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Driver: Parallel Lines

Sadly, the demo didn't allow us to attack anything, at least not while on foot. However, in the hands-off preview version Atari showed us, the shooting looked simpler than before, thanks to a lock-on system similar toGrand Theft Auto's (but hopefully more accurate). You'll even be able to lean out your car window and shoot straight ahead, and somehow not get sheared in half when you crash like that. At the same time, the game's cops look set to make your life hell; depending on the difficulty, they'll be able to detect every minor traffic infraction you commit.

The game world doesn't look quite as crisp as DRIV3R's, but its streets are a lot livelier, and you'll be forced to squeeze through NY's cramped traffic at higher difficulty levels. Even the famous skyline - which includes the World Trade Center during the first half - is visible from anywhere in the city. And just as you're getting used to the grit and funk of the disco era, it all gives way to the cleaner, more modern New York of 2006, complete with different cars, updated buildings and period-appropriate licensed music.



There is one thing that Driver fans will miss - the series' trademark Replay mode has been taken out entirely. In its place is the Thrill Cam, a sort of bullet-time feature that lets you watch yourself from a different angle in slow-mo. It's unknown if this will be at all useful, and in the demo version it was mapped to the directional pad's down button, which made it impossible to use while steering. But hey, at least it looks cool.

While it's due out this month, it's still too early to say if Driver: Parallel Lines will restore the series to the glory of its PSone days. But it already looks like it could be a lot of fun, so long as the controls don't end up sucking.

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