Crucified: Big games murdered by the critics

Driv3r (PC, PS2, Xbox) | Atari | 2004
The original PSone Driver was a classic. The asphalt-based, cop-evading action was fast, carefree and unapologetically fun. We still retain some gilt-edged memories (memory number 94, in fact) of recklessly racing around San Francisco's rolling roads, leading SFPD on a merry, tire-screeching dance.

The wheels went a bit wobbly for the next installment - largely thanks to technical issues and terrible on-foot sections - but when Driv3r, which Atari had thrown considerable amounts of money at, finally spluttered into the arena the entire chassis fell apart in comical clown car fashion before being bombarded with custard pies from most quarters of the media.

The game actually sold pretty well and even topped the charts in some countries (including the UK), but while some gamers did manage to find the odd spot of fun amongst the rust, Driv3r will be remembered as a game that spectacularly failed to live up to its hype, not even recreating a windscreen wiper's width of the original's appeal.

Above: Undercover cop Tanner looked OK on a bike, but on-foot he moved like someone had jammed a prop shaft up his ass

And Atari did shout from the mountaintop...
"DRIV3R is an action-packed driving adventure game that recreates the excitement of a Hollywood blockbuster car chase and plays like an interactive movie... DRIV3R stays true to its roots, incorporating the cinematic gameplay and gritty street crime of its predecessors with ground breaking graphics and three mammoth, wide-open city environments."

Lo, the critics were sad and did spit fire and brimstone...
IGN: "Even if Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, The Getaway and True Crime didn't exist, DRIV3R would be a disappointment."

PC Gamer UK: "A ferry I found at sea was empty of life. My murdering dozens of joggers in a busy plaza was met with indifference, and no police response. A man dragged from his car strolled away happily while I made off with his wheels. This is not a living city, it's a zombie town."

PSX Extreme: "In the end, all Driver 3 does is prove that a huge budget, tons of development time, Hollywood voice acting, and all the PR in the world don't necessarily mean a game's going to be good."

PC Zone: "While nowhere near as bad as the baying nerd community would have you believe, it would appear to be th3 3nd of th3 lin3 for th3 s3ri3s."


  • isipisi - December 26, 2009 7:39 a.m.

    dammit u just had to quote gamesradar didnt u. thats so lame, but otherwise good article
  • killemall - May 13, 2009 7:02 p.m.

    Actually i did have a lot of fun playing as a demonhog in sonics latest adventure so i have to say that sonic might make a comback yet...
  • wolfwing187 - May 12, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    i have played sonic the hedgehod and personnaly i think its ok. not great but ok. me and my stepsister just like to mess around in the co op levels. AOD, i have. it my dads and well neither of us really like it. he thought it was too hard and i never liked tomb raider.
  • JohnnyFirebird - May 13, 2009 2:10 a.m.

    I've actually paid money for Driv3r twice... the first copy of my game got lost. But, I dunno, I... I kinda liked it. The graphics were much better than any other game out at the time, and the on foot sections were generally pretty easy. The driving, when it didn't glitch out, was nicely weighted and more on the drift side - it's no surprise that GTA IV takes this driving physics model lock stock and barrel. It also took the create-a-movie director mode, too, something which was sadly removed from Driver Parallel Lines. The Getaway suffered from similar problems, though the writing was at least sharper in this series. Driv3r ranks as having some of the worst cutscenes of a big budget game that I've ever seen. Long, gabby, boring. Good voice talent rambling on about a dull plot no one, even the writers, cares about. Still, I've got my money's worth out of Driv3r. Don't regret buying it. Here's hoping the PS3 will get a Getaway... one day.
  • crossed23 - May 11, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    Driver 3 sucked so bad. I played that garbage for like maybe an hour and thank God my friend was a store manager of the store I bought it at and got to swap it out wihtout loosing any money.
  • Morning Ninja - May 11, 2009 10:32 p.m.

    I bought Driv3r because the back had a IGN preview that gave it a good review. I god ripped off, scrated the disk on purpose and sold it back to the store. Then, I felt better.
  • Xplosive59 - May 11, 2009 6:18 p.m.

    woot i love gamesmaster got a subscription and everything
  • pimlicosound - May 11, 2009 1:37 p.m.

    reCaptcha: "Amsterdam purchase". Hm, I wonder what that could be...
  • Danomeon - May 11, 2009 12:27 p.m.

    Whenever anyone brings up that Sonic's fallen on crappy days, a massive sonic fan usually calls them, "Fags" or "idiots" or "ignorant." I wonder if he will ever actually succeed to make a better sonic game...

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