Driver (series)

Driver (series)
Driver series logo.png
Genres Action, driving, third-person shooter
Developers Ubisoft Reflections (formerly Reflections Interactive)
Gameloft (mobile games)
Publishers GT Interactive (1999)
Infogrames/Atari (1999–2006)
Ubisoft (2006–present)
First release Driver
June 1999
Latest release Driver: San Francisco
September 2011
Official website

Driver is a series of mission-based driving video games developed by Reflections Interactive (now Ubisoft Reflections), and originally published by GT Interactive and later by Atari. The gameplay consists of a mixture of action, driving, and third-person shooting in open world environments. Since the series began in 1999, there have been five main installments released.

As of August 2011, the series has sold more than 16 million units worldwide.[1]



Title Availability Year
Sony Microsoft Nintendo Apple
Driver PlayStation Windows Game Boy Color Macintosh, iOS 1999
Driver 2 PlayStation None Game Boy Advance None 2000
Driver 3 PlayStation 2 Xbox, Windows Game Boy Advance None 2004
Parallel Lines PlayStation 2 Xbox, Windows Wii None 2006
Driver 76 PlayStation Portable None None None 2007
San Francisco PlayStation 3 Xbox 360, Windows Wii Mac OS X 2011
Renegade 3D None None 3DS None 2011

Main series


The first game of the Driver series was released for the PlayStation on June 30, 1999 in the US. It was later released for Game Boy Color in May 2000, PC in September 2000, Mac in December 2000, and iOS in December 2009. In the game, the player controls a former racecar driver turned undercover police detective named John Tanner. It featured a storyline inspired by 1970's car chase movies such as Bullitt (1968) and The Driver (1978) and based in four real-life cities; Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. It was the best selling game of the Driver series and an evolution of the freedom to explore a city as brought forth in the early "Grand Theft Auto" games.

Driver 2

The second installment in the Driver series was released for the PlayStation on November 13, 2000 in the US by Infogrames (now known as Atari), and later ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2002. It featured detective John Tanner once more, along with a new partner, detective Tobias Jones, in four more real-life cities (Chicago, Havana, Las Vegas, and Rio de Janeiro). It was the first game in the series to feature 2-player modes, curved roads, and the ability to get out of the car at any time in order to steal another car on the street.


The third installment in the Driver series and the first to get an M Rating by the ESRB (the first two were rated T), was released for the PlayStation 2 on April 5, 2004, Xbox on June 15, 2004 in the United States to generally mixed or poor reviews (despite new features such as the ability to use firearms). The game takes place in Miami, Nice and Istanbul. It was subsequently followed by versions for the PC, and Game Boy Advance.[2] The game sold rather well despite poor reviews, and Reflections paid notice to the complaints about the insipid story line, poor controls, and abundance of glitches in order to improve the series' standings with critics and gamers in Driver: Parallel Lines.

Driver: Parallel Lines

The fourth game in the series, Driver: Parallel Lines, was released March 14, 2006 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and June 2007 for PC and Wii. It is the most violent of the series—the first one to receive an 18 rating in the UK. Reflections intended Parallel Lines to "return the series to its roots" by focusing more on driving.

The game differs greatly in other aspects from its predecessors, though, as the story no longer follows undercover police officer Tanner and the game takes place in only one location, New York City. The new main player's name is TK, a criminal rather than a cop. The game includes two time periods, 1978 and 2006, when the main player is sentenced to prison for 28 years and returns in 2006. The game received better reviews, but unlike Driv3r, did not sell particularly well.

Driver: San Francisco

This fifth Driver game was long rumored to be in production.[3][4][5] After several years of speculation, Ubisoft finally unveiled Driver: San Francisco at E3 2010. After several delays, it was finally released on September 1, 2011. The Nintendo Wii version due to the Wii lacing HD support, is a different story which is a prequel to Driver 1.

The game takes place in only one location, San Francisco, and follows the series protagonist, Tanner, being in a coma after suffering an accident. Thus, the player controls Tanner during his coma dream.[6] For this game, developers decided to remove the ability of getting out of a car in order to steal another car on the street. Instead, they created a new mechanic called "Shift", enabling the players to shift to any car at any time.

The game received generally positive reviews, getting the highest ratings in the whole series after Driver 1 and Driver 2. Like Driv3r, it sold particularly well.

Portable games

These titles are spin-offs which expand the main series' backstory.

Driver 76

Driver 76 is a PlayStation Portable exclusive game in the Driver series. Set in New York City in 1976, two years before the events in the first half of Driver: Parallel Lines, the player takes the role of Ray, TK's friend and a supporting character from Parallel Lines. The game was developed by Sumo Digital and Reflections, and was the first Driver game published by Ubisoft after they acquired Reflections. It was released on May 11, 2007.

Driver: Renegade 3D

Exclusive for the Nintendo 3DS, Driver: Renegade 3D follows John Tanner trying to take down the New York City crime mobs with his own hands. It was released in September 2011.

Related games

Mobile games

These games are unrelated to the main series canon.

Driver: Vegas (released in 2006) and Driver: LA Undercover (released in 2007) are two mobile exclusive games featuring John Tanner. Vegas features his exploits in Las Vegas in an attempt to exact revenge on Charles Jericho after Driv3r, while LA Undercover, set two years later, features Tanner's exploits in Los Angeles to take down the Los Angeles Mafia by working his way up the ladder.

C.O.P. The Recruit

On November 3, 2009, Ubisoft released C.O.P. The Recruit for Nintendo DS. It was originally registered under numerous names, one of which being "Driver: The Recruit".[7]

Film adaptation

In February 2002, Impact Pictures, the production team of Paul W. S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt, announced that it had acquired the film and TV rights to adapt the Atari video game Driver. Screenwriters James DeMonaco, Todd Jason Harthan, and James Roday were developing a script at the time. Impact Pictures had originally intended to produce the film Driver to coincide with the release of the video game Driv3r.[8] The following November, Impact Pictures announced its plans to produce a $50 million adaptation of Driver after wrapping up principal photography on Resident Evil: Apocalypse.[9] In April 2006, Rogue Pictures acquired the film rights to Driver from Impact Pictures and Constantin Films, the production companies responsible for the Resident Evil film franchise. Roger Avary replaced the original screenwriters in writing the script for Driver, as well as directing the film.[10]

Prior to January 2007, Driver, having a budget of $48 million, was slated to shoot at Cinespace Studios' MT28 lot in Toronto, Canada. Due to a waterfront revitalization project, the studio has been forced to move and the film has been put on hold.[11] In May 2009, the movie script was leaked on internet.[12][13]

Notes and references

  1. ^ "At a glance". Ubisoft. 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  2. ^ Driver 3 speeds onto the GBA - Game Boy Advance News at GameSpot
  3. ^ "Atari sells Reflections". 
  4. ^ "How a computer game is made". BBC. June 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  5. ^ "UK games industry needs brains". BBC. June 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  6. ^ "Driver: San Francisco coming to 360, PS3, Wii and PC". Joystiq. 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  7. ^ "E3 2009: C.O.P. The Recruit – Driver’s little brother?". One Last Continue. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  8. ^ Linder, Brian (2003-02-03). "Games to Film: Infogrames' Driver Makes Impact". IGN. Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
  9. ^ Gaudiosi, John (2003-11-03). "Game filmer keeps on driving". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2006-10-18. [dead link]
  10. ^ John Callaham (2006-04-19). "EXCLUSIVE: Roger Avary To Write And Direct Driver Movie". FiringSquad. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  11. ^ Tim Lai (2007-01-12). "Film industry flickers as studio closes". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  12. ^ Griffin McElroy (2009-05-23). "Rumor: Partial script for Driver film adaptation leaked". Joystiq. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  13. ^ Ryan Davis (2009-05-27). "Driver Script Leak Surfaces". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 

External links

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