by BAM! Entertainment
Games that are based on films are usually poor. Given that Driven was a poor film you might be forgiven for thinking that the game had no chance at all. However, you would be wrong as the game is a good, fast and furious racer that will keep you interested a damn site longer than the film ever could.
The game contains a story mode, an arcade mode and a multiplayer mode. The story mode contains a host of objectives that range from the initial quick lap to full blown races and championships. What is good about these objectives is that they are not just win every race like you would expect. There are situations where you have to block the opposition and protect your team-mate's position. As far as I can remember this is the first attempt at introducing team tactics into a racing game, arcade or simulation. There are scenarios where you have to race through the city streets and it can be really funny trying to avoid the oncoming traffic. The arcade mode lets you select a single race or race in championships. Initially there is only the Euro Championships to race in but the US & World Championships can be unlocked to compete in.
In Driven's story mode you play as Joe Tanto or Jimmy Bly and race for Team Spirit. Jimmy Bly is the 21 year old driver who has let his promising career slip off the rails as he has succumbed to the distractions that the razzmatazz and glamour bring to his profession. Joe Tanto, played by Stallone in the film, is the experienced driver of Team Spirit. Missing out on a championship through injury, Tanto hit the bottle. Now he has to prove that he can still perform as a racing driver.
Driven is, surprisingly, a very solid arcade racer. What makes the game unique is the ability to get in the 'zone'. As you drive and manage to avoid collisions your 'zone' meter fills up. If this meter manages to fill up you have arrived in the 'zone', in other words your concentration has peaked and your steering and speed increase as you temporarily become at one with the car. A bump slip of the road will bring you out of this state and return you to your normal ability.
Graphically the game is up to standard. Driven manages to maintain a good framerate and the illusion of speed is good. Whilst you are in the 'zone' the edges of the screen blur. This is a nice affect and doesn't impair your vision.
The only real niggle I have with the game is that the steering can occasionally feel a little twitchy. This doesn't become apparent on the long bends but when you take a sharp bend the steering just feels too sensitive. Your car will receive damage from collisions and eventually your car will need replacing. When a car is replaced you lose a couple of seconds which are vital, if you where in a good position before the final bump. It would have been better if there had been a damage meter to let you know how badly damaged your car was or better still included pit stops so that you could repair the car if it was unusable.
The game provides text feed back for all the objectives. Before each episode in the story mode there are some pictures of the commentators with thought bubbles etc. In the GameCube version there is speech from the commentators but in the PS2 version there is no speech.
Driven is difficult to classify as an arcade racer in many respects. It lacks the pit stops and the advanced car setups that a simulation has but it requires an excellent knowledge of the tracks in order to succeed and a strict adherence to the racing lane is far more important in Driven than in most simulations that I have played. Overall all fans of Indycar racing and Formula 1 should give Driven a go.
Overall Game Rating: 7.8/10 Overall, Driven is a good single seat racer that fans of Indycar and Formula 1 will enjoy. A fluid framerate and diverse objectives in the story mode along with a good arcade mode make the game good value.
Deaf Gamers comment: The game is fine for deaf gamers. Only little things like Stallone saying 'Gentlemen start you engines' are missing and this doesn't affect the gameplay.