DRIV3R may have slipped into Atari's next financial quarter, and wiped a chunk off the publisher's share price, but in the end if the promotional juggernaut continues at the pace set by Ridley Scott Associates' first episode of DRIV3R-inspired film short "Run the Gauntlet", then shareholders should have very little to worry about in June.
Although you have to both register to watch it (using a Flash form that doesn't recognise Tab and doesn't like its own drop-down lists, no less) and you have to stream it rather than downloading it as a zip file, unlike the recent trailers, Run the Gauntlet is surprisingly watchable. Good, even...
Sure, it's a pretty tenuous exercise in generating car chases, but then so's the game. It's got just under two minutes to develop a story, and crucially get us into position to watch fast, shiny and expensive people driving chrome monstrosities in circles round clueless cops - throughout the streets of an American city, presumably Miami - and in this case it offers a Gone In 60 Seconds style premise and delivers some explosive pay-off. We're looking forward now to the next two instalments. As far as game trailers go, we're being spoilt silly here, and it's a clear reflection of how much DRIV3R means to Atari (and how much damage it could do to them if it fails).
Who knows how Run the Gauntlet will look in conclusion, but for now Atari has every right to be happy with this little promo. Let's just hope they had the brains to keep RSA on tap for the game's own action sequences.
You can see the first episode of Run the Gauntlet now by signing up at www.driv3r.com.