Driver (video game)

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Driver Coverart.png
Developer(s) Reflections Interactive
Crawfish Interactive (GBC)
Publisher(s) GT Interactive Software (PS1)
Infogrames (PC and GBC)
MacSoft (Macintosh)
Ubisoft (PSN)
Gameloft (IOS)
Producer(s) Peter Hawley
Designer(s) Martin Edmondson
Writer(s) Maurice Suckling
Composer(s) Allister Brimble
Series Driver
Platform(s) PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color, Macintosh, IOS
Release PlayStation
  • NA: June 30, 1999
  • EU: July 2, 1999
Microsoft Windows
Game Boy Color
  • WW: December 8, 2009[5]
Genre(s) Driving, action
Mode(s) Single player

Driver (known as Driver: You Are the Wheelman in North America) is an action driving video game developed by Reflections Interactive and published by GT Interactive Software for the PlayStation. It was released in North America on June 30, 1999; in Europe on July 2; and in Japan on March 9, 2000.[1] It is the first game in the Driver series.

Initially, the game was released only for the PlayStation, but later, a Microsoft Windows port of the original PlayStation version was released in North America on October 11, 1999, and in Europe later on.[2] In May 2000, a remake developed by Crawfish Interactive and published by Infogrames was released for the Game Boy Color.[3] This version featured a top-down view, and fewer missions. A Mac port was released in North America in December 2000.[4] The game was re-released on the PlayStation Network on October 14, 2008,[6] and a remake developed and published by Gameloft, with voice acting and enhanced graphics, was released for iOS on December 8, 2009.[5]


The game is played out in four cities: Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, each of which remain only partially faithful to the actual city layouts. The game was notable at the time of its original release insofar as the player was able to explore each city as an open world environment.

Gameplay from the 2009 iOS version. Note the on-screen touch controls. In this mission, Tanner is trying to scare someone sufficiently, indicated by the "Freaked" meter.

The game was designed to mimic 1960s and 1970s car chase films. The title and the general tone seem to be heavily inspired by the 1978 crime film The Driver, written and directed by Walter Hill, which itself was based on the 1967 French film Le Samouraï, written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. One of the most notable allusions to the film is the "Training" level at the beginning of the game, which is very similar to a scene in the film in which the driver (played by Ryan O'Neal) must prove his skills to his potential employers in a parking garage. The music, character design, and the cars themselves, are inspired by films such as 1968's Bullitt and television series such as Starsky and Hutch.

The game features a "Film Director" mode, where a run can be replayed with cameras chosen by the player, and a "Quick Replay", where the cameras are automatically selected.

Once the player has unlocked a given city in the main story, they have the option to drive around that city in open world mode. When a city is unlocked, several other modes also become available for play; "Pursuit", "Getaway", "Checkpoint", and "Carnage" (only available in the Windows port). After the single-player mode game is completed, several cheats are made available to the player. Among them are skipping the garage-training mission, giving the car super speed (PC only), immunity to police cars, invincibility, or the ability to drive in Newcastle upon Tyne (where Reflections Interactive is based).

iPhone/iPod Touch[edit]

In 2009, a remastered version of the game was released on the App Store. Developed and published by Gameloft, the original plot and structure were left intact, but the graphics were enhanced, the music was re-done, and voice acting was re-recorded for the cutscenes.[7]


Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 3.5/5 stars[8] N/A 4.5/5 stars[9] 4/5 stars[10]
Destructoid N/A 9/10[11] N/A N/A
Edge N/A N/A N/A 7/10[12]
EGM N/A N/A N/A 8.3/10[13]
Eurogamer N/A N/A N/A 8/10[14]
GameFan N/A N/A N/A 84%[15]
Game Informer N/A N/A N/A 8.25/10[16]
GamePro N/A N/A 4/5 stars[17] 4.5/5 stars[18]
Game Revolution N/A N/A N/A A[19]
GameSpot 7.4/10[20] N/A 8.5/10[21] 7.7/10[22]
GameSpy N/A N/A 73%[23] N/A
IGN 8/10[24] N/A 8.9/10[25] 9.7/10[26]
OPM (US) N/A N/A N/A 4.5/5 stars[27]
PC Gamer (US) N/A N/A 78%[28] N/A
Aggregate scores
GameRankings 76%[29] 81%[30] 79%[31] 88%[32]
Metacritic N/A 83/100[33] N/A 87/100[34]
Publication Award
Game Critics Awards Best Racing Game (1999)

In the United States, Driver's jewel case version for computers sold 390,000 copies and earned $3.8 million by August 2006, after its release in October 2000. It was the country's 42nd best-selling computer game between January 2000 and August 2006.[35]

Upon its initial release, Driver was met with very positive feedback and critical acclaim. The PlayStation and iOS versions received "favorable" reviews according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[34][33]

IGN's Douglass C. Perry said of the original PlayStation game, "In the history of driving games for PlayStation, there is nothing that comes close to the comprehensive, deep, and thoroughly pleasurable experience that's embedded deep in the heart of Driver [...] It fulfills driving enthusiasts' deepest desires to drive as fast as possible through major US cities and to slam into just about anything without any repercussions. In that sense, Driver is a dream come true." He went on to call it "one of the best driving games on any system."[26] Game Revolution's Ben Silverman was equally impressed, saying, "Driver excels where other games have failed by striking a perfect balance between action and realism. Car handling is a wonderful mixture of true physics and arcade functionality—not as nitpicky and sim oriented as Gran Turismo nor as ridiculously implausible as SF Rush. Driving follows the 'easy to learn, hard to master' formula [...] Rarely does a game captivate the stoic and hypercritical Game Revolution office, but Driver has done just that."[19] GameSpot's Ryan MacDonald was not as enthusiastic, saying, "Driver is a game that might be mediocre in its presentation but more than makes up for it in its gameplay and concept."[22]

IGN's Mike Morrissey praised the quality of the PC port and said: "Though the PC version of Driver is a fairly straight port from the PlayStation title released in July, graphic improvements are apparent, especially at resolutions of 800x600 and over with the details cranked. Though this requires a fairly fast computer, the effect is worth it. Smooth frame rates reveal nice textures for the buildings and surroundings, translucent water in areas of Miami, and of course, lens flare."[25] GameSpot's Erik Wolpaw was somewhat disappointed with the port, but this was negated because the original game was so strong: "Like many console-to-PC ports, Driver suffers from being translated verbatim and taking little advantage of the more powerful PC platform. However, Driver's core game design is so strikingly original and fun that it can be enjoyed without embellishment". They concluded that "It is addictive, intuitive, and fun, which are qualities sometimes overlooked in the industry's myopic pursuit of purely technical innovation. With Driver, Reflections has produced the definitive re-creation of the classic urban car-chase movie and has quite possibly introduced a new genre of driving game".[21]

IGN's Craig Harris praised the Game Boy Advance port's top down view and the controls and concluded, "I'm actually quite surprised at how well Driver turned out for the Game Boy Color. I was expecting a Point-A-to-B game like Grand Theft Auto and got a whole lot more. The missions have different elements to give the basic formula a bit more variety. It's missing a few details from the PlayStation version, but for what Crawfish had to work with hardware-wise, the development team did a great job."[24] GameSpot's Frank Provo was critical of the sound, but aside from that, he said, "Driver is smoothness personified. Driving around is fun and exciting, the levels are varied, and the side games really do improve your skill within the main game. Even without a battery save and a two-player feature, there's really nothing major to complain about."[20]

At the 1999 E3 Game Critics Awards, Driver won "Best Racing Game", and in 2002 it was ranked #12 on IGN's list of the "Top 25 PlayStation Games".[36]


  1. ^ a b "Driver (PlayStation)". VG Chartz. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Driver - PC". IGN. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Driver - GBC". IGN. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Driver (Mac)". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Driver - iPhone". IGN. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Driver Coming to PSN". Ubisoft. August 6, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Driver for iPhone & iPod". Gameloft. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ Huey, Christian. "Driver (GBC) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 18, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ Baker, Christopher Michael. "Driver (PC) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 18, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Williamson, Colin. "Driver (PS) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 18, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  11. ^ North, Dale (December 17, 2009). "iPhone Review Round-up: December". Destructoid. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  12. ^ Edge staff (September 1999). "Driver Review (PS)". Edge (75). Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Driver (PS)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1999. 
  14. ^ Bramwell, Tom (August 14, 2000). "Driver Platinum (PSOne)". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on January 7, 2001. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  15. ^ Mears, Rick (September 30, 1999). "REVIEW for Driver (PS)". GameFan. Archived from the original on May 24, 2000. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ McNamara, Andy; Fitzloff, Jay; Reiner, Andrew (October 25, 1999). "Driver (PS)". Game Informer. Archived from the original on May 20, 2000. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  17. ^ Olafson, Peter (November 16, 1999). "Driver Review for PC on". GamePro. Archived from the original on January 24, 2005. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  18. ^ The Rookie (October 7, 1999). "Driver Review for PlayStation on". GamePro. Archived from the original on February 12, 2005. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Silverman, Ben (July 1999). "Driver Review (PS)". Game Revolution. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Provo, Frank (May 25, 2000). "Driver Review (GBC)". GameSpot. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b Wolpaw, Erik (October 29, 1999). "Driver Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b MacDonald, Ryan (July 9, 1999). "Driver Review (PS)". GameSpot. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  23. ^ Ladewig, Bruce (October 17, 1999). "Driver (PC)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on January 25, 2005. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b Harris, Craig (May 16, 2000). "Driver (GBC)". IGN. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Morrissey, Mike (October 8, 1999). "Driver (PC)". IGN. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (July 8, 1999). "Driver (PS)". IGN. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Driver". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. 1999. 
  28. ^ Poole, Stephen (August 2000). "Driver". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on March 16, 2005. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Driver: You are the Wheelman for Game Boy Color". GameRankings. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Driver for iOS (iPhone/iPad)". GameRankings. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Driver for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Driver for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b "Driver for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b "Driver for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  35. ^ Edge Staff (August 25, 2006). "The Top 100 PC Games of the 21st Century". Edge. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. 
  36. ^ IGN staff (January 22, 2002). "Top 25 Games of All Time: Complete List". IGN. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 

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