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Bestselling crap

6. DRIV3R
2004 | PS2, Xbox, PC, GameCube
Copies sold in US: Close to 800,000
Average score: 51%

Yes, DRIV3R - the awkwardly titled, laughably clunky Grand Theft Auto clone that's still held up for ridicule every so often by pretty much everyone - actually did fairly well at retail despite being almost universally despised. It's hard to believe now that the game was once hyped as the salvation of the Driver series and a serious contender against Grand Theft Auto, but it certainly had that potential. Its three cities were big and beautiful (if empty and lifeless), the visuals were much sharper than anything that GTA was doing and a lot of care had obviously been put into making the driving as realistic as possible. Of course, all that stuff is worth absolutely nothing when the game as a whole is broken, buggy and more focused on looking slick than on actual fun.

The company line: "DRIV3R - The fun and thrills of the original Driver, combined with all-new gameplay mechanics, bring you the next great racing-action game! … Realistic driving physics and crash models - if you can think of a way to wreck the car, you can do it."

What the critics said: In spite of London's Times Online and the embarrassing perfect score it awarded DRIV3R, most reviewers declared it mediocre, bland and depressing. Shoddy controls, stupid enemies, dull on-foot missions and game-wrecking bugs were all common complaints, leading Armchair Empire's Lee Cieniawa to write that ""If DRIV3R were a car, it would be recalled for crippling performance issues."

Regardless of their complaints, several critics - particularly British ones - seemed shaken to see their high hopes for the game dashed. Our UK-based sister magazine Edge wrote that "the determination to prioritize style over substance… damages gaming as a whole," while Eurogamer called it "one of the biggest disappointments in the history of videogames." OXM, meanwhile, had no such illusions, comparing the experience to "watching some crappy old cop movie at 3:00 a.m. All we want to do is close our eyes and make it all go away."



Why you bought it anyway: Aside from the Driver series having its own sizable (if by that point dwindling) fanbase, Driv3r looked like a much prettier, more realistic take on Grand Theft Auto. Because the market wasn't quite as saturated with GTA clones as it is today, that was a huge selling point.

What went wrong? For whatever reason, certain people at developer Reflections (also responsible for the Stuntman games) seem to think that punishing difficulty and perfectionism are preferable to actual enjoyment of a game by human beings. That may explain why the missions were as needlessly frustrating as they were, or why free exploration of each sparsely populated city was curbed in favor of a linear, mission-to-mission progression.

It doesn't explain, however, why the on-foot missions were completely half-assed and unnecessary, why the enemies were stupid, why the controls were too touchy when driving and too unresponsive when not, or why entire game was riddled to the core with bugs that would routinely disrupt gameplay. If the developers had demanded the same perfectionism from themselves that they did from players, DRIV3R might have been a contender for GTA's crown.

Most infuriatingly positive quote: Now-defunct GameBiz.com.au called DRIV3R "a technical marvel that sets a new benchmark." Notice the reviewer doesn't say what that benchmark is for. We're going to guess "sucking ass."

54 comments

  • Moosebomber - December 15, 2008 1:57 a.m.

    i liked enter the matrix. but then again, when i played it, i was 11.
  • aqibloz - July 30, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    "more focused on looking slick than on actual fun." u just described gta4. . .
  • FancyRat - October 12, 2008 3:45 a.m.

    "Aside from the Driver series having its own sizable (if by that point dwindling) fanbase..." What?
  • jingneji - October 12, 2008 5:20 a.m.

    marvel imperfects was a good games but it had it ups and downs but i still liked it
  • chilipeppersman - October 17, 2008 4:47 a.m.

    for the people who said they liked enter the matrix, that game truly sucked and you dont know good games if you think ENTER THE MATRIX was good, so good job GR. fuck all the company lines too, they are full of donkey shit
  • Patius - October 17, 2008 2:22 p.m.

    Eh, in 6th grade, Enter the Matrix was fun. Then again, there were lots of games that we enjoyed back then that suck now that I look at it.
  • twishart - October 19, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    I've purchased NONE of these games, and have only played Wii Play ONCE. Thanks GaymesRaider.corm!
  • thereaper52 - October 21, 2008 10:06 p.m.

    i loved enter the matrix only because of the slo mo wall kick fuckin A++ to the matrix
  • samboy218 - October 25, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    50 cent what?
  • Graham - October 27, 2008 3:36 p.m.

    I'm so proud of the fact that I've never bought any of these games and, to be honest, I don't know that I've even played any of them. I almost sat down with my roommmates copy of Spiderman 3 once, but after watching him get pwned repeatedly by that lame quicktime event against Sandman at the end, I thought better of it. Also, that other Matrix game, zymn, was Path of Neo. It had its fair share of bugs and lousy collision detection, but it was pretty fun overall. A good five-day rental type of game.
  • Jimmyjammy - October 30, 2008 1:31 a.m.

    When will 50 cent die? I can but dream. How pissed off would you be if you were one of the nine people who shot him and he didn't die?
  • oreomonkey - November 2, 2008 4:27 a.m.

    I liked Enter the Matrix but im sure if I picked it up again right now I would agree that its crap... Wii play was good for the remote
  • MacGyver1138 - November 6, 2008 7:39 p.m.

    Zymn, like graham said, the other Matrix game you were thinking of was the Path of Neo. It was still pretty buggy, and it had some weird fights (Giant, bipedal ants come to mind) but it was way better than Enter the Matrix. At least Enter the Matrix let you see Monica Belucci and Jada Pinkett Smith making out. That made the game almost tolerable.
  • BordersOfInsanity - November 23, 2008 8:13 p.m.

    i actually liked golden eye rogue agent, and driv3r was alright.
  • mugen_ - December 8, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    saw 50 cent's game for 99 cents, they had about a fifty copies.
  • zymn - October 11, 2008 12:47 a.m.

    fiiiiirssst. or, whatever. uhh... wasn't there a matrix game where u played as neo? and it was like you vs. vampires or somethin? anyways, great list. funny as always.
  • TheGreatHobbe - October 11, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    CURSE YOU COMPANY LINES, YOU TRICK US ALL!!!
  • Pablos102030 - October 12, 2008 6:49 a.m.

    Screw you guys, I liked rogue agent. The multiplayer was awesome.
  • bron1417 - October 13, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    back when "The Matrix" game first came out i actually liked it,i didnt buy it but i liked it enough to play it and at the time it was tight. but still it's a shame there are crappy games but that's why we have GR. nice article guys btw.
  • Rodrigo90 - October 13, 2008 8:35 p.m.

    "proving once again that no cliché is too stale for a writer who wants to see himself quoted on the back of a box." A Hilarious "Ouch" xD

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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