European cover art
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2 & Xbox
NA June 21, 2004
EU June 25, 2004
JP October 28, 2004 (PS2 only)
EU October 14, 2005
NA October 25, 2005
Driv3r, more commonly known as Driver 3 (marketed as DRIV3R), is a racing, shooting, and adventure video game. It is the third installment in the popular Driver series and was developed by Reflections Interactive and published by Atari. Driv3r was released in North America for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on June 21, 2004. In Europe, it was officially released on June 25, although due to the way Atari shipped the title across the continent, it made its way into independent UK retailers before the release date, even making a #6 position in the ELSPA chart for that week. On March 15, 2005, it was released on PC for US customers, it was also released on Game Boy Advance October 25, 2005. At one point a Nintendo GameCube version and an N-Gage version were planned, but both were canceled.
Driv3r brings back features from Driver 2 and adds the ability to ride motorcycles and boats, use weapons, swim, climb ladders, and enter certain buildings among other things, controlling more than one character, as well as entering and exiting cars.
Although two Driver games were published between them, 2011's Driver: San Francisco is considered the sequel to Driv3r.
In Istanbul, Turkey, Tanner and Jones are getting ready to intercept Jericho and his crew. Jericho arrives with his crew, reloading his sawn-off. Tanner and Jones lead the Turkish police and set up a roadblock, engaging a shootout. While Jones leads the men, Tanner chases Jericho through the streets, with the scene abruptly ending when he slams the car door.
Suddenly, couple of doctors are carrying Jericho and Tanner on medical beds, as they are both in a coma. They try to revive Tanner and recover him from his bullet wound, but his monitor flatlines.
Miami, Florida 
Six months earlier, Tanner and Jones are in Miami, Florida infiltrating a crime ring known as South Beach, which specializes in stolen vehicles around Florida. A ruthless woman named Calita runs the crime ring, and is accompanied by weapons specialist Lomaz, and Bad Hand. Tanner first confronts Baccus in a car chase, which ends in an accident. Tanner shoots and injures Baccus, who tells him about a car at a hotel that South Beach wants. As Tanner walks away, Baccus reaches for the keys to the car, but is shot by Tanner, who thinks he is pulling out a gun. Later that night, Tanner explains to Jones that he will go pick up the car and bring it back to South Beach. Jones tells Tanner to be careful, telling him that Calita is dangerous. He talks about a time when Calita killed her own crew with explosives.
Tanner is eventually accepted by her crew and starts doing jobs for her. But a local crime lord, The Gator, has a car that Calita wants. And he screwed her on the last deal. Since then, the tensions between them have risen. So Calita sends Tanner on a mission to blow up Gator's Yacht with C4 explosives. After a while, Calita sends Tanner to Gator to collect a car. Tanner gives him the money, but just as he leaves his office, he is ambushed and forced to escape Dodge Island.
After Tanner escapes, Calita calls The Gator and tells him he's a dead man. Tanner and Lomaz chase him down, but he escapes to Stiltsville where Tanner shoots him. His body falls into the sea.
Nice, France 
South Beach then moves their operations to Nice, France, and Tanner relocates as well. Tanner meets Vauban and Dubois, Interpol agents, also working undercover, and they have their own plans to take down South Beach. Tanner decides to work the job his own way.
In a meanwhile, Calita gets in conflict with Fabienne, a woman who leads its own gang, and she has the cars that Calita wants. So Calita sends Tanner to complete various missions like finding three cars throughout the city and putting them on a back of a truck before it gets to compound, or following a van that leads him to the location of the car, forcing him to escape without damaging it. But Calita gets in trouble when she decides to kill Fabienne on her own. Luckily, Tanner arrives on time and chases Fabienne. Tanner shoots at her and she dies.
Dubois is, however, captured by Calita's gang so Tanner teams up with Vauban to rescue him and kill the bodyguards. Although, he was told to back out after this case, Tanner decides to go forth. But Tanner didn't know that his cover is getting revealed by Calita, who's starting to doubt at his intentions.
Tanner goes with Dubois to a boathouse to get the information from a laptop. But the place looks very odd to him and he takes a look around. Tanner is hit in the head by Jericho, his nemesis. Then Calita shows up and the rest of the gang members and set up a trap, killing Dubois. While they shoot at Dubois, Tanner takes this opportunity to roll down the garage door and hold them for a while. He is hunted by Jericho and his crew but manages to get to Vauban and Jones and escape Nice.
Istanbul, Turkey 
Tanner follows Jericho to Istanbul, Turkey, and he is now working as a rogue agent, having get in conflict with the Interpol. Tanner manages to find out that the true leader of this crime ring is Jericho who killed Solomon Caine, his boss, to take his job. So Tanner follows him to a meeting where he finds out that The Gator is still alive. However, Tanner is forced to escape when a guard spots him.
Tanner wants to return to Miami, to pick up The Gator, before Jericho kills him, since he has the information about the cars. But Vauban blames Tanner for Dubois's death and tells him that the bullets, with which Dubois is shot, are his. Tanner is now in conflict with the Istanbul police but manages to escape to his hotel.
Eventually, Tanner and Jones located Lomaz and punched him a few times. He told them that Calita and The Bagman are putting a deal on selling the cars to a new Russian owner. At the drop point, Jones hides behind a pillar while Tanner is waiting in the car. Calita predicts that something is wrong and turns around. The Bagman spots Jones and starts to run away. Jones follows him into a trap but manages to escape. Going back to the drop point, Tanner is chasing Calita throughout Istanbul. Tanner takes her down and brings her to custody. Calita tells them Jericho's plans knowing that he will kill her for screwing up.
Jericho tries to escape Istanbul but Tanner catches up to him. Tanner pulled his car in front of the train on a bridge, where Jericho jumps down and starts to run. In the final showdown, Tanner chases Jericho, followed by Vauban and Jones with Istanbul police beaten. Tanner faces Jericho in an alleyway as they are shooting on each other. Tanner overcomes Jericho.
Tanner points his gun at Jericho but decides that he is not worth it. Tanner turns around and Jericho uses this opportunity to shoot him in the back.
Tanner and Jericho are brought to a hospital. They are unconscious. The doctors are examining them as they are injured (as seen in the beginning). It is only revealed that one of the doctors uses a defibrilator and the scene blacks out again.
The vehicles in Driv3r are modeled after real life vehicles and are designated to behave as such. For example, bullet holes appear when a car is shot, vehicles only take significant damage when the engine is hit (if the car is hit behind, the trunk of the car will pop out and start bouncing off), tires can be shot at, leading them to puncture and screech very loud while a vehicle is moving, and individual pieces of the car can be shot out or can fall out after taking damage (eg. car doors can fall apart.)
If the engine is shot multiple times, smoke will start to burn out of the car. But if Tanner keeps shooting at it, the engine will ignite and the car will explode into small pieces. The car can also explode while Tanner's inside and driving. Bumping into objects and obstacles that stand in your way will also damage the car and make it explode. Vehicles respond very well to the collisions.
Weapons are unnamed in the game. Weapons' firing range depends on their type. When the game first starts in Take A Ride mode, Tanner is only equipped with one weapon. Other weapons are gained by playing missions. In Take A Ride mode - stealing them from the police, or from your enemies. Pedestrians will start running if they see Tanner carrying a gun or if they hear gunshots. They will also run if Tanner drives near them or on a footpath. There are various types of guns that are available in the game: pistols, rifles, grenade guns, etc.
Game soundtrack 
There are 14 soundtracks featured in the game that can be heard while a cutscene is playing.
01. Mellowdrone - C'mon Try A Little Bit
02. Phantom Planet - Big Brat
03. Iggy Pop And The Stooges - Gimme Danger
04. The Raveonettes - Bowels Of The Beast
05. SLO-MO - Boy From A City
06. Syntax - Destiny
07. Okuniev - Ripe For The Devil
08. Teddybears STHLM - Move Over
09. Narco - The 2nd Evolution/Stand Off
10. Narco - Evil Brother
11. Los Halos - Black Thread
12. Stateless - Exit
13. The BellRays - Zero PM
14. Hope Of The States - Static In The Cities
In-game soundtrack 
The in-game music was composed by Marc Canham, Rich Aitken and Narco. The track changes automatically during gameplay (eg. when chased by a police or your enemies, track starts to be much more action-like.) Also, there are various tunes that are characteristic for each city so it gives the atmosphere more life to it.
The game was in development for around 3.5 years. Reflections worked very hard to bring the cities to life as well as physics to make vehicles respond to damage and act realistically. The cities (Miami, Nice, Istanbul) were built and designed by a team of 25 artists. There are a total of 35 768 buildings in the game and 156.14 miles of road. Each building is modelled to an incredibly high detail (eg. you can see the blinds hanging out from a window). There were also many things designed besides buildings: lamp posts, trash cans, trees, bushes, traffic lights, benches, boxes, fences, traffic signs, crates etc. Reflections also send their team on a mission to photograph all three cities.
Atari shoot a film about Driv3r called "Run The Gauntlet". This way they wanted to test vehicles in real life to see if they can bring that reality into the game. This was also useful to them for creating film director. There are over 70 vehicles that can be chosen in the game: cars, trucks, bikes, convertibles, boats, vans, busses and more. Every vehicle has its own handling and its own engine sound. Reflections modelled every part of the car separately (tires, car doors, car lights, trunk, etc.) and then they've combined it all together into a single vehicle.
Cutscenes were made by motion capture. They are pre-rendered. Altogether, there is about 40 minutes of cutscenes. Reflections drew a storyboard. Over 3 500 drawings were made in course of development. Motion capture actors went to a recording studio where the animators translated their movements into the characters they have built.
After an extensive and intensive promotional campaign, Driv3r was met with mediocre critical reaction, with the vast majority of magazines and websites giving the game mediocre scores; IGN and GameSpot both gave the game 5.4 out of 10.
Driv3r was criticized for Tanner's lack of hand-to-hand combat skills and melee weapons. There were also criticisms for the poor implementation of the 'on foot' missions. This was also a criticism levelled at Driver 2.
The game won the MegaGames.com award for Worst Game of 2005.
Police AI vehicles were criticized for the use of "doublespeed", a way of cheating in which a pursuing cop would suddenly double its speed making it hard (if not impossible) for the player to escape. The AI can easily stem from the series' long use of rubberband AI. No matter what vehicles players can pick (either fast or slow or even a police car), the police AI seems to always catch up and stay with the player.
Driv3rgate controversy 
Despite generally negative critical reception, the game did receive some positive feedback, as two magazines published by Future Publishing (PSM2 and Xbox World) gave it 9/10. Having played the game and seen the overall media response, readers of both magazines began to question the integrity of the scores, and a long discussion on Future Publishing's GamesRadar forum saw the mini-scandal dubbed "Driv3rGate". The affair gained a fairly large amount of coverage in the games press and on Internet forums and was still being discussed as late as 2008. Another Future publication, Official PlayStation 2 Magazine (UK), gave the game 6/10.
Although a number of forums maintained that the magazines had come to a deal regarding publicity with Atari, no proof either way was ever cited and the scandal eventually simply died down.
Main cast 
Driv3r features some of the well-known actors that have given their voices to the characters:
Michael Madsen..............................John Tanner
Ving Rhames.................................Tobias Jones
Mickey Rourke...............................Charles Jericho
Additional cast 
Driv3r: Interview with Reflections, Martin Edmondson - January 8, 2004 
How long has Driv3r been in development, and what stage is it at?
Martin Edmondson:"It really depends when you count the start of development. The physics engine, which forms the basis for the dynamics side of the game, started over four years ago but that was originally used in Stuntman. Around three years ago work started on Driv3r in earnest. Right now we are just scripting the missions, optimising bits of the code and working on the out of car sections. The physics and dynamics side of the cars has been finished for a while now."
What games or movies have influenced Driv3r?
Martin Edmondson:"The most heavy inspiration came from the movies rather than other games. Movie car chases to be more precise. The Driver, Bullitt, French Connection and so on. I would say we were influenced more heavily by the older 70's car chases as most of the more modern chases do not stand up against the classics, with the exception perhaps of Ronin."
Could you describe your favourite part of the game?
Martin Edmondson:"I would say probably the realism with which the cars move and look in the environment, which in itself is also pretty realistic. I don't think the game would work half as well if we had gone for arcade style handling or a cartoon style interpretation of the cities. This has not come cheaply however, the physics system which allows us to produce the realistic dynamics and physics has been in development for over 4 years at Reflections."
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- "The Worst Game of 2005 - MegaGames pc". Megagames.com. 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Driver 3, incompetence and corruption: one, two or three things". Worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Driv3r and corruption, continued". Worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Driv3rgate". rllmukforum.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Rob Fahey: A Question of Trust". Gamesindustry.biz. 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "GamesRadar Forum: "Why was the Driv3rgate thread removed?"". Worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com. 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2013-01-02.