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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Driver Renegade 3DS

I was waiting for Driver Renegade to hit my price-point sweet spot of $10.00, and I picked it up yesterday from Futureshop for $9.99.

I was pleasantly surprised by Driver '76 on PSP, and I've been anxiously awaiting a Driver game since the 3DS was launched. But when the game finally launched and the reviews trickled in... they were pretty bad. Driver games haven't really gotten great reviews except the latest console one, and like I said, I found  Driver '76 to be better than the reviews give it credit for-- it's not a great game but it is fun. So I tended to take the reviews with a grain of salt. But the reviews for Driver Renegade are *really* bad. And they are not wrong.

At first I was very disappointed playing this game... I'm actually kind of angry. It feels completely obligatory; an afterthought tacked on to the multi-console release of Driver: San Francisco. I haven't played that game but from what I gather, Driver Renegade is not a port, it's a handheld game unto its own. But it feels like such a phoned-in effort went into making it. The cars look terrible, the sound is very lame and repetitive. The graphics are so basic they look like off-the-shelf models... and the cars handle like crap.

The game is broken up into 2 sections, the Story Mode which is a very short campaign (can probably be beaten in one sitting) and a Career Mode that has most of the game challenges. There are 7 modes, each with 12 levels. But some of the modes repeat themselves, like "Rampage" and "Afterburner" are pretty much the exact same game play: destroy the other cars. But I have to say, this is the most fun game mode, and once I started playing this I felt less jypped of my 10 bones + HST. There is a shunting action in the game using the shoulder buttons you can slam into other cars, it's pretty cool. I really like just blowing up the enemies, the best part of the game by far.

To try and sell Driver Renegade for full price has to be close to committing fraud, seriously. It feels like the developers did the least possible effort to make it functional and shipped it. One of the few exceptions is the artwork, the story is told through still comic book style drawings which look really good. They remind me a lot of the cut scenes from Twisted Metal: Head On (PSP).

Unlike Driver '76, instead of having a free-roaming map, Driver Renegade is very linear, it's mostly just  race or "destroy" events. You can't wander around. You can't get out of the car. I was disappointed that the gameplay seems so different from that title. But at least I have Driver '76 on my PS Vita.

Maybe I bought Driver Renegade so you don't have to. Unless you're a hardcore fan of the franchise, this game is probably not worth your $$$. I admit there are some fun moments, sometimes fun can be had within the brokenness of the game. But I wonder how long the fun will ultimately last... not long I reckon.


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