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Driver Renegade 3D

For: 3DS
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Leave in it the driveway

Product: Driver Renegade 3D | Publisher: Ubisoft | Format: 3DS | Genre: Action, Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Driver Renegade 3D 3DS, thumbnail 1
Driver Renegade 3D is the seventh title in the Driver series - a series which, since its early days at least, has largely failed to impress the gaming world.

After the pleasant surprise that was the original Driver back in 1999, the series has dragged along for a decade with mediocre release after mediocre release.

Now Ubisoft is hoping to return the franchise to its briefly held glory with two brand new titles.

Driver: San Francisco
, the new home console release, has received generally respectable reviews, and so we had high hopes for Renegade, the handheld 3DS version.

Alas, 3DS gamers have been given a title that trundles along at approximately the same speed as the rest of the series. There are definite sparks of excitement here and there, but overall it's a rather confused title that doesn't appear to know what it wants to be.

Rebel rebel

You are John Tanner, an ex-cop who has a vendetta against, apparently, everybody else in the world.

Hired by a congressman to eliminate crime on the streets in your own special way, you're thrown into various souped up vehicles and asked to power around the city, smashing through buildings and knocking cars off the road.

The Story mode features 20 missions throughout which you have to race drug-dealers, smash enemy cars, and put his car through brothels. Along the way there are slick cut-scenes with full voice-acting that portays Tanner's plight.

Renegade's city is surprisingly expansive for a handheld title, with a map on the bottom screen showing where you are at all times. Speeding along the roads and highways feels great, and chases are usually a lot of fun.

Get out and walk

If only Ubisoft had used the city to its full potential.

Environments feel lifeless, with barely any cars on the roads and no people walking around at all. This may well be due to the limitations of the console, but it still completely takes the edge off the action. The stereoscopic 3D looks good enough, but it doesn't bring out the best in the city.

This blandness isn't helped by how samey the missions become after an hour of play. It's always 'go from A to B' or 'smash into these things', and we eventually found ourselves hoping for the end to come.

We weren't waiting long, as the Story mode only lasts between two and three hours.

Then there's the hateful character that is Tanner. Never before have we wanted to purposely lose just so that our character ends up crashing and burning.

The cut-scenes aren't too bad, but during the driving sections he constantly shouts abuse at enemies, usually piling on the swear words for good measure.

We're not exactly dainty when it comes to profanity here at Pocket Gamer, but Renegade goes completely over the top, with Tanner bellowing the most ridiculous lines at the silliest moments.

Pull over

Renegade nearly has a silver lining. Nearly.

Apart from the Story mode, there's also Career. This is essentially a cut-down version of console sensation Burnout Paradise, which can only be a good thing.

Presented with a map of the city, you choose races and missions to take part in, and gain XP points as you successful complete them, unlocking more missions.

Taking a leaf straight out of the book of Paradise, during races you can choose whichever direction you want to get there, which imparts a satisfying sense of freedom.

Career mode also gives you an entirely different soundtrack from Story mode, with loads of great tracks from bands we've actually heard of.

Cars unlocked in the Story mode can be used in Career mode to give you an advantage over other drivers, while your best times can be transferred to other players via StreetPass.

The only thing that's missing is multiplayer. With local and online multiplayer thrown into Career mode, Driver Renegade 3D would have been an altogether different proposition.

While we had great fun with the Career mode, it can't make up for the awful Story mode. Unfortunately, Driver Renegade 3D is yet another mediocre entry into the franchise.
Driver Renegade 3D
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 2 September 2011
Driver Renegade 3D has sparks of greatness in its Career mode, but the main Story mode is a disappointing experience
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