GAME NAME: Driver: Renegade
RELEASE DATE(S): 2 September 2011
The name of the game is Driver, so let’s cut straight to the chase. We’re back on board with Tanner, ex-undercover police officer extraordinaire who has lost his faith in the justice system. Set between the events of Driver 1 and 2, Tanner is on a mission to rid the city of five crime lords by aiding the Senator Andrews Ballard of New York City to dispose of them. It’s like GTA for white knights. Again.
Driver: Renegade, developed by an in-house Ubisoft team, is tasked with spinning this series off to the Nintendo 3DS. The Story mode is told in a digital comic style with the use of still images, audio and many unnecessary swearwords. All of which is a desperate attempt at the Chewbacca defence for two horrible truths; despite trying to disguise yet another rip off, this is still not GTA, and more importantly, the whole story mode can be completed in under three hours ( 2.5 man poos).
Admittedly, in this short space of time, players will experience a rather pleasant game. All 50 unlocked cars have their own unique stats comprising acceleration, speed, armour and grip. Bang up the other thugs’ cars and in time, Tanner will mouth off something about having his car fixed, usually after IT’S ON FIRE! This is your queue to drive off to the nearest street garage for an instant repair. This procedure works in a very similar fashion to Pretoria West or Burnout Paradise… in fact it’s identical. The constant car-ramming not only damages and blows up enemy cars but also fills up your ‘rage’ gauge. By pressing the (type) ‘A’ button, Tanner has access to Driver’s version of nitros, usually required to down a mob boss but more oft for an overkill speed boost. Should you find that you’re thick in the action or waylaid by enemies you can slam them into the wall by pressing the L or R shoulder buttons to hard-shift the car from left or right. Also known as shunting – true story.
After what seems like a quick oil change, Career mode is all that remains as there is no multiplayer mode whatsoever. Thankfully the three New York islands host many events, breathing much-needed life into a very shallow cash-in. Freedom racing (finding the quickest route to a destination), Time Attack, Rampage, Demolition Run, Killing Road, Afterburner and Elimination modes will squeeze roughly 10 hours of playtime before your dipstick runs dry.
Driver Renegade is a prime example of what happens when a team puts all its efforts into a fairly decent rip-off (Driver: San Francisco) and then tries to rip that off. There are once again no on-foot action and the impressive shifting experience on the big-boy consoles is nowhere to be seen. Driver has come a long way, but this might be the first time Tanner has his Challenger in reverse.