Driver Renegade Review
My first impressions of Driver Renegade really didn’t leave me with anything to be impressed by whatsoever.
Driver Renegade comes across as a poor attempt at a handheld Driver game. It is a pure arcade style racing title with a good amount of game modes. By far a more arcade style than realistic style as it is a pure arcade game. It has familiarities to what you might know about the Driver series, but it’s execution is poor. The driving in the game feels alright, but the handling isn’t the best. You feel like you are almost always drifting to the left or right and its just unnatural. You use the L and R buttons to quick shift over to the left or right side which is mostly used for doing “side attacks” on opponents. Also, one of my biggest complaints is that you can’t look through a rearview mirror to see what’s behind you. Multiple times when playing in rampage races I wanted to see behind me to hit those cars. So instead, I just blindly backed up and hoped that I would hit one of them and this would sometimes work out ok.
I played Driver on the hard setting as it is more my type of game and thought I would be given a good challenge. Well, let’s just say I double checked the settings to see if I indeed was playing it on hard. I’m not saying that the game isn’t challenging though. There are moments of when it will test you, and those are the best moments this game has to offer. Of course if you don’t race a good race you will also have to play it again until you finish first. There will also be times where you will need to learn the course before you will be able to beat it. However, it just feels too easy most of the time, though it does pick up as you progress in which ever mode you decide to play in.
Driver Renegade has a good amount of modes for you to play in as well. Of course you have story mode which has 20 fairly quick missions for you to play. You play as the character known as Tanner. He comes across as a pretty “blah” character in this game and the voice acting is not that good. Plus, while playing a mission in certain circumstances he will have something to say during the race about the bad guys. These quick voice clips get way repetitive very quickly. I’m not one to knack on swearing, but you know when it’s overly used and it becomes just ridiculous. Adding that with the quick voice clips by Tanner and it’s just stupidly silly. The storyline for the game isn’t that great either and feels like it was quickly pieced together just to have something in there. Nothing to get excited about at all.
Driver Renegade also has career mode which includes different types of modes to play in. These modes include Freedom Racing, Time Attack, Rampage, Demolition Run, Killing Road, Afterburner and Elimination. Each mode has 12 missions for you to complete, so there is plenty to keep you busy here. These modes can be fun as well though. As I was saying before, most will seem pretty easy until you get to the last few missions of each mode. As you play through, the game will level you up as you collect points for winning. You will also have an opportunity to unlock an additional 50 vehicles. Having all of these modes is what makes the game a little more worth it. It’s still not the best gameplay out there, but it keeps you hooked just enough.
Some key information within these modes is that each of the vehicles has different attributes. As you would expect, you will have cars more suitable for different styles of game modes. Within each race you will take damage and sometimes you will need to find one of the few designated points to replenish your health. Sometimes this is difficult to do, especially with rampage mode as you try to destroy other cars within a time limit. You will need a tough vehicle or you will need to be quick about hitting one of those points to regain your health and then get back into the race. When destroying an enemy it’s simply by making strong contact with the car or just rubbing up alongside their car as you race.
Visually the game looks alright. For the main story missions they use a comic style feel for it that looks decent in regular view and in 3D. As for the racing, everything seems pretty plain and boxy. This meaning that it is nothing too impressive at all and the 3D effects aren’t the most impressive either. However, the game’s soundtrack is fairly decent and not too bad. You can select what you want to listen to during each of the races in career mode. You can pick a song, a station genre, or have it play randomly.
Some final notes to make are to point out that the AI in this game can be pretty darn bad. For example, in one of the story missions you are trying to make a getaway and it is way to easy to lose the cars. However, when you lose the car it respawns the car immediately right behind you. So there is no point in trying to lose them, as you should just get to your destination. There are quite a few ways to really speak negatively of this title. It is not the best game by far, although I still had moments of enjoyment with it. The career mode is where I had the most fun and it does support streetpass for recording your stats in your career mode.
My enjoyment level with this title is a mixed bag, but mostly on the negative side. Since I still enjoy racing and arcade style racers and I of course love to do damage and run into things, I still had moments of enjoyment with this title. This is a game you shouldn’t expect too much from if you do purchase it. If you go into this game with low expectations you will most likely find some good moments with it. Again, it’s not horrible it’s just not of good quality and feels like a poor effort that sadly got the Driver name slapped on it.