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Home » Featured, News

Driver is back on the streets

Submitted by on Monday, 7 June 20103 Comments

E3 is approaching fast, and that means that the big companies are rolling out the hype machines.

We’ve already heard from Capcom and now it is Ubisoft’s turn, as a new teaser website reveals that they will be unveiling a new Driver game at their press conference.

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. There really is going to be a new Driver game. After the terrible ‘Driv3r’, the derivative ‘Parallel Lines’, and the forgettable ’76’, you could have been forgiven for thinking that the series was dead.

So will this new title be the game that fans of the series have been waiting for?

The teaser page (which can be found here) contains a handy-dandy countdown timer to the Ubisoft conference for those of you who are feverishly counting the seconds, a link to a Facebook page, and most importantly a teaser video for the game.

Fire up the video and any among you who played the original Driver game will be immediately hit with a overwhelming sense of nostalgia.

It begins identically to the opening cut-scene of the original game, with an anonymous figure with smart shoes exiting an elevator and approaching a 1967 Ford Mustang. He drives off and as he does so a counter flicks up showing the years progressing from 1999 to 2010, before the car morphs into an updated model. The rest of the video is then a depiction of the opening training level to the original game, replete with authentic stopwatch and checklist of stunts on a scrap of paper.

Possibly this could all be a visual metaphor for the series returning to its roots, but we suspect it may be something more than that. A quick check on the Facebook site confirms the wheelman’s identity as John Tanner and the teaser page itself is titled ‘Driver1999’ – a possible working title for the game. On the balance of evidence we smell a remake.

Now we’re not big fans of speculation, but speaking purely hypothetically if it were to be a remake -would that be a good thing?

Don’t get us wrong, we here at Attitude Towers loved the original Driver for the PS1. Loved it. It was fantastically fun, huge for its time, and really did deliver on its claims of making you feel like you were in your very own 70’s car chase movie. It was well designed, witty, and was like nothing else available on the system.

Driver 2 was more of the same and we loved that too. We were even prepared to forgive the fact that Tanner walked like he’d soiled himself and the fact that the frame rate often dropped so low that it was more like watching a 70’s car chase slide-show than a movie. They were just brilliant games.

But we mustn’t forget that the very reason the Driver series eventually lost its way was because it simply didn’t keep up with the times when moving to the next generation. Grand Theft Auto 3 blew it out of the water and Driv3r, which adopted many of the features of its rival in an attempt to compete with it, was probably one of the worst games ever made.

So clearly a new Driver game shouldn’t try to ape GTA. But equally since the release of Driv3r in 2004 Grand Theft Auto has gone from strength to strength, offering more and more variety with every instalment. In comparison to GTAIV, for example, a Driver remake would seem almost ridiculously limited. So would a remake really be a viable proposition?

Well possibly, but we won’t really know until the press conference. We still take advantage of the backwards compatibility on the Attitude Towers’s PS3 to play the original PS1 title from time to time, so a remake would have at least some audience.

As always we’d love your thoughts on the matter. Do you think from the video that a remake lo0ks likely, or do you think that we’re barking up the wrong tree? Or regardless of whether it is a remake or a new game, are you excited for the reveal at E3?

And remember our intrepid reporters will be at E3, so keep it Attitude for more on this story as it unfolds!