, while LA Undercover (set two years later), features Tanner's exploits in Los Angeles to take down the Los Angeles Mafia by working his way up the ladder.
On January 23, 2007, GameSpot reported that the Driver franchise would be coming to the PlayStation Portable, as Driver 76. Set in New York City in 1976, two years before the events in the first half of Driver: Parallel Lines, you take the role of Ray, TK's friend and a supporting character from Parallel Lines. The game was developed by Sumo Digital and Reflections, and was released on May 11, 2007.
A new Driver installment had confirmed to be in development. It was confirmed to be in production in August 2006, when Ubisoft acquired the rights of the series from Atari. Sony then confirmed at the 2006 Tokyo Game Show that a new Driver was in development for the PlayStation 3. In June 2008, the BBC conducted reports on the computer game industry, among those reports were in-game, and development footage of the next Driver game. On 21 April 2009, Ubisoft registered the trademark Driver: The Recruit. In January 2010, it was confirmed that a new Driver (titled Driver: San Francisco) game was in development and due for release in Ubisoft's fiscal year ending in March 2011. The game takes place after the events of Driv3r, with Tanner and Jericho surviving their encounter.