Atari Ships Driv3r

Atari has shipped the third installment of Atari’s gritty, crime-fighting Driver video game series for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Driv3r features the voices of Hollywood heavies Michael Madsen (Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Mission Impossible) and Mickey Rourke (9-1/2 Weeks, Once Upon a Time in Mexico), as well as tough cookie Michelle Rodriguez (Girl Fight, Blue Crush).

Atari’s Reflections Interactive developed the title to look and feel like an interactive movie that sets players on a high-speed game of cat-and-mouse that winds through such diverse environments as Miami, Florida; Nice, France; and Istanbul, Turkey.

Madsen takes the lead as main character Tanner, the jaw-breaking undercover cop who will stop at nothing to bring down an international car theft syndicate. Rhames provides the voice of Tanner’s hard-nosed partner, Tobias Jones, while Rourke plays Jericho, the sinister leader of the international crime syndicate. Rodriguez rounds out the main cast as Calita, the sexy leader of a Miami car theft ring.

The game also offers players more than 70 controllable vehicles, including motorcycles, boats, police cars, vans, mopeds, muscle cars and fully articulated 18 wheelers, with more than 150 miles of major highways and city streets to drive them on. Furthermore, the graphics engine accommodates massive, photorealistic environments filled with hundreds of destructible objects to be smashed and blasted both in vehicles and on foot.

The Driver franchise’s signature “Film Director” function, which records every move made in the game, allows gamers to place cameras anywhere and direct and save their own Hollywood car chase to memory cards. Xbox players can even upload their homemade films to Xbox Live! for users worldwide to download and view.

Sorrent Inc., a global leader in mobile entertainment, in partnership with Atari, has also shipped Driv3r worldwide for mobile phones. With 16 missions available in Miami, Nice and Istanbul, the mobile phone version features multiple vehicles and gameplay that also unlocks cheat codes for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions.

According to Atari, Driver and Driver 2 have sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. The company is confident that Hollywood-caliber production values and a gripping narrative storyline will make Driv3r a successful follow-up. The game is currently available worldwide with an estimated retail price in North America of $49.95 and an ESRB rating of ‘M’ for Mature. More information on the game can be found at www.atari.com. You can also read about the game in the April issue of Animation Magazine.