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Driver (PS1)

Driver: You are the Wheelman PSX
Genre: Racing / Driving, Simulation, Open world driving
Perspective: 3rd-person, Behind view
Gameplay: Vehicle Simulator
Vehicular: Automobile, Street Racing
Narrative: Crime
Published by: GT Interactive Software Corp.
Developed by: Reflections Interactive Limited
Released: 1999
Platform: PlayStation (PSX, PS1)

This is the first game in the series Driver. Originally, the game was released for the PlayStation, but was ported to Windows and Mac in less than a year. There was also released a special version of the game for Game Boy Color with a view from above and a smaller number of missions. In 2009, versions of the game for the iPhone / iPod Touch were released. The game takes place in four cities (Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York), which, like many other games, are only partially true to the original layout of the city, but there are places where you can learn the city.

The game was developed in the image of the 60's - 70's in the movies about the chase. The title and the main theme, much like the movie "Driver" in 1978, the release of director Walter Hill. In particular, the level of preparation at the beginning of the game is a copy of the stage in the movie, in which the driver proves his skill for some gangsters in the garage. Music, overall design, characters in cut scenes, and the cars themselves, are inspired from such films as "Bullitt" and even television series such as Starsky and Hutch. The game also has a repeat mode, where you can replay the moment. At the beginning of the cutscene, we see John Tanner coming out of the elevator, looking around, going through the garage and hacking the 1967 Ford Mustang. He drives the Mustang and starts to move out of the garage, but the police noticed him and they begin to chase him, but Tanner leaves them. This scene also almost completely repeats the beginning of the movie The Driver of 1978.

Moving around the city takes place in the car, you can not change the car by hijacking the other (that is, there is no way to leave your car, but sometimes it happens on the subject missions). This feature leads to the fact that the player needs to travel very carefully - usually after the completion of the next mission the player's machine is "repaired automatically" and the next mission begins on a fresh machine. However, there are stories on the mission in which you need to overcome 3 or 4 missions in a row - and the player does not repair the car (mission of mercy in San Francisco).

The game interface consists of a map, two bars indicating the technical state of the player's machine and the level of violations (in the version for the PC, the current speed is displayed). During the prosecution of the player by the police, the position of the police cars is displayed in red triangles. Key objects (for example, a car being pursued or a place to park) are marked with a red arrow from the top. The same timer measures the time until the end of the mission.

A feature of the game is the physical model of cars, it is executed quite plausibly - albeit in an arcade style. For example, in order to clamp the gas pedal - you can use the "burnout" button, which will allow you to perform such maneuvers as a sharp start from a place, turn around 180 and 360 degrees from a place, or turn the car in a corner. In addition, the machine has effects such as a pendulum and because of the rear drive of all cars a strong oversteer. As a result, most of the turns are traversed in a skid, as well as if the brake pedal is clamped in the turn - the car will go yuz and become uncontrollable (as in real life).

The missions that need to travel by timer are designed so that the player rarely has at the finish line a stock of 10 seconds. As a rule of destination, the player reaches the end and for the passage of missions it is necessary, as a rule, to travel absolutely without accidents. However, considering the "convenient physics" (to control the car despite the realism of the physical model - it's quite simple), we can say that when you get the initial skill, the player will immediately begin to enjoy the ride "on the edge."

The physics of the machines that will get to the player, almost does not differ. The only difference is the maximum speed of cars, the fastest car is found in the mission "superfly drive" - ​​Ford Mustang Mach 1 from the movie to steal in 60 seconds. In each city, the player gets a "new car", as in some missions there are unique cars (pick-up truck for transporting a bomb in San Francisco, an armored limousine in a mission escaping the president).

Violation of the rules for which you begin to pursue patrol cars is - speeding. In the case of driving on the opposite lane, passing under the prohibiting traffic light signal (in case there is no contact with other machines), the police will ignore the player.

Violations are charged at 10% of the scale, for example, for one touch of another machine in the stream, the player will receive 10%, for the speeding at the beginning of the chase the player will receive 10%. Thus, during the chase, the level of violations is accumulated, at the achievement of which the mark of 80-100%, the police begin to aggressively push the player. Cordons appear on the road, and the number of catching police officers is increased to 2-3x at the same time.

In the game, all cars have as a rule "strength" in 2-3 times smaller than the player's machine, which makes it possible to carry out collisions "forehead" and do not break the car at the first stroke. With the appearance of damage - only the appearance of the machine changes, the manageability of the damage does not affect how.

The following can be attributed to the shortcomings:
  • The physics of the movement of the car during the coup. The machine instead of performing constant coups, collapsed on its side begins to slide like clockwork. Turning over from this position is no longer possible.
  • the system does not balance the control traffic. That is, the number of cars that are generated in the streets does not correspond to the moment - in the mission of the pursuit of the boat, the path by which you need to drive to the pier is almost completely occupied. And through the traffic, the player can not get through. And in police care missions (especially in the latest President's Run) - the number of generated machines is extremely inadequate.
  • In addition to the "Undercover" story mode, the player also has the opportunity to drive in cities (after unlocking them) and on dirt tracks.
There were other modes, such as:
  • Chase - the player must pursue a car that travels along a pre-calculated route. A ghost is used - the developers have recorded several variants of the escape car's journey. A runaway car, in this case, included the "freight train" mode (as the developers themselves called it). That is, other machines can not exert influence on such a machine.
  • Getaway - the player will need to escape from the police car, for a while. The faster the player breaks away from the pursuing car - the better will be his result in the overall list of records.
  • race by control points or tailblaser - the player needs to shoot down cones, while for each cone the player receives an increase in two seconds in time. To increase the complexity on the road, traffic is used.
  • Survival - The player receives the maximum level of search and from all directions it is attacked by police cars, with the option of "freight train" included. The task is to hold out as long as possible in this mode. If this mode includes the cheat code "freight train", police cars will pass through the player's car.
  • dcarnage - causing maximum damage to the machines, now the player is allowed in the "freight train" mode - to destroy all the cars that only meet him on the way (only in the PC version).
The first mission in the game is the exam, in which the player needs to prove his skills, for introduction into the gang. The mission takes place in the garage, the player is given one minute for execution, during this time it is necessary to perform:
  • burnout - a sharp start from the seat, holding the gas pedal "to the floor"
  • speed - accelerate the machine to maximum speed
  • brake test - brake in front of the wall, accelerating to the maximum speed
  • 360 - turn 360 degrees from the place
  • 180 - perform a turn on the hand brake
  • reverse 180 - perform a police turn, with a reverse
  • lap - drive one lap around all the columns in the garage
  • slalom - drive a snake between 4 columns, turn around and do the same in the opposite direction
The last mission in the game, "president's run" - the most difficult mission in the game, the police pursue the player in the "survival" mode. That is, the speed with which the player rides and the police varies by 2-3 times - it is impossible to break away from the police (an "interception" plan has been announced throughout the city). The only chance for rescue is to constantly maneuver, left to right across all the lanes and constantly prun the rest of the car. Advantage in speed affects in turns and maneuvering (during a mission it is snowing) - police cars are not able to brake at great speed, and fly past the corners. The mission ends in the parking lot in the garage - where you need to get to.

In the game there is a bug that perceives every moment of a touch between machines as a collision. For example, this bug can be used to quickly get rid of the pursuing police car, namely to turn around and start "to butt" from the patrol forehead, that is, cuddle to the front bumper its front bumper and perform a "burnout".

After the game is over, several cheat codes are available. Among them: the opportunity to miss a mission in the garage, maximize the speed of the car (only in the version for PC), immunity to police cars, invincibility, and the ability to travel to Newcastle, the hometown of Reflections Interactive. (Wikipedia)

Critics' reviews and awards

The game was accepted with very positive feedback from users and critics. IGN rated the game at 9.7 points, Gamespot - at 8.6. Awards:
  • E3 1999 Game Critics Awards: Best Race
  • 12th place in the list of "best 25 games of all time" IGN for PlayStation.