Driver 2 expands on Driver's 3-D, free-roam structure, as well as adding the ability of the character, Tanner, to step out of his car to explore on foot and commandeer other vehicles. The story missions are played separately from the "Take-a-Ride", mode where the player can explore the cities on his own time.
Missions in the game are generally vehicle-oriented, and involve trailing witnesses, ramming cars and escaping from gangsters or cops. A cutscene is shown prior to almost every mission to help advance the storyline, and thus the game plays rather like a Hollywood-style car chase movie. Although Tanner can leave his car and interact with certain elements of the environment, all violence takes place during pre-rendered scenes.
While the original PlayStation version offered a two-player split screen play, the Game Boy Advance version introduced a four player link option.
Driver 2 includes four cities which are notably larger than the original game. The cities are Chicago and Havana (which are both immediately open for "Take-a-Ride", mode), Las Vegas (which can only be accessed once missions are complete for the first two cities), and Rio de Janeiro (only accessible after completing the Las Vegas missions).The cities all have secret cars hidden within them, which become available once the player finds the hidden areas where each car is located and approaches the respective vehicle to unlock it. The cities include many of their respective landmarks, such as the Navy Pier and Wrigley Field in Chicago, the Havana's Plaza de la Revolución and El Capitolio, recreations of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, and the Corcovado and some other known landmarks of Rio.
The story in Driver 2 follows Tanner, an undercover police officer, and his partner, Tobias Jones, as they track a man named Pink Lenny. Lenny is portrayed as a weasel in the intro, where he is in the Red River Bar bragging to a Brazilian about scaring somebody with his handgun. 'You shoulda seen the look on this guy's face', Lenny tells the Brazilian. Then a couple of real hoods walk in and shoot everyone in the bar, while Lenny cowers and prays in the back by the pool table. Lenny escapes out the back door and the chase is on. Lenny is a former money man for a gang lord named Solomon Caine, but has sided with Caine's rival, a Brazilian gangster dubbed Alvaro Vasquez. Gang wars are erupting in Chicago, and Tanner must find Lenny before the violence boils over. The game features a cold blooded hood named Jericho, with his twin sawed-offs.
- Surveillance Tip Off
- Chase the Witness
- Train Pursuit
- Tailing the Drop
- Escape to the Safe House
- Chase the Intruder
- Caine's Compound
- Leaving Chicago
- Follow Up the Lead
- Hijack the Truck
- Stop the Truck
- Find the Clue
- Escape to Ferry
- To the Docks
- Back to Jones
- Tail Jericho
- Pursue Jericho
- Escape the Brazilians
- Casino Getaway
- Beat the Train
- Car Bomb
- Car Bomb Getaway
- Bank Job
- Steal the Ambulance
- Stake Out
- Steal the Keys
- C4 Deal
- Destroy the Yard
- Bus Crash
- Steal the Cop Car
- Caine's Cash
- Save Jones
- Boat Jump
- Jones in Trouble
- Chase the Gunman
- Lenny Escaping
- Pink Lenny Gets Caught
Development & port Edit
The game was first released on the PlayStation video game console and was later ported to Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, titled as Driver 2: Advance. Because the game was so long, and the cutscene's animations were somewhat advanced for that of the PlayStation era, the game was released on two discs. The first disc contained data for the first two cities, and the second disc contained data for the last two cities.
Driver 2 was very similar to the first Driver, with the major difference being that you can exit your vehicle. When you exit your vehicle, you are able to steal any vehicle, unless it is an occupied cop car. You are confined to your car when the police are chasing you though. The maps also were not all located in the United States for the first time. You could chose Havana and Rio de Janeiro. The maps were substantially larger as well. Driver 2 expands on Driver's 3-D, free-roam structure. It also was able to generate more cars than Driver, a total of eight vehicles in each location are playable.
Background music Edit
Background music for each city seems to match both with the car-chasing movie music and the predominant music styles of each city, for example, Havana BGM seems to be influenced by the Son cubano, Vegas BGM sounds with influences of North America's Western music and Rio BGM is influenced by samba and bossa nova.
In the first game, when you lose the cops, the chase music continues playing. In Driver 2, when you lose the cops, the music changes back to the usual background music.
It has also been noted that one of the background themes for the Chicago missions is a note-for-note copy of Tekken 3's Paul Phoenix theme.
Cars in the levels themselves have approximately 5 or 6 seconds of looped music, in Chicago it is Rock/Electro Beat style and in Vegas it is Drum & Bass.
The licensed songs featured in the game are given below:
- "Sitting Here Alone" by Hound Dog Taylor- The opening scene of the game at the Red River bar.
- "Help Me" by Sonny Boy Williamson- Tanner arrives back at his apartment and confronts Jericho.
- "Fever" by The Dust Junkies- The first cutscene in Las Vegas with the trucks pulling into the gas station.
- "In The Basement" by Etta James- in a bar in Las Vegas where Tanner and Jones shoot pool.
- "Requiem" (the Lacrimosa part) by Mozart- The climactic scene in Rio at the base of the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
- "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition- Plays over the end credits of the game.
A member of the Driver Madness community has created a lossless unofficial soundtrack, available for download.
Reception of the game was mixed. Some felt it expanded on the original Driver and contained enough fresh content to be a worthy sequel, with GameSpot concluding "Driver 2 is an extraordinary game". Others felt this was not enough of an upgrade, or lambasted the graphics (particularly the framerate) and almost constant slowdown whenever the action on the screen got too busy.