Driven to distraction

Game On

Driven to distraction

Thinking of treating yourself to one last quality PlayStation game before the developers completely turn their creative talents over to the PS2? Well, if you are, Driver 2 does not fall into the category you’re looking for!

I’ll just sort of list the faults this full price game has; The frame rate and draw distance are horrendous – the fog in Tony Hawks first outing was a far better solution to the problem than buildings appearing out of nowhere. It has so much pop up it should carry an epilepsy warning. The gameplay for the most part is trial and error – one mistake most missions will mean you have to start again. Did I mention starting again? Well, you cant skip the much improved video sequences – hence by your 20th attempt at some shit mission where an armoured truck can out drive your car, you’ll be sick of it. You can reel someone in by driving at break-neck speed accross a city – only to discover that your car can then only go at exactly the same speed as the car you are pursuing – likewise, if you’re driving a big slow bus, your foe will suddenly find his gettaway vehicle handicapped in a similar fashion.

Add to this that the game will also freeze from the ridiculously bad slowdown, meaning that you have no control over your car for the brief second it can take for you to hit one of the invisible walls that jut out from road side buildings.

As a PS2 owner, this will probably be the last PS1 game I buy, so it really pisses me off to pay full price for a game that falls short by such a margin. They might argue that it’s the limits of the PS1 – which is true, the PS1 is now a very dated console. But I would argue that I don’t build huge, graphically intensive websites and then blame it on the limitations of the web when it’s slower than a tortoise in Night Nurse. At the end of the day, developers should design a game to work to a high standard on the given hardware.

The PS1 is not a PC – we cannot turn off options like detail level and lighting effects just so that the game will run at a decent speed. Of course, you do have the option of turning off Driver 2 and playing a game with decent coding, like TOCA World Touring Cars or Gran Tourismo 2.