Driver: Parallel Lines
|Driver: Parallel Lines|
Original Atari cover for all regions
|Developer(s)||Reflections Interactive (now Ubisoft Reflections)|
|Publisher(s)||Atari (PS2, Xbox), Ubisoft (Wii, PC)|
|Distributor(s)||Electronic Arts (South America)|
|Designer(s)||Gareth Edmondson (Reflections Interactive)
Ken Allen (Atari)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
|Genre(s)||Racing, third-person shooter, action-adventure|
Driver: Parallel Lines is the fourth installment in the Driver video game series. The game was released in March 2006 on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox by Atari, and Wii and Microsoft Windows in June 2007 by Ubisoft.
Diverging from previous Driver games, Parallel Lines takes place in just one city, New York, instead of multiple cities, although halfway through the story, the period setting of the story—1978 and 2006—is changed. Due to the underwhelming performance of Driv3r, particularly the often-derided on-foot sections, Parallel Lines returns to the formula used in earlier games in the series, focusing on driving, although shooting remains in the game. This is the first game of the Driver series that does not follow undercover cop John Tanner.
Driver: Parallel Lines takes place in an entirely open world environment. Instead of choosing minigames from a menu as in previous Driver titles, minigames are now accessed from the in-game world. Many changes have been made from the previous game, including visible blood when someone is shot, a money system, fully modifiable vehicles, environment destruction (i.e., lamp posts can now be run over and fire hydrants can break, spewing water into the air), and a new felony system that differentiates between personal felony and felony "attached" to vehicles the player has used. If the player attracts police attention on foot or in a certain vehicle and then loses the police and enters a "clean" car, their wanted level will be suspended. It can be reactivated, though, by spending too much time in the sight of a police officer, who will eventually recognize the player as "wanted." The same principle applies to out-of-car activities, such as weapon use, and allows the player to holster a weapon in order to lose police attention until spotted committing illegal acts again. For the Wii version, the felony bar has been replaced with Grand Theft Auto-esque "stars" which light up when the player attracts police attention. Also, swimming and jumping abilities from Driv3r, were removed. The game also featured a new in-car menu on the bottom left hand side which featured a speedometer, a meter denoting how much nitrous oxide was contained in the car and an odometer which showed how many miles the player has driven in-game.
The game was originally intended to include online multiplayer, but this was scrapped when it became apparent to the developers that they could not deliver a strong multiplayer mode and wanted to focus entirely on the single-player portion of the game. The instant replay film director mode of previous Driver games was removed from Parallel Lines. Instead, the only available cinematic mode is the fixed-perspective slow-motion "Thrill Camera."
There is a total of 32 missions in the game, 17 in 1978, and 15 in 2006. After completion of the game, the "Era Change" is unlocked, allowing the player to shift between 1978 and 2006 at any time.
The game's appearance changes significantly between 1978 and 2006. The player's character and pedestrians also change in appearance. Weapons are updated with more modern counterparts (such as the 1978 shotgun being replaced by a modern pump-action shotgun), and in 2006 modern vehicles are mostly seen on the streets (cars from 1978 are still available to drive, however). New York's scenery changes, quite significantly in places, and Times Square's lights and commercial posts change through the eras. Ray's garages are modernized accordingly as well.
The control layout differs slightly from Driv3r. There is no option to jump on the game. Also the use of a separate control to do a "burnout" as opposed to accelerating normally with no wheel-slip in vehicles was removed. This was practical on the pressure-sensitive buttons of the PS2 controller but meant that if the game was played using a PC keyboard to drive vehicles, that most of them would constantly do a burnout when accelerating at low speeds, reducing control. Also the "Auto-aim" feature, similar to the console versions of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was introduced on all platforms of the game, allowing easier target selection for shooting. A manual aim was also possible on all weapons, which zoomed in the view for greater accuracy.
New York City
The interpretation of New York City in Parallel Lines is not GPS street-accurate like True Crime: New York City's Manhattan. Instead, the game presents a smaller but more stylistic version of the city that includes all the boroughs except Staten Island and parts of the New Jersey shore. The game's Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and New Jersey consists of 222.5 miles (358.1 km) of roadway, larger than the combined total of all three cities (Miami, Nice, and Istanbul) from Driv3r. The game's New York City is also more "life-like" compared to previous games in the series: vendors sell donuts, NPC pedestrians talk rather than simply grunting and screaming, and numerous side jobs (such as cab driving and car towing) are available. Several things have changed in the game from real-life New York, for example, New York Police Department has simply been dubbed into "City Police." However, the game completely lacks any kind of weather. The only atmospheric changes are the day-to-night cycle.
In 1978, the World Trade Center complex is present, along with New York City's many other landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Times Square, Central Park, Colgate Clock in Jersey City and the Flatiron Building, in both 1978 and 2006. Furthermore, despite not being built until the 1980s, the World Financial Center is present in both eras opposite the World Trade Center. In Brooklyn, the player can visit Coney Island. Downtown Brooklyn is also present but not accurate to its real-life counterpart. The game features all of New York City's major bridges except the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Whitestone Bridge, the Hell Gate Bridge, and the Throgs Neck Bridge. The player can traverse these bridges freely from the start. An elevated portion of the New York City Subway that runs from Manhattan to Coney Island is part of the game world, but the subway system is not accessible to the player as a means of transportation; although trains do run on the above ground railway system. In 1978, the player has access to the Austin J. Tobin Plaza of the World Trade Center. Whereas in 2006, the complex is closed off by a blue colored and glass wall. Also, one major difference between the 1978 New York and 2006 one is that in 1978, New York has a rather sepia tone to it, whereas in 2006 the sky has been blue-tinted.
Both eras included in the game have distinct styles of vehicles, although a few of the 1978-era cars can and do show up in 2006. The cars stored in the garage from 1978 can be used in the 2006 era and vice versa. Although based on real automobiles, all vehicles in the game are fictitious, and are given fictitious names.
New to the Driver franchise is the ability to customize, or mod, the player's vehicle. Each vehicle can be upgraded numerous ways in Ray's Garage. Upgrades include custom body and paint jobs, although they are preset, increased engine power, nitrous boosters, bulletproof glass, window film and tunable springs, shocks, ride height, brakes, neon lighting, and downforce. A test track is available to "try out" the upgraded vehicles and making any necessary adjustments. The upgrades are 10x more expensive in the new era.
Eighteen-year-old T.K (The Kid) works as a getaway driver for a New York crime ring in 1978, esco thieves robbing liquor stores, racing over the city and the circuit tracks. His good friend and roommate, Ray, a professional mechanic and a gambler, works as a mechanic in Hunts Point, where T.K has a room. T.K describes himself as "a country boy looking to make good", and he is new in New York, but quickly settles down after a few weeks. The story starts after another heist, where T.K escapes the police, and is relaxing when Ray arrives; he considers going deeper into the criminal world, instead of "always robbing nickel and dime stores."
Ray, having plans on going deeper in the crime world, introduces him to Slink, an owner of the club in Harlem and a local drug dealer, whom he does low-level work for. He proves himself for Slink with his driving techniques and shooting abilities. His work for Slink eventually pays of very well, and soon, he moves out of Ray's garage, getting his own luxurious flat in the Upper East Side of New York thanks to Slink's jobs.
He is soon then introduced to two other prominent gangsters, The Mexican and Bishop. The Mexican usually sets up races for him to prove his way as a driver, while Bishop hatches a plan to break an associate, Candy, out of Riker's Island prison, and gets jobs for T.K so he can get access to the prison like stealing a prison van and scaring a security guard so he would let him in the prison. Afterwards, T.K successfully breaks out Candy.
The gangsters form a collective team, composed of T.K, Slink, Bishop, The Mexican and Candy, led by a corrupt undercover detective, Corrigan. Corrigan's organization wishes to start distributing cocaine in New York City, but a prominent Colombian drug lord, Rafael Martinez, already has a foothold, making it almost impossible to distribute, so Corrigan plans to have Martinez kidnapped. Candy proves himself with his planning skills and orders T.K to plant some bombs around the city, some on the bridges and one of the jeeps of Martinez's henchmen.
After setting up everything for the kidnapping, Candy lays out a large, detailed plan; T.K first drives to a bridge where Martinez's convoy is supposed to follow, and blows it up to derail the convoy. Afterwards, he blows up one of their jeeps to weaken the convoy, and directs them to the vantage point by blowing up one of the passageways, and then waits in the alleyway to ambush the convoy. Afterwards, he takes the limo to the local garage where Corrigan waits, where they tie up Martinez and leave him there locked up.
As Corrigan planned, Martinez's henchmen offer the ransom money and T.K collects it, but Martinez's henchmen arrive, setting a trap. However, he manages to drive a bike across the rooftops of buildings to escape, and landing in a scrap yard, he enters the back of The Mexican's truck, and they escape the henchmen and drive to a warehouse meeting point, with TK having derailed Martinez's henchmen with an AK-47 provided by The Mexican.
After counting the money, Corrigan suddenly changes the plan and shoots Martinez dead. Figuring that TK is insignificant, and that they need somebody to set up, Corrigan shoots him at the same time and leaves him to be framed and charged with kidnap, extortion, and murder, and Slink, Bishop, Candy and The Mexican leave, revealing that this was a part of the elaborate plan to escape with the money and that TK was a scapegoat from the beginning. TK is arrested sentenced to 28 years at the notorious Sing-Sing prison.
While at Sing-Sing, T.K plans vengeance upon each of the men who betrayed him. While he was incarcerated, Slink became a drug producer and a porno director, turning his Harlem club into a film and music studio, a front for a huge drug business. Bishop became a drug kingpin (something like Martinez) who cooperates with Slink, expanding the drugs that Slink produces, got a trophy wife and moved into a huge mansion. Corrigan is now the Commissioner of the fictitious "City Police", funded by Bishop, Slink and Candy. Candy became a gangster who runs a prostitution and porn movie ring, an "empire of trash" by TK's words, distributed by Slink's movies, forming a strong ally that rules the town. But, in TK's words "only The Mexican has fucked up", who was dillusioned with the money. He detoriated, went bankrupt, and became an alcoholic low-life, working in an arcade room in Queens while the others abandoned him.
T.K is released in 2006, 28 years later and now aged 46. With Ray's help, he immediately tracks down The Mexican in the arcade room and pulls a gun on him. The Mexican recognizes him, and pulls a shotgun on him, but TK chases him around town before reaching the Coney Island, where he kills him and his goons. His corpse is thrown out of T.K's car in front of Corrigan, who immediately recognizes him, realizing that TK is out of prison and seeking revenge against him and the others.
Afterwards, Ray introduces him to Maria Cortez, a 30-year-old high-level gangster who works for Candy. TK does jobs for Maria in the hope of reaching Candy. He also gets info on Slink and Bishop to destroy their business to reach them as well with the help of Ray. However, someone is trying to kill TK, starting with blowing a car in front of Ray's Garage when they were going to meet Maria, another time when Ray built a car for TK to destroy Slink's business, once when TK was going to meet with Maria to prove her his driving skills by doing a job, and once when he sabotaged Bishop's drug operation.
After destroying Slink's pornography and drugs outlets, TK catches Slink in his Harlem-owned club and kills him in a car-chase. For Bishop, TK disrupts his smuggling operation. Bishop phones TK and offers him a chance to duel one-on-one, but turns up in an army tank armed with explosives. TK succeeds in blowing up the tank and killing Bishop. While on a job for Maria, TK finally gets to meet Candy, but he is quickly apprehended by Candy's henchmen and drugged. TK manages to break free however and kills Candy in a car-chase despite having drug-induced hallucinations.
Corrigan then turns up at Ray's garage in Hunt's Point. He reveals that Ray has been working for him, and Ray set up the assassinations of Candy, Slink, The Mexican and Bishop, but only to secretly help Corrigan erase all of his connections to the 1978 kidnapping, so he couldn't be charged with anything in case one of the other four was arrested. Ray did this in exchange for money, because of his gambling problem and subsequent debt (something in which Ray always had problems). Corrigan is also the one who tried to carry out assassinations on TK.
Corrigan, now seeing Ray as a liability, kills him, then tries to kill T.K as well, but is saved by Maria who turns up armed, while Corrigan escapes. Maria reveals she is actually the daughter of Rafael Martinez, the assassinated Colombian drug lord, and that she worked for Candy to track the killer of her father. She figured it out that Corrigan killed Martinez, and that T.K was framed by Corrigan after eavesdropping on the conversation between the trio, and tells him that they should work together to catch Corrigan.
T.K and Maria start planning to get revenge on Corrigan, first placing a squad car with Candy's body in his parking space, blow up his office, put Slink's body in the trunk of his limo, and kill his body guards in order to leave connections and to frame Corrigan. Maria tells TK that Corrigan is placed in the witness protection program to testify for the 1978 kidnapping in exchange for immunity. TK arrives in front of his hiding spot, shoots the guards, but Corrigan escapes by helicopter. After blowing up a tunnel with TK in it, with TK narrowly escaping, he shoots down the chopper.
Corrigan survives, and starts crawling over the street, but T.K arrives with a gun pointed at Corrigan's head. Maria tries to stop him from pulling the trigger, telling if he wants Corrigan to suffer, he should give Corrigan to Maria, who wants more revenge than TK for the murder of her father and she assures him that Corrigan will die in a painful, slow death. In the end, he accepts, and Maria's henchmen take Corrigan into the car, as she leaves with Corrigan. TK looks in the sky, holsters his gun and slowly walks away.
The game was met with mixed reception upon release. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 69.99% and 69 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version; 68.46% and 69 out of 100 for the Xbox version; 61.80% and 61 out of 100 for the PC version; and 59.82% and 59 out of 100 for the Wii version.
IGN gave the PS2 and Xbox versions 7.2 out of 10, praising the return of the series to its roots, and mentioned that "It's still not perfect, but it's not broken either." GameSpot gave the same versions 6.5 out of 10 and called it a competent GTA clone, but far from being recommendable. Eurogamer gave the PS2 version 6 out of 10, while stating that "There's not too much shame in trying to do what GTA does, of course (and at least it's not about bloody gang warfare for once), but while this is definitely a solid improvement on its dreadful predecessor, it needed to achieve a basic level of competence and build upon it, and it only does that to a very limited extent." 1UP.com gave it a C+ and stated, "Sure, it's derivative as hell, but there's nothing getting in the way of actually enjoying the game now."
Driver: Parallel Lines features a mixed licensed and original songs soundtrack consisting of over 70 songs, ranging from 1970s-era rock and funk to modern alternative rock and rap songs. The songs play while the player is in a vehicle, as if they were on the radio. Notable groups featured on the soundtrack include Funkadelic, Can, Suicide, The Stranglers, War, Iggy Pop, Blondie, David Bowie, Parliament, The Temptations and Average White Band in the 1978 part of the game, and Public Enemy, The Roots, TV on the Radio, The Secret Machines, Kaiser Chiefs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem in 2006. The 1978 portion of the game also features some modern funk tracks recorded by session musicians especially for the game soundtrack. All music licensing and in-game composition was done by Nimrod Productions.
A limited edition version of the game was released along with the regular version. The special edition, costing slightly more, includes an extra DVD containing information about the production of Parallel Lines as well as in-game videos and character profiles. Also included with the limited edition is the official soundtrack, including twelve tracks from the game. The PAL version is dubbed "Collectors Edition", and does not contain the DVD, featuring instead the soundtrack CD and a metal case.
- Casamassina, Matt (February 5, 2007). "Driver Skids to Wii". IGN. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Ubisoft Third Quarter Sales Report, Ubisoft Corporate Website, January 23, 2007
- Perry, Douglass C. (January 12, 2006). "Driver Parallel Lines: Progress Report". IGN. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Edge staff (April 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines (PS2, Xbox)". Edge (161): 84.
- EGM staff (May 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines (PS2, Xbox)". Electronic Gaming Monthly (203): 94.
- Bramwell, Tom (March 18, 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines (PS2)". Eurogamer. Retrieved March 7, 2009.
- Reed, Kristan (July 25, 2007). "Driver Parallel Lines (Wii)". Eurogamer. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Helgeson, Matt (May 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines (PS2, Xbox)". Game Informer (157): 98. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (March 14, 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines Review (PS2, Xbox)". GameSpot. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (August 15, 2007). "Driver: Parallel Lines Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (August 1, 2007). "Driver: Parallel Lines Review (Wii)". GameSpot. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Guzman, Hector (March 20, 2006). "GameSpy: Driver: Parallel Lines (PS2, Xbox)". GameSpy. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Steinberg, Steve (July 13, 2007). "GameSpy: Driver: Parallel Lines (Wii)". GameSpy. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines, Review (PS2, Xbox)". GameTrailers. March 24, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Bedigian, Louis (March 28, 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Perry, Douglass C. (March 15, 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines (Limited Edition)". IGN. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Perry, Douglass C. (March 14, 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines (Xbox)". IGN. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Bozon, Mark (July 6, 2007). "Driver: Parallel Lines Review (Wii)". IGN. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines". Nintendo Power 219: 86. September 2007.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 89. May 2006.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines". Official Xbox Magazine: 77. May 2006.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines". PC Gamer: 76. November 2007.
- Katz, Paul (April 13, 2006). "Bananas! (Driver: Parallel Lines; PS2, Xbox)". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Hill, Jason (April 6, 2006). "Driver Parallel Lines (PS2, Xbox)". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines for Xbox". GameRankings. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines for Wii". GameRankings. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Driver: Parallel Lines for Wii Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Sharkey, Scott (March 15, 2006). "Driver: Parallel Lines". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2014.