Excerpt: It is unavoidable. Driver 76 will face continual comparison to the most famous of headline-grabbing crim-sims, Grand Theft Auto. But before you turn it down as another hopeful joining the long list of games that have attempted to ape Rockstar's premium brand, remember this: it was Driver that was the first 3D, free roaming, high octane adventure that followed the rise of a small time crook as he climbed the underworld ladder.
Excerpt: Some folks don't remember that before the GTA craze, there were other driving games. Free-roaming they mostly weren't, and there wasn't much to do on foot. Back before the new millennium, we liked our driving games heavy on driving. That amounted to watching a car on a street with other cars on the street. Real cities with real landmarks were a staple. Sure, the cities looked mostly the same, but so did the cars.
Summary: It's official; Driver has officially become irrelevant in the world of video games
Pros: Large rendition of New York and New Jersey; decent 70's era soundtrack; comic book style cut-scenes are entertaining and well drawn.
Cons: Missions are the same rinse/lather/repeat missions you've played in dozens of games; lousy frame rate, even with deserted New York streets; on foot sections are severely limited; controls are atrocious; far too easy; awful load times; the lock-on aiming is almost as pathetic as the AI.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: Maybe when it stops trying so hard to impersonate GTA and the technical issues are put to bed then the series will claw back some of the reputation it had once, a long time ago. But for now, all we have is a thoroughly average game.
Excerpt: Another year, another set of Grand Theft Auto clones. Sometimes I wonder how so few companies have been able to recreate the fun and atmosphere of GTA , but after playing Driver 76 on the Sony PSP, I think I understand why. Driver 76 is another attempt from Atari to bring the faltering Driver franchise back to life.
Excerpt: Ever since the 2004 release of Driver 3, the Driver series has made a habit of trying to mimic the unique success of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, achieving marginal success. Last year's Driver: Parallel Lines wasn't terrible and was a big step up from the much-maligned 2004 release of Driver 3. However, it still failed to do anything as well as the series it was aping and came off as the also-ran that it was.
Pros: Solid funk-heavy '70s soundtrack, Comic-inspired story sequences look good
Cons: Storyline is short, predictable, Languid police response takes the fun out of rampages, Random load times, Empty streets, Nothing to do
Conclusion: If not for the fact that the actual driving in Driver '76 is fairly decent, this would be a complete loss. Technical issues, excessive loading and a worthless storyline, however, mean the driving is the only thing that's decent.
Excerpt: Take a step back to the world of 1985. Two world leaders controlled the affairs of the globe. On the one hand there was the flaky right-wing actor that had seen too many episodes of Buck Rogers and wanted a giant laser beam of his own. On the other side of the world another leader struggled with the death of his nation's economy and sought a more cordial global situation where his motherland could collapse in peace.