Driver: Parallel Lines, also known as Driver 4, is the fourth video game in the Driver series. The game was released on March 14 (March 17 in Europe), 2006 on the Xbox and PlayStation 2 consoles by Atari, Wii and PC on June 26, 2007 (June 28, 2007 in Europe) by Ubisoft.
Diverging from previous Driver games, Parallel Lines takes place in just one city, New York, instead of multiple cities, but in the middle of the story you change to different eras of the city - 1978 and 2006. 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. The game was received better by critics than the last game, but still was criticized, including its simple gameplay, hit-or-miss controls, and derivative storyline. This is the first game of the Driver series that does not follow undercover cop Tanner. TK, the new main character, received Game Informer's "Biggest Dork of 2006" award.
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 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".
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 taxi 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 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. 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.
Both eras included in the game have distinct styles of vehicles, although a few of the 1978-era cars do show up in 2006, and the cars from 2006 can show up in 1978 by using the all cars cheat code, however all cars in from 1978 are all accessible in shop in 2006. 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.But the upgrades are 10% more expensive in the new era.
The game follows 18-year-old "TK" (The Kid) who works as a getaway driver for a New York crime ring in 1978. His childhood friend Ray introduces him to Slink, whom he does low-level work for. He is then introduced to two other prominent gangsters, "The Mexican" and Bishop. Bishop hatches a plan to break an associate, Candy, out of Rikers Island Prison, which TK successfully carries out.
The gangsters form a collective, composed of TK, Slink, Bishop, The Mexican and Candy and lead 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, so Corrigan plans to have Martinez kidnapped. After Martinez's kidnap and receipt of his ransom money, Corrigan changes the plan and shoots Martinez dead. Figuring that TK is insignificant, Corrigan shoots him at the same time and leaves him to be framed and charged with kidnap and murder. TK is sentenced to 28 years at Sing-Sing Prison.
While at Sing-Sing, TK plans vengeance upon each of the men who betrayed him. He is released in 2006 aged 46 and, with Ray's help, immediately tracks down and kills The Mexican, now a lowly alcoholic hoodrat who works at an arcade. His corpse is thrown out onto the street from TK's car, in front of Corrigan, now the Chief of the NYPD, who immediately recognizes him. Afterwards, he meets Maria, an ally of Candy, who is now a wealthy and prominent gangster. TK does jobs for Maria in the hope of reaching him.
After destroying Slink's pornography and drugs outlets, TK kills Slink in a car-chase. For Bishop, who is now a drugs kingpin, 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.
Corrigan then turns up at Ray's garage in Hunt's Point. He reveals that Ray has been working for him, to help TK inadvertently erase all of Corrigan's connections to the 1978 kidnapping, in exchange for money. Corrigan then kills Ray and tries to shoot TK, but TK is saved by Maria who turns up armed. Corrigan escapes and Maria reveals she is actually the daughter of Rafael Martinez, the man Corrigan killed in 1978.
They put a Cop 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 (Who tried to kill TK before, once with a car bomb in front of Ray's, another with an ambush at the start of Ram Raider. Another ambush for a job with Maria, and when TK tried to escape with Bishop's shipment of rocket launchers.) Maria tells TK that Corrigan is in Witness Protection. TK kills more bodyguards but Corrigan escapes by helicopter. After blowing up a tunnel with TK in it (TK narrowly escaping) he shoots down the chopper. Corrigan survives, but after a while he gives Corrigan to Maria, who wants more revenge than TK.
The game was intentionally set apart from the other Driver games.
The game got mixed reviews. IGN rated it 7.2, praising the return of the series to its roots, and mentioned that "It's still not perfect, but it's not broken either."
Eurogamer gave 6/10 mentioning 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." Gamespot gave it 6.5 calling it a competent GTA clone, but it's far from being recommendable.
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, Average White Band, Public Enemy, The Roots, TV on the Radio, The Secret Machines, Kaiser Chiefs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem. There are also many made up bands in the soundtrack performing fictitious tracks from the 1970s. All music licensing and ingame compositions was done by Nimrod Productions.
A limited edition version of the game was released along with the regular version. The special edition, costing $10 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 UK version is dubbed "Collectors Edition", and does not contain the DVD, instead only providing the soundtrack CD and a metal case.
- ↑ Driver: Parallel Lines on Steam
- ↑ IGN: Driver Skids to Wii
- ↑ Ubisoft Third Quarter Sales Report, Ubisoft Corporate Website, January 23, 2007
- ↑ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps2/driverparallellines?q=driver%20parallel%20lines Metacritic score: 69
- ↑ Douglas C. Perry, Driver Parallel Lines: Progress Report, IGN, January 12, 2006
- ↑ The Characters of Driver: Parallel Lines, GameSpy, February 21, 2006
- ↑ Driver: Parallel Lines is not Driver 4 1UP video interview with production manager Gareth Edmondson in which he tells us that Driver: Parallel Lines is not Driver 4.
- ↑ Mirror's Edge. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2008-12-11
- ↑ Sharkey, Scott (2006-03-15). Driver: Parallel Lines Review. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-03
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Bramwell, Tom. Driver: Parallel Lines // PS2 /// Eurogamer - Games Reviews, News and More. Eurogamer.net. Retrieved on March 7, 2009
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 PlayStation 2 Driver: Parallel Lines Review. GameSpot (March 14, 2006). Retrieved on March 7, 2009
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