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  When I went out to buy Driver in early September I had high expectations after reading many good reviews from different mags and websites.

   The video introduction is super, top marks for this part, the graphics look life-like and the shadows and lighting are also excellent.

   So onto the game itself, there are plenty of options to choose from but the Undercover game is the only one worth clicking on after some practice first. Driving round aimlessly and achieving best times doesn't appeal to me much.

   Before being accepted as a driver you have to complete a series of tasks in a parking lot in America, it is actually quite tricky to begin with and may take some time to complete. Once employed you find yourself in a room where you can take a drive round the city or listen to messages for new jobs (you often get a choice of 2 or 3 missions).

   There are about 10 missions to complete in each of the 4 American cities which isn't really enough in my opinion, even though some missions are particularly difficult I had completed the first city, Miami in just over half an hour. At this point I had already got through a quarter of the game. In Grand Theft Auto you had to complete at least 10 much larger missions in each city including many extra secret jobs along the way.

   The in-game graphics on Driver are impressive, especially when the road is wet, the action replays which follow are just as good and you can move the camera anywhere at anytime although the camera seems to take forever to move round. The sound effects overall are also decent. The handling of the car takes some getting used to but there are quite a few maneuvers to perform including the handbrake turn and the burnout for those getaways. So why did I feel so disappointed?

   Well, the game inevitably becomes too repetitive too quickly, many of the missions are straight forward and boring involving a pick-up of some sort and then a drop-off. Even the car chases seem to lack that bit of originality. Although the cities are large and enable you to drive anywhere, there are no places of real interest to go apart from back-alleys and car-parks. The cops create the only real excitement and even they become very irritating after a short while. The car crashes in the game are probably too realistic with only the occasional spectacular crash. The fact that you can't get out of the car is also a big letdown, this was what made GTA so much fun to play.

   Overall in my opinion Driver was overhyped. It is a realistic, good looking driving game but will disappoint many people due to the lack of excitement and repetitiveness of ga

10/12/1999 Dave J.

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