By Game Swap Shop Creator, Daryl Williams
In the September of 1999 two life-changing things happened. I started Secondary School and I was allowed to have my Playstation in my room for the first time! Everyday when I came back from school, I eagley raced upstairs and booted up my PS1 when I should have probably been doing homework.
22 years later I find myself looking back on the PlayStation with many fond memories, but the one that sticks out more than any was the time I spent completing Driver. Racing games were my go-to ever since I was a kid, playing whatever I could get hold of for free on the family PC. Anybody that has played Driver knows you almost have to be a master of the game before you’ve even picked up the controller.
The Tutorial is unbelievably hard, especially for a kid, making you do a list of about 10 things in 60 seconds in an extraordinary small, first-gen 3D console environment. It assumes you have the knowledge of a stunt driver with 18 years experience under his seatbelt 😉
Anyway… after about 4 days of trying to beat the tutorial I was into the main game and obsessed. I played from 4-9pm every night for a month straight, loving every second of it, my first true experience of feeling like I was in my own Hollywood movie. For my young eyes it was such an enjoyable cops and robbers getaway experience, with very heavy, realistic car handing, really hard Police who rammed you so hard it seemed like you could end up on the opposite side of the map.
This all well over 2 years before GTA III launched on a next gen console. Sure, it ran at what appeared to be 8fps on a good day, the story was about as compelling as the 23rd Season of ‘Love Island’ and it really doesn’t hold up very well today compared to some games around it’s time. But I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that it has a special place in my heart and at the time it really was great fun and struck a nice balance between realistic and arcade-like gameplay that isn’t really matched in my opinion to this day.
I hope one day will get a nice 60fps HD remake with a few modern tweaks that I think many fans would really love! Especially if they did a Tony Hawks Pro Skater job on it and release a Driver 1 and 2 remaster as Driver 2 took everything from the first game and made it so much better by letting you get out of your car and commandeer other vehicles. Again this was 1 year before GTA III.
If you’ve never played a Driver game, I recommend Driver 2 as you don’t have to deal with a very hard tutorial like in the first game. On top of that you have more freedom, locations and vehicles while still retaining the original Driver feel that started it all. But if you want to see where it all started be prepared to throw a controller or two at the wall but you will be rewarded in the end.