Driver 3

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Driver 3
Driv3rbox.jpg
Developer(s) Reflections Interactive (console and PC), Velez & Dubail (Game Boy Advance)
Publisher(s) Atari, Inc.
Sorrent (mobile version)
Designer(s) Martin Edmondson
Series Driver
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox, mobile,[1] Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Advance
Release PlayStation 2 & Xbox
  • NA: 21 June 2004
  • EU: 25 June 2004
Mobile
  • NA: 23 June 2004
  • EU: 23 June 2004
Microsoft Windows
  • NA: 15 March 2005
  • EU: 18 March 2005
Game Boy Advance
  • EU: 14 October 2005
  • NA: 25 October 2005
Genre(s) Racing, shooter
Mode(s) Single-player

Driver 3 (stylized as DRIV3R) is a 2004 open world action-adventure video game. It is the third installment in the Driver series and was developed by Reflections Interactive and published by Atari, Inc.. Driver 3 was released in North America for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on 21 June 2004. In Europe, it was released on 25 June, although due to the way Atari shipped the title across the continent, it made its way into independent UK retailers before the release date, reaching sixth place in the ELSPA chart for that week. A simplified version of the game for mobile phones was developed and released by Sorrent and published in North America on 23 June 2004, while it was published by Unique Games in Europe. On 15 March 2005, it was released on PC for US customers, it was also released on Game Boy Advance 25 October 2005. At one point a Nintendo GameCube version and an N-Gage version were planned, but both were cancelled.[2] The game received mixed reviews on all platforms except the PC, which received mostly unfavorable reviews.

Although two Driver games were published between them, 2011's Driver: San Francisco is considered the sequel to Driver 3.

Gameplay[edit]

The vehicles in Driver 3 are based on real-life vehicles and are designed to behave as such, using realistic damage modeling (e.g., bullet holes appear when a car is shot, or if the car is hit from behind the trunk of the car will pop out).

Weapons are unnamed in the game, with weapons beyond the player's initial weapon unlocked by completing mission or, in Take A Ride mode, from stealing them from police or other enemies. The players can unlock a variety of weapons, including pistols, rifles, and grenade guns.

NPCs react to the player's actions. For example, pedestrians will flee if they see Tanner with a weapon or if he drives too close to them.

Development[edit]

The game was in development for around three and a half years. Special attention was paid in rendering the cities of Miami, Nice, and Istanbul. The in-game music was composed by Marc Canham, Rich Aitken, and Narco.

Atari also shot a short promotional video about Driver 3 called Run the Gauntlet.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
GBA mobile PC PS2 Xbox
Edge N/A N/A N/A 3/10[3] 3/10[3]
EGM N/A N/A N/A 7.5/10[4] 7.5/10[4]
Eurogamer N/A N/A N/A N/A 3/10[5]
Game Informer N/A N/A N/A 6/10[6] 6/10[6]
GamePro N/A N/A N/A 2.5/5 stars[7] 2.5/5 stars[7]
Game Revolution N/A N/A N/A D+[8] D+[8]
GameSpot N/A 7.5/10[1] 3.8/10[9] 5.4/10[10] 5.4/10[11]
GameSpy N/A 4/5 stars[12] N/A N/A 2/5 stars[13]
GameZone N/A N/A N/A 5.9/10[14] 5.7/10[15]
IGN N/A 8/10[16] 5.4/10[17] 5.4/10[18] 5.5/10[19]
Nintendo Power 5.5/10[20] N/A N/A N/A N/A
OPM (US) N/A N/A N/A 3.5/5 stars[21] N/A
OXM (US) N/A N/A N/A N/A 4.8/10[22]
PC Gamer (US) N/A N/A 51%[23] N/A N/A
The Cincinnati Enquirer N/A N/A N/A 3/5 stars[24] 3/5 stars[24]
The Times N/A N/A N/A 5/5 stars[25] 5/5 stars[25]
Aggregate scores
GameRankings 50%[26] 79%[27] 41%[28] 58%[29] 60%[30]
Metacritic 55/100[31] N/A 40/100[32] 57/100[33] 56/100[34]

The PlayStation 2 version of Driver 3 received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[35] indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[36]

After an extensive and intensive promotional campaign, Driver 3 received "mixed" reviews on all platforms except the PC version, which received "generally unfavorable reviews", according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[31][32][33][34]

The Times gave it all five stars, saying, "The graphics are divine, with vast urban locales and spectacular crashes. The cars handle well, and each vehicle has its own characteristics. Yet this is no easy driving game — one of the reasons why, subject matter aside, it carries a 16+ rating."[25] Playboy gave it an 88% and stated: "Your investigation jump-starts reckless car chases through more than 150 miles of highways and city streets in detailed re-creations of Miami, Nice and Istanbul. Slam into any of the 30,000 buildings and your car crumbles realistically."[37] However, The Cincinnati Enquirer gave it three stars out of five and called its controls and animation "unresponsive and stiff".[24]

"DRIV3Rgate"[edit]

While most reviews of Driver 3 gave the game mixed reviews, two review outlets operated by Future plc, PSM2 and Xbox World, gave the game 9/10 reviews.[33][34] This disparity led some gamers and journalists to claim that the early access Atari gave Future was contingent on receiving favorable ratings, but Atari and Future denied any wrongdoing.[38][39] The incident was dubbed "Driv3rgate".[39][40]

After the accusations of review fixing arose, the GamesRadar forums (also operated by Future) were filled with critical posts, many of which were deleted by moderators. Although the comments were said to be removed for being libelous, some users suspected a cover-up.[38][39][41] Some comments defending Driver 3 and Future were traced by forum moderators to Babel Media, a marketing company that made use of astroturfing.[41] The users admitted they worked for Babel, but said that they were posting on their own behalf, not for Babel.[41] The thread was eventually deleted in its entirety.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Palley, Stephen (22 June 2004). "DRIV3R Review (Mobile)". GameSpot. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Driv3r exclusive - creative director Martin Edmonson talks!". 16 February 2004. Archived from the original on 7 January 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Edge staff (August 2004). "DRIV3R (PS2, Xbox)". Edge (139): 94. 
  4. ^ a b EGM staff (August 2004). "Driv3r (PS2, Xbox)". Electronic Gaming Monthly (181). Archived from the original on 24 June 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Reed, Kristan (23 June 2004). "DRIV3R (Xbox)". Eurogamer. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Helgeson, Matt (August 2004). "DRIV3R (PS2, Xbox)". Game Informer (136): 94. Archived from the original on 5 January 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Air Hendrix (September 2004). "Driver 3 (PS2, Xbox)". GamePro: 81. Archived from the original on 8 February 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Silverman, Ben (2 July 2004). "DRIV3R Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (28 March 2005). "DRIV3R Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (23 June 2004). "DRIV3R Review (PS2)". GameSpot. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (21 June 2004). "DRIV3R Review (Xbox)". GameSpot. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Buchanan, Levi (28 June 2004). "GameSpy: DRIV3R (Cell)". GameSpy. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Guzman, Hector (23 June 2004). "GameSpy: DRIV3R (Xbox)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 25 December 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Tha Wiz (5 July 2004). "DRIV3R - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  15. ^ Valentino, Nick (4 July 2004). "DRIV3R - XB - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Buchanan, Levi (24 June 2004). "DRIV3R (Cell)". IGN. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  17. ^ McNamara, Tom (22 March 2005). "DRIV3R (PC)". IGN. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  18. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (21 June 2004). "DRIV3R (PS2)". IGN. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (21 June 2004). "DRIV3R (Xbox)". IGN. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "DRIV3R". Nintendo Power. 198: 122. December 2005. 
  21. ^ Davison, John (August 2004). "DRIV3R". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Archived from the original on 28 June 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "DRIV3R". Official Xbox Magazine: 80. September 2004. 
  23. ^ "DRIV3R". PC Gamer: 69. June 2005. 
  24. ^ a b c Saltzman, Marc (8 July 2004). "Late-model Driv3r needs repair work". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  25. ^ a b c "Driver 3". The Times. 19 June 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2014. (subscription required)
  26. ^ "DRIV3R for Game Boy Advance". GameRankings. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  27. ^ "DRIV3R for Mobile". GameRankings. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  28. ^ "DRIV3R for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "DRIV3R for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "DRIV3R for Xbox". GameRankings. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  31. ^ a b "DRIV3R for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  32. ^ a b "DRIV3R for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  33. ^ a b c "DRIV3R for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  34. ^ a b c "DRIV3R for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Platinum". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. 
  36. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. 
  37. ^ "DRIV3R (PS2, Xbox)". Playboy: 38. April 2004. 
  38. ^ a b Whitehead, Dan (May 3, 2011). "Franchise Cheat Sheet: Driver". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved June 29, 2016. 
  39. ^ a b c Lui, Spandas. "A history of gaming's biggest scandals". Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  40. ^ Fahey, Rob. "A Question of Trust". Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  41. ^ a b c d Campbell, Stuart. "Driv3r and corruption, continued". Retrieved June 29, 2016. 

External links[edit]