Driver 3 (stylized as DRIV3R) is an action-adventure video game, and the third installment in the Driver series, being the sequel to Driver 2. It was developed by Reflections Interactive and published by Atari for PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The console versions were released in June 2004, with the PC version being released nine months later. It was involved in a review scandal which became known as Driv3rgate.
Why It Sucks
- Despite being in development for nearly four years, Atari released the game in an unfinished state to get the game on store shelves before Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, resulting in the game having many bugs and glitches.
- You spend most of the time out of vehicles, which doesn't make sense for a game called Driver, and especially since shooting and guns have been added to the series, in an attempt to copy the Grand Theft Auto series. The next game in the series, Driver: Parallel Lines made the foot roaming less needed but retaining shooting elements.
- On-foot gameplay is dull due to stiff controls and unexciting combat.
- All of Tanner's animations look awkward and extremely stilted.
- Gunplay is very underwhelming, with weak weapon sounds and no feeling of impact.
- Enemies stand in place during combat and wait for quite some time before shooting you, making on-foot sections incredibly easy.
- The driving AI is also subpar, as enemies aren't smart enough to exit their vehicle and shoot you until they get within a certain distance.
- Physics can be broken at times, as you'll jump off a ramp and land smoothly one minute, and then land on your car's front and crash the next, despite landing at the same angle as last time.
- It's unclear what you can and cannot drive through, and it can range from unusual (I can drive through that wall? Okay, then...) to confusing (What do you mean light posts are invincible?).
- The cities featured in the game (Miami, Nice, and Istanbul) are wasted because the story is a linear, mission-based mode. There's also a complete loss of things to do in the game's "Take a Ride" (free-roam) mode aside from killing people, driving around, and messing with the cops. With the exception of finding secret cars after beating the game, which is needed.
- Ugly, glitchy visuals.
- Complete lack of satisfying sound effects (the car's engine doesn't sputter when it's totaled).
- Mixed to bad voice acting, despite having an all star cast (this was also to copy Grand Theft Auto, which also features some celebrities voicing characters).
- The PC version has a terrible default control scheme (who thought the 5 key should be the fire button? The mouse buttons literally have no functions mapped to them unless you configure the controls).
- Confusing plot.
- The cutscenes look good.
- Cars can be fun to drive when the physics are working.
- Car models and damage-modelling look nice.
- The soundtrack is pretty good.
The console versions of Driver 3 received mixed reviews, with a Metacritic score of 60 for the Xbox version and 58 for the PlayStation 2 version. The PC version, meanwhile, received mainly negative reviews, with a Metascore of 41. The game garnered controversy after it was realized Atari had paid Future plc to give both console versions a 9 out of 10. This led to gamers accusing Atari of false advertising and the incident was dubbed "Driv3rgate".