ECTS 2003: Driver 3

World first showing at ECTS.

Ever since the first screenshots of Driver 3 leaked out onto the Interweb back in January, the world has been waiting patiently to see if Reflections can top the mighty GTA in the mission-based driving stakes.

Are we there yet?

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Unfortunately it looks like we’ll have to all wait a little longer than expected, with Atari opting to show off just 45 seconds of largely rendered footage that gave little away in terms of how the game is shaping up.

The teaser trailer opens with an approaching cityscape shot from the coastline by night. Cut to a rendered scene of Tanner chatting to someone in a lift in true moody Driver style, all sharp suits and chiseled jaw lines.

15 seconds in we get to see some gameplay footage at last, with a runaway 18-wheeler ploughing through the streets, lurching from side to side, smashing everything in its path, sending crumpled debris and dust into the sky.

Quick cut to a side on shot of motorbike doing a wheelie down the highway, followed by several quick fire shots of car driving action (using ostensibly the same car as previous Drivers), grainy CCTV footage of a random individuals, someone getting shot in the stomach at close range, before concluding with the aforementioned truck leaping off a flyover to the highway below in spectacular style, somehow managing to carry on without exploding into a ball of flames. Action packed stuff.

Slick

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From the little shown so far, the game engine looks exceptionally slick, with a level of detail and speed that promises to push the PS2 in much the same way that Driver managed four years back on the PSone. Certainly the crispness of the cityscapes, incidental detail and high resolution impress, and, if anything, the game looks just as impressive as the screenshots suggest.

On a cautionary note, the trailer didn’t show off any real in-game action or action scenes with multiple vehicles. In many respects it looked more like a glorified replay than a true reflection (ahem) of the game.

Atari PR guru Lee Kirton informs us that every vehicle featured in the trailer will be drivable in the game, and that the footage will be released to the masses in “about a week”. Even better, we’ve been promised a hands-on of the game in “about a month”.

More news in a month, then. Until then, enjoy our screenshots and the frankly terrifying comment threads.

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