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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game has a run-of-the-mill storyline with far more violence than heart, buggy coding, and abysmal gameplay, making it a poor choice for kids in almost every respect. Perhaps the greatest concern, however, is the main character, Tanner. Although he's supposed to be a cop, Tanner spends much of the game on the other side of the law, committing crimes such as stealing cars, driving recklessly, and even killing fellow police officers.
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What's it about?
In DRIV3R, a gang of car thieves plans to steal $20 million worth of exotic cars from Miami and Nice to be delivered to Istanbul. The player stars as an undercover cop named Tanner who will stop at nothing to capture the gang. In order to infiltrate the gang and catch the ringleader, Tanner must play along as part of the gang stealing cars, killing rival gang members, and helping them evade the cops, until the trap is finally sprung.
Missions rotate between driving and on-foot action. At times Tanner may be involved in top-speed chases where the player needs to stick close in order not to lose whoever is being chased. At other times Tanner may need to go through a building on foot, shooting anyone trying to stop him. During most missions Tanner has his own vehicle, but when it becomes too damaged (and it often does) Tanner can \"appropriate\" whatever vehicle is necessary, often by carjacking.
Is it any good?
The gameplay is so poor that it's doubtful anyone will want to play for long. Much of this problem comes from poor coding. Moving Tanner or driving can be frustrating, as graphical quirks prevent fluid motion and cause odd errors. At times the game requires near perfection on the part of the player; every second can mean the difference between winning the level and playing it over again.
The line between the good guys and the bad guys is very blurred -- younger players may not even realize Tanner is a police officer unless they pa close attention to the cut scenes. Although some of the gameplay is open-ended, such as choosing driving routes, the overall plot is scripted, making it next to impossible not to steal, slaughter innocent bystanders, and kill fellow cops to win. The only positive aspect of the game is the incredible detail in the cityscapes and animated cut scenes. But DRIV3R just ends up being a waste of time and money.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.