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Driver: Renegade Review

Goes from zero to 100% completion in just a few hours

We started playing Driver: Renegade shortly after 11am on a Friday afternoon. By 1.45pm, including a half-hour lunch break, we'd finished the main story mode.

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It's a shame because, while it lasts, Driver: Renegade is fun. It looks superb in motion, with detailed graphics (save for the odd building pop-up) and no slowdown. The handling is first-rate and it's a real joy zooming through the game's virtual New York.

Short Stories

There are 20 missions in the Story mode, but by the fourth mission, Driver: Renegade is already struggling for ideas. Ultimately the game descends into a constant repetition of one of four stage types - follow a car until it reaches a certain destination, wreck the car, wreck other cars, or get somewhere before they wreck your car.

These samey missions are interspersed with cut-scenes that, while well-illustrated, drop F-bombs and MF-nukes all over the place to try and reassure you that it's edgy and cool.

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There's also Career mode, a series of challenges that see you winning gold medals and new cars. It offers the most generic challenges you can think of. Point-to-point races, checkpoint races, the ever-annoying Elimination races where the person in last place gets knocked out. We've seen it all umpteen times before.

Driver: Renegade isn't without its other good points, but each come with their own flaws. Take the repair stations - if your car's looking worse for wear, you can drive through one of these and it'll be miraculously restored. Yet it's a little too helpful in the missions where you have to wreck a certain number of cars. Since they home in on you, all you need to do is hang around near a repair station.

OMG, WTF GPS

Then there's the GPS on the bottom screen, which is great for the most part but eventually you'll need to reach a destination that lies off-screen and then all you've got to work with is a vague arrow, giving you no way to plan your route.

This is annoying in the point-to-point races in Career mode as you don't really know if you're taking the best possible route while your opponents all do.

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Driver: Renegade is a game that has clearly had a lot of time put into it. The handling, the graphics and the general feel of the game are fine. Problem is, the actual game content feels like an afterthought, as if the development studio suddenly thought, "Oooh, we haven't actually got anything for the player to do. Quick, stick a short story in there, put loads of swearing in it and pad it with street races."

Want to see the game in action? Here's a Driver: Renegade trailer.

This is an edited version of a review which appears in the October issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is out now. For the full review with more in-depth analysis, screenshots and boxouts, you can buy the magazine here. Or, if you want to receive a future issue before it reaches the shops, subscribe and get a Wii speaker system.

Comments

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  1. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 1st Sep 2011 at 15:20

    I would really like to get this but if it's short,it seems like a waste of money.
    Will you be reviewing Driver for Wii?

  2. LuigisBrother Thursday 1st Sep 2011 at 18:07

    Will you be reviewing Driver for Wii?


    San fransisco looks rubbish

  3. NintyFan90 Thursday 1st Sep 2011 at 19:25

    I played Driver and Driver 2 years ago and they were excellent games in the sense that they were on par with the GTA series. However, the Driver series seems to of gone on a downward spiral in terms of popularity. Reading this review, what Ubisoft have failed to replicate since Driver and Driver 2 is the original formula of being able to just explore the city like the mode called 'Take a ride'. Then including the usual time trials, cop car chase, the main story mode and car chase against the computer (which was cool and hilarious) :)

    Maybe if Ubisoft analysed why the first Driver was the most successful game in the series and then loosely included elements of that game then probably it would of got higher than the 68% based on ONM's review.

  4. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 1st Sep 2011 at 21:12

    Will you be reviewing Driver for Wii?


    San fransisco looks rubbish

    I've seen some video's of it and it seems ok.
    I might get when it goes round the Ł20 mark.

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