Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Driver : Parallel Lines (Wii) Review

More than a year after its release on the PS2 and Xbox, Wii owners finally get a chance to take part in some Remote-ified Driver-ing (making new words is fun), courtesy of Ubisoft. Not much money would be awarded for guessing how the transition went, considering the amount of PS2 ports the Wii has already or has yet to receive, but could this be the one to break the mould...?

The simple answer is 'no'. Ubisoft, who swore their love of Nintendo's shiny white box late last year, took the Driver name from Atari - who consequently seemed happy to focus all of their efforts on their latest blockbuster, Space Invaders Revolution - and told the world that they'd reinvigorate the series, breathing new life into a genre that was basically dominated by Grand Theft Auto. The last-generation version of Parallel Lines on the Xbox and PS2 was lauded for the major improvements over its predecessor, Driv3r, which certainly failed to impress. However, fast forward to 2007, where Scarface and The Godfather are already available for Wii, and you'd be forgiven for saying that the series' 4th instalment might not stand as much of a chance.

Screenshot for Driver : Parallel Lines on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The story isn't too complex, and follows the ups and downs of TK, a driver (believe it or not) that builds up his reputation by doing jobs for clients, taking down people that pose a threat and escorting people who can lend a hand. The themes present are ever so slightly worn out nowadays, with drugs, crime and girls taking the forefront of the subject matter, but this is understandable, as any sort of unnecessary 'innovation' would probably ruin the distinctly gritty aura of the game. These events are then played out through missions handed to you by characters throughout the game world. The problem with these missions is that they never seem to be very complex or interesting. Most of the time, you'll simply have to drive to a certain place, steal something, escape a police chase, and then deliver the item somewhere else. Of course, there is deviation within mission types, and you'll never have to carry out the exact same task, but it all seem a little too shallow.

Following a rather unexpected plot turn, TK ends up in 2006 and has to rebuild his status by carrying out missions that seem very familiar, modified with a different guise and newer cars. As the game takes place in New York City, the locale in which you are able to tear the streets is rather large, and kudos must go to the developers for having avoided any slowdown when the screen gets pretty crowded. This 'sensation' is, again, let down by slightly shoddy textures that wouldn't look out of place on an earlier PS2 game. But then you remember, this is a port, and as such, the general mentality is that anything is technically acceptable, which of course, isn't true.

Screenshot for Driver : Parallel Lines on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The main flaws of the game lie in how generic it appears. As mentioned before, the game world is certainly vast, but while Nintendo has never tried to market the Wii on its graphical prowess, and there is enough textural detail there to be able to distinguish between the road and the sky, it still falls short. Also, some of the core gameplay mechanics seem broken. Driving, for example, which plays a rather significant part in the story, is managed by the nunchuck only, and makes voyaging through the streets of NY feel a little wonky. Add on the tilt-sensing handbraking, which you cannot turn off, and any slight changes to the angle of your hand make the driving feel even more broken.

It's a sad story when a game tells you that it is a port and then tries to be something else, and unfortunately, the Wiimote controls feel a little bit tacked on too. The light-gun type shooting is ever present, but the sensitivity cannot be directly manipulated, so you'll have your pointer right at the edge of the screen for a good second longer than you really want it there before you're able to shoot the buggers who are trying to tear your head off with a gun twice the size of your hairstyle (which is aptly 70s-ish). Of course, this isn't very satisfying, and whilst you'd eventually get used to the sensitivity, it only reminds you that you're playing a non-Wiimote game with the functions added on afterwards.

Screenshot for Driver : Parallel Lines on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Of course, for a game entitled “Driver”, you'd be allowed to assume that cars played a rather large part in the game, and you'd be right. The back of the game box tells you that you have “over 80 customisable vehicles at your disposal” and this is rather true. To add to this slight awesomeness, the level of customisation available is rather immense, and rivals that of the Need for Speed series (even though fire-breathing dragon decals weren't as popular in 1976). This will come as great news to automobile fanatics, but even then, not much duress is placed upon this aspect – i.e., the missions take priority. Seeing as the game is set in an open world, there are diversions available if the idea of missions just doesn't float your boat every so often, but these diversions are limited to races and generally just getting in trouble with the cops. These side 'missions' don't greatly lengthen the game, but at least give it a bit of variety when you are getting bored of the usual drug heist stuff.

Lastly, and maybe more positively, the soundtrack in the game is rather fitting, and contains plenty of music from artists of the time like The Temptations and David Bowie. The cars' engines don't tend to sound particularly distinctive, but you'll definitely know whether you're driving a truck or a humble auto, and with the vast range of vehicles available, this is more than acceptable. Altogether, passable presentation and a robust, if not shallow storyline, create a Driver game that doesn't offend, but certainly doesn't warrant excessive praise. Whilst pre-release shots of the game showed plenty of promise, this has turned out to be a mediocre port that only really gains kudos for its soundtrack and the sheer depth of customisation for the vehicles available. It certainly isn't awful, but it could be so much better.

Screenshot for Driver : Parallel Lines on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


Crippled by the sub-par driving controls and a lack of sensitivity-changing options, the gameplay's only real shining element is the fact that you can drive cars at all. Shooting whilst driving is more rewarding, but often unnecessary, as you'll find yourself getting out of the car anyway. The on-foot sections aren't anything special too, which is quite a shame.


It is clear that this department wasn't focused on too much, and whilst the aim of the game probably never was to showcase the Wii's graphics chip, it all seems a bit poorly done. Textures are mainly low-res and NPC models lower still, but at least you can tell where you are driving. Almost.


A slightly stronger aspect of the game, with a decent soundtrack and satisfying engine sounds, marred only by the fact that the VO work is a little bit cheesy at times.


32 missions take up the main portion of the game, and with the side 'quests', you won't finish this game in a day, but with its clunkiness, would you want to finish it at all?

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


About this score

Driver has come a long way since its release on the PSOne in 1999, and whilst some of the game mechanics could certainly please a number of people – it is hard to forget that the Wii is just being used here as a port machine. If you're looking for high octane racing thrills, you might want to check out some of the other games in the Wii's growing library, and if you're determined to have a go at some good ol' Remote-ified Driver-ing anyway, this is probably only worth a rental.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (12 Votes)

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Another nice review Ben. :Smilie Real shame about this one, it showed some initial promise. Oh well...

Driver is not about running round the streets shooting at people. If I recall the first two games were all about your driving skill at avoiding the cops, chasing criminals etc, hence the name Driver.

They need to remember that, they'll never make it sell like GTA no matter what they do, so may as well put it back to being a decent game.

Driver 2 was the best in the series in my mind, it just blew me away went I played it. It all went down hill from then.

Yeah I must say I've never really liked racing games (Not realistic ones anyway) and yet I found the original Driver games really fun. Something about outsmarting whoever's chasing you and finding the best route to wherever you're going just made it feel infinitely better than any racing game.

I haven't played anything later than Driver 2 but from looking at it it just looks like they've tried to make it a GTA clone... And it hasn't really worked too well as far as I can see unfortunately. The fact that the driving controls are apparently 'sub-par' is evidence enough that they've completely forgotten what the game's supposed to focus on. If there was one thing about the game that was exceptional it should have been the driving...

Still a proud member of the 'omfg amazing water in games' society

I enjoyed playing Driver 1, but from there, the series went downhill.

You should use different screenshots as those are misleading, the game doesnt look nearly as good as the ones you've shown.

-Have you any idea what it's like to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?

This is an over harsh review, driver is a very enjoyable game and the graphics are good.

The controls work very well after about 10 minutes of getting use to the hand brake turns on the nunchuck.

I would recommend this game to anybody really

My Wii Code - 2986 1627 6438 2084

Thanks, Daniel.


twitter: @bensoutham

I personly really liked this game but I still say its like playing GTA oh well.

please whatch these and PM me if you think they was funny.
1.Metal Gear Awesome
2.Ultimate shodown of Ultimate Destiny
3.Legend of Awesome

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