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Jan. 31, 2006
Driver: Parallel Lines - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price

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Helicopter above.
There are few who would dispute that Atari's DRIV3R was a seriously flawed game. Not in terms of storyline, but rather technically with so many glitches you could write a book about it. The game also suffered due to a lack of actual driving, which was what the two previous games focused on. Developers Reflections have heard the cries and are set to release a much more focused, and technically polished title in Driver: Parallel Lines.

Driver: Parallel Lines is an entirely new story with over 40 diverse missions. The first half of the game is set in New York City during the 1970s and centers on TK, an 18 year-old driving prodigy seeking fortune and fame. Gifted, popular and arrogant as hell, TK is one of the best drivers-for-hire in town and is known by everyone, from the pimped-out street hustlers, petty criminals and racer boys to the shadowy crime figures who pay for his skills at the wheel.

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That's the end of the cops.
TK gets involved with a scheming group bent on taking down one of the biggest names in the underground crime scene. With TK as the getaway driver and the crew as back up, nothing could possibly go wrong. However, in a matter of moments, TK's life dramatically changes. No longer is he a free-wheeling hotshot. Instead he has been double crossed and ultimately is imprisoned for 28 years.

Fast forward to 2006 where the action kicks back in, and TK is older, meaner, and hell-bent on settling some serious scores. TK needs to call on every driving trick in his considerable repertoire to tame the over-powered road machines that 2006 presents him. After twenty-plus years in jail, it's time to hit the streets once again.

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Targeting, ermm, something.
One thing the developers are keen to stress is that Driver: Parallel Lines will put the focus back onto the driving in the game. Indeed with a free roaming, load free, New York City, and around 40 missions to complete the game will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours on end. As with many other Reflections titles plenty of emphasis is being place on the vehicle dynamics and physics. Another interesting aspect is that the game will actually incorporate online play for console versions. How this will tie into the game remains to be seen, but it's drool inducing at any rate.

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Collisions on the highway.
Technology wise the game looks impressive with no load times in the game, and a complete vehicle damage system. The game includes 80 drivable vehicles including cars, bikes and trucks, each with authentic physics; features comprehensive vehicle tuning with performance and visual customization.

Time will tell if this fourth game recaptures the spirit and excitement of the originals. Certainly PS2 owners are going to feel pretty burnt by the last game and Reflections have a lot of work to get confidence in the series back. At this stage it looks like Reflections may just do it with Driver: Parallel Lines.