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Driver: Parallel Lines (also known as Driver PL or Driver 4) is the fourth installment to the Driver series. It was released on four gaming platforms, with the Xbox and PS2 being released first, on March 14th 2006 (March 17th in Europe), then the Wii and PC on June 26th 2007 (June 26th 2006 in Europe).
Driver: Parallel Lines takes place in New York, and is the first game to take place in two eras - 1978 era and 2006 era. The player is able to take both on-foot and in car game-play to the next level with its new physics and techniques. The game received a better view by its fans, but some said it needs to regain its original abilities in the past games, and fix its many texture issues, as well as make the game mostly accessible, rather than blocking off unnecessary areas, that could be fun to discover.
The game takes place in a rendition of New York and is a mostly open world environment. It takes on vehicles to drive, and the world to discover. As well as the main missions required to complete the game, there are also mini-game missions, that can be completed to unlock bonus features like cars, money and even special abilities.
As well as the main features, tiny features like destroying cars, killing with head-shots, destroying of props (eg, lamps, fences and fire hydrants.). These features that are only present in some past Driver games make the game quick and effective, and add detail to events captured by the players eye, making the world busy and fully interactive.
The game does not feature an indicator of time, although does feature a realistic time cycle. According to the game files, two minutes of real-life time represents an hour of game time, meaning it would take 48 real-time minutes to cycle an entire day in the game. There is no weather pattern, although realistic sunrise and sunset effects are represented.
The game is the first in the Driver series to feature customizable cars and features a wide range (almost 100) of vehicles to choose from, with almost all of these being modifiable in some way. Customization options include respraying, bodywork options and engine and performance upgrades. Each car has a set of 4 unique bodywork upgrades to choose from, changing the livery or design of the car.
Vehicles can be found driving on the street, denser in the city, and traffic density can be changed on the PC version of the game. Once a vehicle is stolen, the player can drive it to the nearest Ray's Autos garage, where they can store the vehicle. From here, options including repairing the vehicle, removing vehicle felony (if obtained), and testing the vehicle around the garage's test track can be selected. Vehicles stored in the garage are sorted into categories relevant to the vehicle's style, for example 4-door, 2-door, commercial, utility, and motorcycles.
Driver: Parallel Lines features a selection of weapons available, varying from handguns, shotguns, rifles and explosive weapons. The era-change feature means the 1978 era features older weapons, whereas the 2006 introduces new weapons, and weapons that are meant to replace the 1978 counterparts.
Weapons are unlocked through the story line. Some weapons, like the LI-15, RPG, and Grenade Launcher, are unlocked when they are used in the missions, whereas others are unlocked from the beginning of the era. TK first learns to use weapons in the mission Gunman. After the mission, he is given a Revolver with infinite ammo. In the 2006 era, he gains the Pistol as his first weapon, which also has infinite ammo.
Unlike vehicles, weapons cannot be used in the opposite era; a 2006 era weapon cannot be used nor found in the 1978 era, and vice versa. Weapon ammo can be purchased at the Garage.
The game features a wide array of characters who are discovered throughout the story. The main protagonist the plays as is of course Terry Kidumms, who has his best friend Ray Davies by his side right from the beginning of the game, and according to the introduction, since 1976. TK gets involved with work for Slink, who in turn introduces him to his "crew", himself, The Mexican, Bishop, and Candy, lead by Corrigan. Each of these characters has different roles in this crew and get TK involved in crime.
When the game shifts to the 2006 era, TK turns on his crew since they manipulated him and used him as a scapegoat. This way, he finds Maria, who had her hate for Corrigan, the murder of her father, for years. She wants as much revenge as TK does.
The game is set in a Ubisoft-interpretation of New York. The setting renders the famous boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and New Jersey. The game's limitations mean the iconic grid street layout of Manhattan is made more complex with no obvious sign of a pattern. The most famous landmarks, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building are all modeled in-game.
A unique feature of the game is its two-era feature, where the player experiences the story-line throughout two different eras, both very different from each other.
The 1978 era, played from the start of the game, is mostly simulated for the love of classic cars, classic rock and funk music, as well as the iconic New York skyline. Character models are modeled with typical 70's clothing, such as flare pants and shades.
The 2006 era is reached half way through the story-line, and is a dramatic change. TK returns as a much older - 28 years older - gentleman seeking revenge. Cars are now mostly modern models, though 1978 models can still appear on the streets. The skyline isn't changed much, though construction sites featured in the 1978 era are now mostly completed high-rise buildings, and the most notable change of the skyline is the lack of the World Trade Center due to the real like 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks. Characters change as well, with Corrigan now being chief of police, and Slink being a professional porn-shop owner and dealer.
The story-line features 31 missions, which follow a certain storyboard. Unlike the previous installments, the main character is more of a criminal than an FBI agent like the well-known John Tanner found in the past three Driver games. In the first cutscene of the game, TK, the main protagonist, is introduced to the player:
Terry Kidumms (or, as called in gameplay, ‘TK’ or ‘The Kid’) is an eighteen-year-old ‘country boy’ who grew up on an American farm. Despite this, ‘home was too slow and too dull for him’. As soon as TK could get the money together, the first place he headed was New York City. It’s the place where he plans to live the American Dream using the one marketable skill he’s got – driving. TK’s best friend Ray came to New York in 1975 at the age of twenty and set up a repair shop in Queens as cover for a car-ringing outfit, where he since then made a living fixing cars and doing tune-ups. It was Ray who taught TK to drive when they were still at the farm. After TK moves into New York, Ray introduces TK to his friend Slink, the owner of several strip clubs throughout the city and a local drug dealer. During this meeting, TK has to prove himself by showing off his driving skills. After the second meeting with Slink, TK decides he wants to get deeper into the criminal world and becomes Slinks wheelman. Later on, Slink teaches TK how to use firearms so he can ‘handle himself’ whenever he gets in a ‘situation’. With this expertise, TK does various jobs for Slink.
After TK has proved himself to Slink, Slink gets TK in contact with another criminal, The Mexican. At first, The Mexican believes TK is too young to serve as his driver, but then he changes his mind and lets TK prove himself by competing against The Mexican's old driver in a motorcycle race. After TK wins the race, he does various jobs for The Mexican as well.
The next morning, when TK awakes, another member of the gang, Bishop, is standing in his apartment. Bishop makes it clear he knows Slink and says he has been sent by his boss Corrigan. Bishop needs TK to get Candy out of the prison of Riker’s Island. TK is instructed to carry out preparation missions for the prison breakout by stealing a Prison Van in order to get into the prison and obtaining information from one of the security guards. The same security guard also gives TK entry to the prison by opening the first gate. After smashing through a compound wall with a bulldozer and an intense fight with the guards, TK manages to find Candy and escapes the prison complex by a Delivery Van. After getting Candy out of the prison, TK is introduced to the gang featuring Slink, Candy, Bishop, the Mexican and Corrigan:
Eventually, Corrigan comes up with the idea to start a lucrative dealership in drugs, in particular, cocaine, sensing huge potential profit:
However, another drug gang – the Colombians – are already monopolizing the cocaine business in New York. Corrigan plans to scare the gang off by kidnapping their drug lord Rafael Martinez and demanding a ransom. Together, the gang thinks out a detailed plan, with each of the crew member being involved.
Later on, Rafael Martinez, who was doing deals in New Jersey, heads to La Guardia Airport with his convoy to pick up a planeload of cocaine. TK tracks the convoy and detonates a bomb he previously planted in one of the escort cars to get rid of one of the security cars. In order to divert the convoy and lead it to the so-called killing field in Queens, TK plants and detonates several bombs throughout the city. After arriving at the killing field and eliminating the guards assisted by several other gangsters, TK extracts the limo with Rafael Martinez and brings him to a warehouse in Hunts Point. The Colombians thereafter, want their leader back and announce the location of the ransom money; a package on the back of a bike on a multi-story parking garage in Manhattan, near Central Park. TK arrives at the arranged location. The Colombians however, try to stop TK in every way possible. By escaping across the roofs, TK makes it back to the ground, where The Mexican is waiting with a truck. After a dangerous pursuit, TK manages to get the ransom money back to the warehouse where Rafael is tied up.
When he arrives at the warehouse, Corrigan suddenly ‘changes plans’ and kills Rafael Martinez. It turns out TK has been used by the gang as a scapegoat to take the responsibility for the kidnap and murder of Martinez:
After Corrigan attached his police badge, he makes clear that TK will be the scapegoat, and shoots him. TK, surviving his injuries, gets charged with kidnap, extortion, and murder and is sentenced to 28 years in the Sing-Sing prison. TK however, feeling betrayed, wants to take revenge and spends his time in prison by setting up plans for the ultimate retaliation:
After twenty-eight years in prison, TK leaves the prison at the age of forty-six. Both TK and New York appear to be different. TK is not a ‘kid’ anymore and New York breathes a new, modern atmosphere. Under the new facade, however, the city is still as dirty and dangerous as it was in 1978:
All the former gang members have also changed. Slink became a drug producer and a porno director, turning his Harlem club into a film and music studio, a front for a huge drug business. Bishop is now leader of a successful drug-trafficking organization, earning a lot of money dealing heroin. Corrigan became Chief of Police. Only The Mexican dropped down. He had lost his money and the successful criminal life he had in 1978 and became an alcoholic, working in an arcade room in Queens. Being a relatively easy target, TK decides to kill the Mexican first.
Once TK arrives at an arcade room in Queens to eliminate The Mexican, The Mexican manages to escape by train and steps out in Brooklyn. After an intense fight in an abandoned amusement park with several of The Mexicans gunmen, TK manages to kill him. That evening, TK drives past Corrigan's residence in Greenwich Village and drops The Mexicans corpse in front of him to let him know TK is back, seeking revenge against him and the other gang members. Later on, Ray (who helps TK avenging the gang members by setting up plans to hurt their businesses) introduces TK to Maria Cortez, an assistant of Candy. TK uses her for his plans to kill Candy. TK does two jobs for her, involving guarding her and helping her to transport an Antilli VO3 Special to one of Candy’s clients. At the same time, TK impairs the businesses of Slink and Bishop by destroying Slinks porn shops and leading the police to the location of Bishop’s smuggling operations. To bring an end to TK’s intimidation, Bishop arranges a meeting with him to compete against him in a matter of life and death, the last change:
When TK heads to Bishop’s mansion in Edgewater, Bishop can be seen driving a Negotiator, and feels very confident about his situation: ‘Like my new toy? Let’s end this. Man, you never should'a come here!’ Nevertheless, in the following battle TK still manages to destroy his amphibious tank and kill him.
With Slinks porn shops destroyed, TK heads to the Funky Rabbit in Harlem for the real work: to kill Slink. When Slink sees TK, he immediately realizes it was TK who destroyed his shops: ‘Motherfucker! It was you been messing with my shit.’ Slink tries to flee, but after a car chase, TK assassinates him too.
Lastly, TK goes to Candy’s house in Englewood to deal with Candy. When TK meets him there, Candy, still being the perfectionist he’s always been, regrets the choice the gang made in 1978 to let TK live:
Candy tells TK (who is being held at gunpoint by two of Candy’s guards) that it’s time to ‘go back to the seventies for good’:
While Candy leaves, the two guards try to poison TK with a drug overdose. However, TK manages to pull one of the guard’s guns and shoots them both. Because the guards couldn’t finish their action, TK does not receive a lethal dose and steps in a vehicle. With the drugs already taking effect, TK hunts down Candy and kills him.
That evening, TK arrives at his apartment in Hunts Point. In the living room, Corrigan is sitting on a couch with a silenced gun in his hand. Corrigan ‘thanks’ TK for killing the gang members:
TK gets annoyed and tells him that it wasn’t a kidnap but an ordinary assassination and that Corrigan knew that. Then Corrigan changes the subject and tells TK that Ray has been addicted to gambling all his life. Due to his debts, Ray does everything to clear them. It appears that Ray worked together with Corrigan by helping TK to get rid of the others. In return, Corrigan would help Ray getting rid of his debts:
Ray replies by saying that he is ‘no fucking angel’. Corrigan tells him that ‘now's the time to find out.’ Thereon, he raises his gun and kills Ray by shooting him three times in the chest. Then Corrigan points his gun at TK while stating that he ‘should have done this right [getting rid of TK] the first time.’
When Corrigan is about to shoot TK too, suddenly the sound of an unlocking door handle comes from a closet. Corrigan shoots at it a couple of times. However, the person inside the closet fires back. Thereafter a firefight follows, with TK being involved too. After Corrigan manages to flee, the person in the closet appears to be Maria Cortez. She was seeking the assassin of Rafael Martinez (who appears to be her father). Because she suspected TK, she was hiding in his closet to monitor him. She heard the entire conversation, and now knows who killed her father:
Telling that she wants Corrigan dead as much as TK wants, TK and Maria decide to work together to avenge Corrigan.
To let Corrigan know he isn’t as invulnerable as he thinks he is, TK plants and detonates a C4 on his desk at the police headquarter and kills all of his bodyguards at his home in Englewood. Then TK starts taking his final revenge. He heads to Corrigan's safe house in New Jersey. After a heavy fight with his guards, TK can’t manage to kill Corrigan. Corrigan escapes in a helicopter and lures TK into a tunnel in New Jersey. When TK drives into the tunnel, Corrigan gives the command to blow it up. TK however, narrowly manages to survive. After a pursuit through Englewood, TK shoots down Corrigan's helicopter. Both Maria and TK arrive at the wrecked helicopter. Corrigan is still alive. Although TK initially wanted to kill him, Maria suggests TK gives Corrigan to her. She promises TK she will let him suffer more then he will. TK agrees and stands still, while Maria drives away. Realizing that New York is his again, TK’s old smile he used to have in 1978 reappears.
The game received mixed reviews across the platforms it is available on. IGN gave the game a 7.2/10 rating, claiming "It's still not perfect, but it's not broken either." GameSpot gave the same versions 6.5/10 and called it "a competent GTA clone, but far from being recommendable." 1UP.com rated it a C+ and claimed, "Sure, it's derivative as hell, but there's nothing getting in the way of actually enjoying the game now." Eurogamer gave the PS2 version 6/10, stating that "There's not too much shame in trying to do what GTA does, of course (and at least it's not about bloody gang warfare for once), but while this is definitely a solid improvement on its dreadful predecessor, it needed to achieve a basic level of competence and build upon it, and it only does that to a very limited extent."
|Supported OS||Windows® XP/Vista (only)|
|Processor||2 GHz Pentium® IV or AMD Athlon||3.4 GHz Pentium IV or AMD recommended|
|RAM||256 MB||512 MB recommended|
|Video Card||64 MB DirectX® 9.0c compatible supporting Shader Model 1.1||256 MB and SM 2.0 recommended|
|Sound Card||DirectX® 9.0c compatible||EAX support recommended|
|DirectX Version||DirectX® 9.0c or later supporting XInput controllers|
|DVD-ROM||4x DVD-ROM||8x or better recommended|
|Hard Drive Space||4.8 GB|
|Peripherals||Windows keyboard and mouse|
Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:
- NVIDIA® GeForce™ 3/4/5/FX/6/7 families (excluding GeForce 4 MX)
- ATI® Radeon™ 9/X families
Settings & ControlsEdit
The game features numerous settings for controls, video, gameplay and audio. The PC release has many new video setting features allowing the player to choose different shader versions, enable or disable shadows, and adjust the amount of gamma.