Ubisoft has trademarked the game title Driver: The Recruit.
Ubisoft is busy making a "whole new version" of Driver at its Reflections studio in Newcastle.
It has taken three long years to get over the abject misery of playing the last Driver game. Lest we forget, it was a title with so much expected of its four years of development. Yet Reflections' massively hyped game emerged in such a sorry bug-ridden and unplayable state that it should serve as the textbook example of When Game Development Goes Wrong. That the follow-up, Parallel Lines, should end up being slightly above par felt like a triumph, if you can believe that.
But, but, but. This is old news. As you know, Parallel Lines is an 18 month old PS2 and Xbox game - and one that has long since - deservedly - been relegated to the bargain bins by a largely apathetic public. Why bother, at this late stage, shovelling it lovelessly onto the Wii? Rather like the belated release of Scarface last month, it's presumably an exercise in mopping up the stragglers who fancy some GTA-style openworld driving n' shootin' shenanigans on the Wii in the absence of the real thing. Fair enough, then.
Heart of Glass
With the Nintendo Wii version of Driver: Parallel Lines due out on 30th March, the development team in Barcelona has been explaining how the controls work in detail.
Atari has agreed to sell the Driver franchise and most of developer Reflections' assets to Ubisoft in a deal worth EUR 19 million.
Variety reckons that Roger Avary is to write and direct a film based on Driver.
It's a dark and stormy night in Newcastle. Somewhere in the bowels of a development house, improbably broad hoses are being fitted to a giant iron casket full of amniotic fluid.
A suitably dramatic number of lightning strikes illuminate a man in a big coat leaping from panel to hose to casket and back again, checking dials and cranking things with a big, I dunno, crank (Mary Shelley did this all so much better).
After a final circuit, he walks purposefully toward some machinery on the wall, turns, looks up at his creation, and yanks a lever downward. Sparks fly. Eels swirl. And then nothing. Nothing at all. He turns away.
Atari has released a whole bunch of new trailers for Driver: Parallel Lines, and they're now available for your viewing pleasure on the Eurogamer TV beta site.
Parallel Lines is the fourth instalment in the Driver series, and it might just be a return to form with a bit of luck. The first half of the game, which is set in 1970s New York, puts you in the shoes of TK, a naughty young scamp with some seriously dangerous driving habits.
TK finds himself caught up in the underground crime scene and next thing you know he's facing 28 years in the nick. Cue the start of the second half of the game, which takes place after TK's release in 2006 and sees him taking to the streets to settle old scores.
I've just walked into what appears to be Atari UK's boardroom in Hammersmith, where I'm going to spend over three hours playing Driver: Parallel Lines. Something's been on my mind the whole way along the District Line to get here, and surprisingly enough given the carriage I ended up in, it's not Twitchy The Tramp's Special Odours.
Atari UK's denied that Driver: Parallel Lines is on its way to PSP.
Atari and Reflections have announced a few more details of Driver: Parallel Lines, which is due out on PlayStation 2 and Xbox this spring.
Studio manager Gareth Edmondson promises a new storyline "full of twists and surprises". One of those, the dev reveals, is that the fourth Driver game is split between hero TK's antics as an 18-year-old in 1970s New York and his later life - a 28-year jail sentence later - in the present day.
As previously reported from our time watching Edmondson play through some of the '70s section, Parallel Lines could be something of a return to the satisfying mission-based driving form of the very first game, with less out-of-the-car stuff and a lot of side missions that you can go off and do - although it will allow players to modify cars.
Yellow lines. To drivers they say, "stop and you're in trouble". They're the only things on the road I can easily respect! And while my knowledge of symbols is about as advanced as my plan for world domination (current status: I'll do it later), we can probably all infer something from this: I have no idea what the road markings are like in Driver 4. Gareth Edmonson, demoing, simply didn't stop long enough for me to get a good look. The only yellow lines in Driver 4 are the big fat ones that make up the back-to-back l's in the "Parallel Lines" logo. To me they say, "no parking". Apt.
Some fresh information about the next instalment of Driver has been divulged by Germany's Official PlayStation 2 Magazine.
Ah, the Driver series. How we loved the first game. How we sort of liked the second one, even though the on-foot bits were rubbish. How we wept when we played the third, shaking our fists at the sky and crying, �WHY?� whilst filled with loathing for everything from the rubbish physics to the impossibly hard missions to the stupid, stupid �3� in the middle of the title.
But still, it did go on to sell several billion copies - so it should come as no surprise that Atari is developing a fourth instalment in the series for PC, PS2 and Xbox.
It's being developed by Reflections Interactive, the same studio behind the previous games - but someone else will be in charge this time, since founder and MD Martin Edmondson resigned after the Driv3r fiasco.