Martin Edmondson, the managing and development director of Reflections Interactive, has today revealed new information on DRIV3R via an official interview released by Atari. The game has been in development at Reflections for more than three years now, and it uses an enhanced version of the physics engine that was used in Stuntman. According to the Edmondson, the physics and dynamics of the game's vehicles have been more or less finished for some time, and the team is currently busy scripting the missions, working on the out-of-car sections, and optimizing code.
DRIV3R will feature around 70 different vehicles for players to take control of, including cars, vans, trucks, bikes, and boats. As we revealed at ECTS earlier this year, DRIV3R will also feature fully articulated trucks. "You can drive around in the cab, and when eventually you find a trailer section, you can couple up," explained Edmondson. "You're then in charge of a full 18-wheel articulated rig--complete with airbrakes and airhorn."
DRIV3R's primary "undercover" mode of play will see players reprising the role of Tanner, who, along with his partner, Tobias Jones, has to infiltrate a gang of car thieves to bring them down. Other gameplay options available will include a survival mode, in which players are pitted against four police vehicles; an option to "take a ride" in any of the game's four cities without having to worry about missions or enemies; and a number of minigames, including quick chases, checkpoint races, and the like. DRIV3R will also feature the same film director options as the previous games in the series--allowing players to create their own action replays using multiple camera angles.
Edmondson has stated that the main difference between DRIV3R and the previous games in the series is that the upcoming game is much more realistic, both in terms of appearance and gameplay. Despite obvious comparisons being drawn with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (one of the four cities in the game is Miami), Edmondson claims that most of the inspiration for DRIV3R has come from movies rather than games, and movie car chases in particular. "The Driver, Bullitt, French Connection, and so on," he explained. "I would say we were influenced more heavily by the older '70s car chases, as most of the more modern chases do not stand up against the classics, with the exception perhaps of Ronin."
DRIV3R is currently scheduled for release on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in spring 2004, with a PC version coming later. For more information on DRIV3R, check out our previous coverage of the game.