Hero Worship: Driver 5 Loves Tanner

By Alec Meer on June 29th, 2011 at 9:35 am.

ICONIC HANDS

I’m quite looking forward to Driver: San Francisco – partly because I do like to see a fallen series redeem itself, and partly because it puts me in mind of an aggressive Test Drive Unlimited. All driving, no on-foot stuff, trying to re-carve its own niche rather than put an unconvincing GTA costume.

That said, I can’t entirely get on board with this scene-setting dev diary’s repeated claims that protagonist Tanner and antagonist Jericho are “iconic, historic characters.” Iconic how? Historic what-now? Surely they’re just more gruff men in videogames’ endless archive of gruff men? Can’t say they’re burned into my memory. Just give me the cars and the city and I’ll be a happy little motorised sociopath.

Isn’t this stretching the concept of a development diary somewhat? Because it rather looks to me that they just went out and posed by some fast cars to utter soundbytes rather than were chronicling the making of the game. MAYBE IT’S JUST ME.

Interesting, too, that they’re not really talking about the mechanic whereby a hospital-bound Gruffer imagines he can insta-transport his psyche to any other driver in the city. Having tried it myself, it’s a great way of navigating the streets and switching between vehicles and challenges, but maybe it’s a bit too fantastical for the marketing at this point.

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27 Comments »

  1. Bodylotion says:

    Looks interesting but Im not sure i would buy this at full price.

  2. Bungle says:

    Instantly transporting between cars just seems like a bad mechanic to me. It makes me think the game’s city won’t have much attention to detail. I can’t think of any good reasons that they wouldn’t include the ability to walk around.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Walking around for no reason is just that. The game is called “Driver” , not “Walker” after all. So, let’s have a game about driving where that’s been honed, instead of one where you can run, walk, jump, swim, fly, sail, shoot, fight, and all of them kinda suck. Like GTA4.

      Even though I don’t get the weirdo psychic teleportation. That’s an idea from old times that just doesn’t fit into a sorta-gritty-realistic-style game.. Just weird :p should just erase all the talk and serious story and go all out silly if you’re making a ridiculous mechanic a mainpoint of the game :p

    • NikRichards says:

      It really does work alot better than it sounds like it should.

    • skinlo says:

      This isn’t GTA.

      Walking around was the worst thing about previous iterations of the driver series.

    • Mirqy says:

      There should be a game called Walker. It should be about a man being a rum drinker and videogames journalist. Also I’m more inclined to use the name ‘the magical meer’ if it’s true that Alec has tried transporting his psyche into other drivers in the same city.

    • WJonathan says:

      OMG! OMG! OMG! Why haven’t there been any Chuck Norris-based videogames? Walker: Texas Ranger: The Videogame. Sounds like a Platinum Hit to me.

  3. Vague-rant says:

    Iconic in that somewhere on the internet someone probably has a Driver avatar (or alternatively, the desktop shrotcut icon), and historic in that they existed in the past.

    • Dozer says:

      This.

      I remember Driver 1, on the PSX. That was a fun game. But as I recall, Tanner only ever appeared as the back end of a car. If there were cutscenes where he walked around, I don’t remember them (or really care).

    • Bhazor says:

      Chosen to blank out Driv3r? I can’t say I blame you.

  4. coldvvvave says:

    I wish someone rebooted Interstate 76 ;_;

    • identiti_crisis says:

      Me too! If only for the music.

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      Tom De Roeck says:

      Seconded, though not really a reboot, more like a good sequel, forgetting interstate 82.

      It might even be a good open world kind of game, you know, with a headquarters, and broken down world, etc. Fallout meets mad max 1.

    • Moke says:

      This.

  5. Raziel_aXd says:

    Historic and iconic characters? What?

  6. Mr Ak says:

    “historic in that they existed in the past.”
    Actually, that would be ‘historical’. Kinda. The difference in the meaning these days is a little shifty. But yeah, I just find that stuff interesting, so I like to share.

    Edit:Eh, a reply to the comment above. Not important, really.

  7. fuggles says:

    The tutorial to Driver 1 was iconic – being harder than the rest of the game.

    Maybe it’s a typo and they are Ironic and historic characters.

    • trooperdx3117 says:

      Flipping hell yes, it tooks ages to get that stupid u-turn while at the same time not hitting any of the cars in the garage and staying in the speed limit

  8. Pictoru says:

    yeah story …characters …..wohoo! >_>
    But does it feel like a 2011-12 driving game or is it just a reskinned mario kart ?

  9. zibob says:

    I am very excited. The storyline sounds exhilarating and original – Tanner is truly driven to give Jericho what the big meanie deserves! I also love cars. It’s so cool to drive them.

  10. Dismus says:

    I don’t mean to nitpick, but Driver 4 doesn’t love Tanner. Or didn’t, rather, since it came out in 2006.
    Or are we pretending Driv3r didn’t exist and renumbering accordingly? Because that would be fine.

    Edit : this comment made sense before the article title was ninja edited.

  11. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    Is that Gareth Studio Manager Edmondson a playable character?

  12. the_pipe says:

    DriVer! DriVer!

    Glad I got that over with.

  13. WJonathan says:

    Well, these are the same clowns who botched Drivers 3 and Parallel Lines. I expect that kind of hubris in their preview. All I ask is that they get the driving right this time, and I’ll love the series again. They can have all their fantasies about writing crime dramas and creating iconic characters; I just want my epic, white-knuckled, cross-city chase missions back.

  14. Mctittles says:

    Funny you mention Test Drive Unlimited in this post. I had just e-mailed RPS about TDU servers having the plug pulled on them and Atari not giving a response or answering support questions. I was thinking for a second you might have got my message :).

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    Malibu Stacey says:

    For an example of how to do driving properly in a game about driving see Burnout Paradise.
    That game is utterly superb & Criterion could probably live quite comfortably just making new cities in the same engine year after year for people to tear around at ludicrous speeds.