Driver: Parallel Lines

Driver: Parallel Lines
Driver: Parallel Lines
Driver - Parallel Lines Coverart.jpg
The original Atari cover for all regions. Ubisoft's PAL releases use a completely different cover.
Developer(s) Reflections Interactive (now Ubisoft Reflections)
Publisher(s) Atari (PS2, Xbox), Ubisoft (Wii, PC)
Distributor(s) Electronic Arts (South America)
Designer(s) Gareth Edmondson (Reflections Interactive)
Ken Allen (Atari)
Series Driver
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Wii
Release date(s) PlayStation 2
  • NA March 14, 2006
  • EU March 17, 2006
  • AUS March 30, 2006
  • JP October 12, 2006
  • NA March 14, 2006
  • EU March 24, 2006
Microsot Windows & Wii
  • NA June 26, 2007
  • AUS June 28, 2007
  • EU June 29, 2007
Genre(s) Racing, third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Media/distribution Optical disc, Download
System requirements

Supported OS: Windows XP or Vista

  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon (or better)
  • RAM: 256 MB (512 MB recommended)
  • Video Card: 64 MB DirectX 9.0c-compliant supporting Shader Model 1.1
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compliant (or better)
  • DirectX version: DirectX 9.0c or higher
  • DVD-ROM: 4x or faster DVD drive
  • Hard drive space: 4.8GB free hard disk space
  • Peripherals supported: gamepad
  • Supported video cards at time of release

Driver: Parallel Lines is the fourth video game in the Driver series. The game was released on March 2006 on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox by Atari, Wii[2] and Microsoft Windows on June 2007 by Ubisoft.[3]



Diverging from previous Driver games, Parallel Lines takes place in just one city, New York, instead of multiple cities, but in the middle of the story the eras of the city - 1978 and 2006 - are changed. Due to the underwhelming performance of Driv3r, particularly the often-derided on-foot sections, Parallel Lines returns to the formula used in earlier games in the series, focusing on driving, although shooting remains in the game. The game was received better by critics than the last game, though did receive some criticism.[4] This is the first game of the Driver series that does not follow undercover cop Tanner.


Driver: Parallel Lines takes place in an entirely open world environment. Instead of choosing minigames from a menu as in previous Driver titles, minigames are now accessed from the in-game world. Many changes have been made from the previous game, including visible blood when someone is shot, a money system, fully modifiable vehicles, environment destruction (i.e., lamp posts can now be run over and fire hydrants can break, spewing water into the air), and a new felony system that differentiates between personal felony and felony "attached" to vehicles the player has used. If the player attracts police attention on foot or in a certain vehicle and then loses the police and enters a "clean" car, their wanted level will be suspended. It can be reactivated, though, by spending too much time in the sight of a police officer, who will eventually recognize the player as "wanted". The same principle applies to out-of-car activities, such as weapon use, and allows the player to holster a weapon in order to lose police attention until spotted committing illegal acts again. For the Wii version, the felony bar has been replaced with Grand Theft Auto-esque "stars" which light up when the player attracts police attention. Also, swimming and jumping abilities from Driv3r, were removed. The game also featured a new in-car menu on the bottom left hand side which featured a speedometer, a meter showing you how much nitrous oxide was contained in the car and an odometer which showed how many miles the player has driven in-game. The style of the menu changed from 1978 to 2006 from analogue to digital style.

The game was originally intended to include online multiplayer, but this was scrapped when it became apparent to the developers that they could not deliver a strong multiplayer mode[5] and wanted to focus entirely on the single-player portion of the game. The instant replay film director mode of previous Driver games was removed from Parallel Lines. Instead, the only available cinematic mode is the fixed-perspective slow-motion "Thrill Camera".


The control layout differs slightly from Driv3r. There is no option to jump on the game. Also the use of a separate control to do a "burnout" as opposed to accelerating normally with no wheel-slip in vehicles was removed. This was practical on the pressure sensitive buttons of the PS2 controller but meant that if the game was played using a PC keyboard to drive vehicles, that most of them would constantly do a burnout when accelerating at low speeds, reducing control. Also the "Auto-aim" feature, similar to the console versions of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was introduced on all platforms of the game, allowing easier target selection for shooting. A manual aim was also possible on all weapons, which zoomed in the view for greater accuracy.

New York City

The major features of New York's skyline, such as the Empire State Building, are always visible, even from the other boroughs across the river.

The interpretation of New York City in Parallel Lines is not GPS street-accurate like True Crime: New York City's Manhattan. Instead, the game presents a smaller but more stylistic version of the city that includes all the boroughs except Staten Island and parts of the New Jersey shore. The game's Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and New Jersey consists of 222.5 miles (358.1 km) of roadway, larger than the combined total of all three cities (Miami, Nice, and Istanbul) from Driv3r. The game's New York City is also more "life-like" compared to previous games in the series: vendors sell donuts, NPC pedestrians talk rather than simply grunting and screaming, and numerous side jobs (such as taxi driving and car towing) are available. Several things have changed in the game from real-life New York, for example, New York Police Department has simply been dubbed into "City Police". However, the game completely lacks any kind of weather. The only atmospheric changes are the day-to-night cycle.

In 1978, the World Trade Center complex is present, along with New York City's many other landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Times Square, Central Park and the Flatiron Building, in both 1978 and 2006. Furthermore, despite not being built until the 1980s, the World Financial Center is present in both eras opposite the World Trade Center. In Brooklyn, the player can visit Coney Island. Downtown Brooklyn is also present but not accurate to its real-life counter part. The game features all of New York City's major bridges except the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Whitestone Bridge, the Hell Gate Bridge, and the Throgs Neck Bridge. The player can traverse these bridges freely from the start. An elevated portion of the New York City Subway that runs from Manhattan to Coney Island is part of the game world, but the subway system is not accessible to the player as a means of transportation; although trains do run on the above ground railway system.


Both eras included in the game have distinct styles of vehicles, although a few of the 1978-era cars do show up in 2006. The cars stored in the garage from 1978 can be used in the 2006 era and vice-versa. Although based on real automobiles, all vehicles in the game are fictitious, and are given fictitious names.

New to the Driver franchise is the ability to customize, or mod, the player's vehicle. Each vehicle can be upgraded numerous ways in Ray's Garage. Upgrades include custom body and paint jobs, although they are preset, increased engine power, nitrous boosters, bulletproof glass, window film and tunable springs, shocks, ride height, brakes, neon lighting, and downforce. A test track is available to "try out" the upgraded vehicles and making any necessary adjustments.But the upgrades are 10x more expensive in the new era.


The game follows 18-year-old TK, coincidentally referred to as "The Kid", who works as a getaway driver for a New York crime ring in 1978. His childhood friend Ray introduces him to Slink, whom he does low-level work for. He is then introduced to two other prominent gangsters, "The Mexican" and Bishop. Bishop hatches a plan to break an associate, Candy, out of Rikers Island Prison, which TK successfully carries out.

The gangsters form a collective, composed of TK, Slink, Bishop, The Mexican and Candy and led by a corrupt undercover detective, Corrigan. Corrigan's organization wishes to start distributing cocaine in New York City, but a prominent Colombian drug lord Rafael Martinez already has a foothold, so Corrigan plans to have Martinez kidnapped. After Martinez's kidnap and receipt of his ransom money, Corrigan changes the plan and shoots Martinez dead. Figuring that TK is insignificant, Corrigan shoots him at the same time and leaves him to be framed and charged with kidnap and murder. TK is sentenced to 28 years at Sing-Sing.

While at Sing-Sing, TK plans vengeance upon each of the men who betrayed him. He is released in 2006 aged 46 and, with Ray's help, immediately tracks down and kills The Mexican, now a lowly alcoholic hoodrat who works at an arcade. His corpse is thrown out onto the street from TK's car, in front of Corrigan, now the Commissioner of the fictitious "City Police", who immediately recognizes him. Afterwards, he meets Maria, an ally of Candy, who is now a wealthy and prominent gangster. TK does jobs for Maria in the hope of reaching him.

After destroying Slink's pornography and drugs outlets, TK kills Slink in a car-chase. For Bishop, who is now a drugs kingpin, TK disrupts his smuggling operation. Bishop phones TK and offers him a chance to duel one-on-one, but turns up in an army tank armed with explosives. TK succeeds in blowing up the tank and killing Bishop. While on a job for Maria, TK finally gets to meet Candy, but he is quickly apprehended by Candy's henchmen and drugged. TK manages to break free however and kills Candy in a car-chase.

Corrigan then turns up at Ray's garage in Hunt's Point. He reveals that Ray has been working for him, to help TK inadvertently erase all of Corrigan's connections to the 1978 kidnapping, in exchange for money. Corrigan then tries to shoot TK and Ray, but they are saved by Maria who turns up armed. Corrigan escapes and Maria reveals she is actually the daughter of Rafael Martinez, the man Corrigan killed in 1978.

They put a Cop Car with Candy's body in his parking space, blow up his office, Put Slink's body in the trunk of his limo and kill his body guards (Who tried to kill TK before, once with a car bomb in front of Ray's, another with an ambush at the start of Ram Raider. Another ambush for a job with Maria, and when TK tried to escape with Bishop's shipment of rocket launchers.) Maria tells TK that Corrigan is in Witness Protection. TK kills more bodyguards but Corrigan escapes by helicopter. After blowing up a tunnel with TK in it (TK narrowly escaping) he shoots down the chopper. Corrigan survives, but after a while he gives Corrigan to Maria, who wants more revenge than TK.[6]


The game was intentionally set apart from the other Driver games.[7]


Review scores
Publication Score
PC PS2 Xbox Wii C+[8]
Eurogamer 6/10[9]
GameSpot 6.5/10[10]
IGN 7.2/10
Aggregate scores
Metacritic 61/100 69/100 69/100 59/100

The game received mixed reviews. IGN rated it 7.2, praising the return of the series to its roots, and mentioned that "It's still not perfect, but it's not broken either."

Eurogamer gave 6/10 mentioning 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."[9] Gamespot gave it 6.5 calling it a competent GTA clone, but far from being recommendable.[10]


Driver: Parallel Lines features a mixed licensed and original songs soundtrack consisting of over 70 songs, ranging from 1970s-era rock and funk to modern alternative rock and rap songs. The songs play while the player is in a vehicle, as if they were on the radio. Notable groups featured on the soundtrack include Funkadelic, Can, Suicide, The Stranglers, War, Iggy Pop, Blondie, David Bowie, Parliament, The Temptations, Average White Band, Public Enemy, The Roots, TV on the Radio, The Secret Machines, Kaiser Chiefs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem. There are also many made up bands in the soundtrack performing fictitious tracks from the 1970s. All music licensing and ingame compositions was done by Nimrod Productions.

It also must be noted that the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions have the same soundtrack as the other versions but have a few extra songs. This is most likely due to the PC and Wii versions being released by Ubisoft.

Limited Edition

A limited edition version of the game was released along with the regular version. The special edition, costing slightly more, includes an extra DVD containing information about the production of Parallel Lines as well as in-game videos and character profiles. Also included with the limited edition is the official soundtrack, including twelve tracks from the game. The UK version is dubbed "Collectors Edition", and does not contain the DVD, instead only providing the soundtrack CD and a metal case.


  1. ^ Driver: Parallel Lines on Steam
  2. ^ IGN: Driver Skids to Wii
  3. ^ Ubisoft Third Quarter Sales Report, Ubisoft Corporate Website, January 23, 2007
  4. ^ Metacritic score: 69
  5. ^ Douglas C. Perry, Driver Parallel Lines: Progress Report, IGN, January 12, 2006
  6. ^ The Characters of Driver: Parallel Lines, GameSpy, February 21, 2006
  7. ^ Driver: Parallel Lines is not Driver 4 1UP video interview with production manager Gareth Edmondson in which he tells us that Driver: Parallel Lines is not Driver 4.
  8. ^ Sharkey, Scott (2006-03-15). "Driver: Parallel Lines Review". Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  9. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom. "Driver: Parallel Lines // PS2 /// Eurogamer - Games Reviews, News and More". Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "PlayStation 2 Driver: Parallel Lines Review". GameSpot. March 14, 2006. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 

External links

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