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Developer: BAM! Entertainment | Publisher: BAM! Entertainment
Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 03/30/02 | Genre: Driving

Let's just be honest, who wouldn't want the opportunity to go 200+ mph. while driving down the highway? It would be a pretty sweet feeling, wouldn't it? Well, thanks to the folks at Bam Entertainment you can now reach speeds of over 200 mph on the FIRST true racing game available for the Nintendo Gamecube. First of all let me set up the story for you: Motor racing sensation Jimmy Bly is having a tough season. He's begun to crack under pressure and his team is losing points. Step in, Joe Tanto, seasoned racing veteran, scarred by a terrible accident from seasons ago. Can Tanto come to terms with his past in order to help fix Bly's future in time? Does the story sound a little familiar? Well don't worry you aren't going crazy... this game is based on last year's movie of the same name starring Sly Stallone. But fear not, this isn't just another movie-to-video game. Bam Entertainment takes part of the movie (for the story-based mission... but we'll get to that later), plus adds multiplayer racing with Arcade racing to create a really unique game!

The name of the game in any racing game is the amount of features and how it looks. We'll get to the graphics in a bit but for now, let's talk about the features. We start off with the different drivers. There are twelve drivers to choose from, each with distinct personalities and driving styles. And what about courses? There are eight tracks, from sunny "Angel's Bay" in California, to the picturesque countryside of "Manley Par"' in England, to the cityscape of New York.

And of course, as I briefly mentioned before, there are three different modes. My personal favorite is the Story Mode. This mode is well, umm... the mode where you follow along with the STORY (duh...). In Story Mode you may unlock additional cars and tracks and while driving in Story Mode you will experience Team Racing. This is where you can experience two different driver perspectives: a blocker and a racer for pole position. You must defend the rank of your teammate to ensure success for the team or race for the checked flag to guarantee victory.

But let us not forget the most important thing about racecar games...spectacular crash sequences! At 200 mph., the results of driver error are dramatic and costly (and VERY cool-looking.) which leads us right into our next sectionִhe graphics! As you can see from the screenshots this is a very good-looking game. And you fans of comic books will be sure to love the Story Mode which appears like an old school comic straight out of the Sunday paper! But as you race the cars (and especially the backgrounds) look very good.

What's a good looking game without great sound though? Well, don't worry your little lead foot about it, because Driven has you covered there, too--with a great original soundtrack. Not to mention the cool voiceover work by Eric Meyers, Greg Proops, and the man himself, Sylvester Stallone!

If you are looking for a stroll in the park, this game isn't for you. This is one tough game that will frustrate you; you won't beat this game in one day. And you might even need to buy a race car helmet to wear while playing it, just in case you find yourself trying to bang your head against the wall when not finishing in the top three! This is a fun and fast-paced game. If you own a Nintendo Gamecube and you are looking for a little excitement, you should really pick this one up! It will keep you playing for a long time (this game really does get addictive.) Also, if you are a fan of those arcade-racing games, I really think you will enjoy this one, too! And with a rating of T for Teen for Mild Language, this is one you can play with the family! Oh, and I almost forgot--the trailer for the motion picture, Driven, is on the game so be sure to check that out. It's very cool, too.

By Chris "Hoss" Neupert - 04/29/02
ESRB Details: Mild Language

Screenshots for Driven

Console Watch 2002: Xbox

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