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Driven

Score: 50%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: bam!
Developer: bam!
Media: GCD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

Blurry, very blurry. While I am guessing the developers decided to do this in order to give the game a very 'fast' look, it does not work all that well. It is really disappointing since the art design and texture work looks like it could really be something special. You would think that the awesome crashes from the movie would translate into a cool part of the game, however this is simply not the case.

To make matters worse, at times the game will switch to 'The Zone' effect. As cool as this effect is, I found the blurring distracting and as a result there were times when I couldn't see where the next turn was. The game takes an interesting direction in dealing with story elements. Instead of using clips from the movie or FMVs, it uses still art images of Stallone and the announcers. It is interesting, but not all that great.

Sound is okay, but nothing to scream about - okay it is something to scream about, but not in a good way. In order to give the game a better tie to the movie, the game uses the voice of Sylvester Stallone making for a rather painful audio experience. The rest of the sounds are bland and lacking, even some of the now standards - such as engine echo when going under a tunnel - are not present.


Gameplay:

Driven does present a very straightforward, easy to understand game. You can choose to race in an Arcade mode, Multiplayer, or Story mode. While the first two are self-explanatory and standard to racing games, the Story mode presents a rather interesting premise in which you are given 14 objectives to complete in eight different tracks. This was the best part of the game for me, and it was a shame that more was not done with this concept. The other modes really do not add much to the game and grow old quickly.

Difficulty:

Your opponents are not your most difficult challenge in Driven. Instead, the blurry presentation and inherent problems with 'The Zone' make it very hard to play. As I mentioned before, while going into the blur effect is really neat the first three or four times you see it, you quickly realize how much it impedes your ability to drive, and while I've never driven drunk - I'd imagine it's probably a lot like trying to drive while you're 'in the Zone'.

Game Mechanics:

Driven does excel in a few areas, such as control. Depending on which character you use, the car will control a little differently to reflect the personality of that character. So a more aggressive driver will give you power, while a skilled one will give you finesse. At times, the control can feel a little jerky, but it's easy to work around. According to the manual, 'The Zone' is supposed to improve your car's handling - but as I have said several times already, this is simply not the case.

On paper, Driven looks like a great game and an interesting spin on the racing genre, yet somewhere along the line things fell apart. Unfortunately, this leaves a bland, game that is enjoyable for a little while, but runs out of steam quickly.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Nintendo GameCube Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 Nintendo GameCube FIFA World Cup 2002

 
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