Released in June 1999, Driver was unique for modeling its stages on actual cities such as Miami and San Francisco. As officer Tanner, you go undercover to earn the trust of mob bosses so you can eventually apprehend them. Soon after Driver was released, there were a couple of complaints against it; people claimed it was too difficult, and many of the missions were simple "drive from point A to point B" affairs.
Category note: PC and Playstation are separate categories due to bizarre, unexplainable timing differences.
Runs on the Playstation version.
Runs on the PC version.
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1:48:22 by Sean 'ZhouTai' MacDonald on 2007-01-05, done in 5 segments.
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I'm sure a better run can be done, but probably only by a few minutes.
Note: The in game timer seems to run really slowly, so don't go by it.
A relatively easy segment except for Bust out Jean Paul, with wide open areas and so many trees and poles to get stuck on. I think I got the Interview part to as fast as can be done.
This was the hardest segment to do, mainly because the first two missions have a finish point that is inside a small walled off area that only has a tiny rear entrance. It allows so much time for a cop to be randomly placed nearby and will prolong the mission.
This segment went smoothly, only 4 missions with mainly straight paths or around the same area.
New York has the more complex missions, like multiple parts, several ramming, and an endurance run. I was actually able to get two ramming missions on the first try in the same segment. The Accident was about as fast as I could imagine a ramming being done. But those two ramming missions were easier than the alternate path, The Rescue, which is a ridiculously hard mission.
Ah, the infamous President's Run. Most people think it's a random act to make it all the way to the end, but there is something to it. Your car is a tank, very durable but also much slower and less nimble than the FBI and cop cars coming at you. With cars coming straight at you, it's easy to dodge by faking left then going right. With cars coming from behind, just align yourself up with the car and it should push you straight forward. Roadblocks you can just go upon the sidewalk for, or can ram through one of the gaps. It does get very hard at the end with nightfall and the rain, like driving blindly on ice.
PC version easy difficulty 1:04:16 by Aleš Horák, done in 13 segments appended to five files (one per chapter).
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I made this run mainly because I was a bit disapointed by ZhouTai's PS run.
He made a lot of mistakes, the capture quality is bad and as I've discovered when finishing my run, the timing is completely wrong. You see, I couldn't believe I am one minute faster in each part of "The Maddox Hit" even though our videos looks almost identical. Then I did some more digging and found out this issue happens mostly in LA and NY. Notice his fps are much lower than in Miami or Frisco. Thus I think the lower his fps, the slower the game was captured, so even if I am over one hour faster, it's actually "only" about 20 minutes.
There are many differencies between both versions. Basically only the core is same, everything else is changed or different, ranging from hud, missions, cars to graphics, music, difficulty and some more.
I've tried to patch the game, but none worked, then I found out my game is somewhat easier than the one I was playing couple years ago. I am 100% sure there were mobs cars in The President's Run going from side roads, but as you can see there are nowhere to be found. Even the strategy guide mentions it. So I guess the game is already patched since I have a bundle version from a magazine.
Driver engine has a 50fps limit, so there's no reason to go higher, it would only make the video look choppy. I used Fraps to record 640x480 with 4xAA and 50fps. My PC can handle 800x600 too, but all menus are in 640x480, so it would just complicate the recording and video processing. I had to use CD in drive to play the music, because I wasn't able to make it work with daemon tools, so you'll see a lag once in a while. I had to turn off FMV's as they doesn't work for me in the game, but they do work when playing them in windows. Strange. The engine sounds are somewhat bad even though I have Audigy soundcard. I remember playing Driver at my other friend's, who just bought a new computer with proper SB Live! and the sound was way better. Or maybe I'm mistaken, it was many years ago.
Driver consists of 44 missions, but you only have to accomplish half with one exception, when you can choose whether you fail or win. You pick mission branches via the answering machine in a hotel room, that also serves as a save checkpoint. The problem is, that you usually have to accomplish 2-4 missions in a row in order to save the game, but sometimes it lets you save just after one mission. The whole "campaign" has an Interview, which is probably the hardest tutorial ever created, and 4 cities: Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. LA is the worst and hardest one, but it only has 4 missions, Miami is the biggest with wide streets and almost no traffic, Frisco is the most dangerous due to many hills, tight streets and many obstacles and finally New York is a mix of all.
The biggest problem was definitely a traffic. The rules are simple, game spawns a random amount of traffic with random behaviour on random position except the very beginning of each mission, when the traffic has always (almost) a same position, but different behaviour. Same goes for cops, but they also act by your felony meter and a difficulty, which only matters for police by the way, not for the missions, damage or so.
This run is on Easy and just a 2 minutes under one hour mark. I tried Hard difficulty afterwards, but I couldn't finish "Steal a Cop Car", "The Maddox Hit" was really tough and "The President's Run" as well. I could easily finish all other missions, because you mostly have a plenty spare time, so you don't have to pick any tail, but then every mission was 10-30 seconds slower, so I wouldn't make it under one hour. Most of the missions can be done without any felony at all.
Back to the police - the bigger the difficulty, the more agressive, faster, durable and better they are. Luckily they are still quite stupid, so just a quick slalom between a cars and they usually crash. Some missions requires to loose a cop that spawns right at the end, which is very annoying, but sometimes you get lucky and he just doesn't spawn there. It wasn't possible in "The Casino Job" though. Several missions have "blind" areas before a checkpoint, where cops will stop chasing you no matter what you do.
As far as I know, there are no shortcuts whatsoever, except the obvious ones like driving across the park, so it's only about picking the fastest mission branch and go with the fastest route. There are also no tricks, although you can pick higher speed (1-4 mph) when driving diagonally and you may think it would be faster to drive zig-zag on straight roads, but it isn't since you cover more distance. Top speed for all your cars is 87 mph, except the ramming missions and a "Superfly Drive", where your car has a top speed of 113mph.
This is a very hard tutorial for newbies, but it's quite easy when you master it like everything in Driver. It went very good, though I crashed a column bit and the 360 turn didn't end up very well either. I wonder what is the world record as 29.5 seconds seems to be the best a human can do. There's a small shortcut as you've surely noticed, you can skip one column when doing slalom.
-The Bank Job:
First mission, but not quite easiest. The beginning is very simple, just drive to the bank and wait for 0:14:98 at the mark. You can't trigger it earlier, so the crash before doesn't do a thing to the final time. Second part is a bit more complicated as there is usually a cop waiting for you by the lock up. Of course, I could be only satisfied if he don't spawn there.
I always had to avoid being tailed at the beginning, because there would always be a cop waiting at the mark. Another cop is waiting at the end, luckily he wasnt's there this time.
-The Clean Up:
Got really lucky with the first part when a cop rams into me right before a traffic, but I got bounced off the concrete railing. The second part was done as my fastest time.
-Tanner meets Rufus:
I'm very happy with this one. Could be faster, but not much.
-Bust Out Jean Paul:
The only mission, when I'm not sure whether it's faster to destroy the van and continue on your own or ram him almost at the end and then continue on your own. ZhouTai did this mission the first way since he has it way easier, but driving with felony on the very narrow "Alton Road" is quite a suicide on PC, so I've rejected that and rather took the second way with straight road.
The first ZhouTai's bad choose. This mission is a huge fun, you have a baby that can go up to 113mph, but it's very fragile. Head to head crash at high speed equals total destruction.
-Take Out Di'Angio's Car:
Every ram mission has a 3 different routes and this one is the best, because it's mostly on straight road. You don't have much chances at corners, because opponent's cars have always much better handling and acceleration. Unfortunately, you can't apply a blocking trick like I do at the very end since the street is very wide and he would easily spin me.
I take shortcuts over parks, so no rush is needed. You can't finish the mission before 0:14:96 anyway.
-The Casino Job:
OK, where is that third mission from Miami ? It's this one. This is the only case, when you can't save when travelling between cities. I've decided to split this segment, so it matches the one video per each city rule. If SDA decided otherwise, then just forget this paragraph. Anyway, first part is one of the easiest in the whole game. You have a really lot of time to get to the casino and again you can't trigger the cutscene faster than 0:14:98. I used some time to horn a very known melody, I don't even know why I did that. Second part is much harder, but only if you decide to get a felony. First turn is quite dangerous, I've tried many ways to do it, but always failed ramming to traffic, so brakes and cautiousness was the best way. The end went quite bad. I haven't had an attempt with a cop not spawnning by the lock up, therefore I just drive around to avoid him.
-Guns in the Trunk:
Second ZhouTai's bad choose. I'm very happy with the first part, the turn by the big crossroad went as perfect as it could. The second part was a huge pile of luck. Every cheated mob car and traffic went exactly as I wanted to and the final time below 2 minutes proves it, there is no way to do it faster.
You have to scare a guy, unfortunately he's kinda random thus it can take from 22 to 29 seconds, I got 26:94 which is a good one.
-Cosy to the Chopper:
First part - my fastest time ever. Second part - perfect except one almost a big crash situation.
-The Mercy Mission:
The most frustrating mission ever as it consists of 4 parts total and you have to be careful about your car, because the damage stays for the entire mission. First part is also done in my best time as well as second and third part. The fourth part has a several flaws at the end, starting with a really stupid crash at the big park. It hapenned, because I always focus on a spot, where that brown sedan rides to see whether there is a space to slip through instead of driving around him. It probably cost me 2-3 seconds. There's also a bad crash to green car before the last booth, but since I've done all the missions and parts just perfect, I decided to let this go.
-The Set Up:
ZhouTai choosed "The Hyde Street Pick Up", which is faster than "The Set Up", but only on PS. First part has some really stupid traffic and the underground garage, where I did a small mistake. Second part is again my best time ever by 3 seconds !. There are just too many problematic things to make this one perfect.
-Tanner and Slater:
I wish these rammings would be as easy as on PS. I have to ram Slater 3 or 4 times more than ZhouTai, yet I'm 20 seconds faster.
-Steal a Cop Car:
Another ZhouTai's wrong choose. This mission is easy, but there is always a cop at the end and you have quite a slim chance to loose him without losing much time. It usually takes to drive around the whole building and loose 30 seconds.
The brown sedan seems to the best car for this and next mission as it's heavy, durable and stable. Chase went as perfect as I could hope for, no other comments needed.
-The Maddox Hit:
The Second hardest mission in the whole game. First and second parts are easy, but the third is really hard. I made it 3 seconds slower than my best time, but as usually the last part of several missions in a row is the hardest one as you can see from the damage I sustained.
-The Test Run:
Easiest mission in game. Lot of time and no cops. This is the fastest time, of course. It seems that I choose the yellow-green sedan instead of the blue one, but I got to the garage by mistake when pressing Forward to choose the right mission. I actually pres Esc to get back, because the blue sedan is a default car, but you can't see it. I'm sorry for that.
-Luther's Heap O'Junk:
A perfect run with basically no mistakes and almost no damage.
I have to drive around the crossroad at the very beginning, because there are always 2 cars that would block the road. Some mistakes can be found, but a very good run I think.
-Trash Granger's Wheels:
I could have trashed his car couple seconds faster, but this is a 4 missions in a row and the last one is the hardest mission, so this is still a very good run.
Probably as fast as you can do on PC.
-The Ali Situation:
This is basically just a bonus mission, because even you fail you still make it to "The President's Run". This mission only changes the final FMV, therefore I destroyed my car as fast as possible to fail the mission and move on to the next one. One more thing, you will have a "Rite of Passage" if you choose "Grand Central Station Switch" instead of "Luther's Heap O'Junk".
-The President's Run:
The hardest mission. Going straight is the most dangerous, but also the fastest. I've never suceeded to do this mission without any slowdown, so 2:36:70 is very very good.
I hope you've enjoyed my run like I've enjoyed making it, although the randomness was sometimes really bad. Thanks for watching and see ya at my other next speedrun.
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