10 Potentially Great Video Games That Were Dead On Arrival
As the likes of Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior will attest, promoting a game with the promise of burying a famed franchise is inviting trouble. As such when Atari introduced Driv3r as the Grand Theft Auto killer it was only setting itself up for failure. With a plan nothing short of creating a game which could revolutionise open world titles to a point unseen since Grand Theft Auto 3, Atari launched a massive promotional campaign. Hard facts were flashed, citing how Driv3r contained 35,768 separate buildings with 156.14 miles of road, each one detailed right down to the very blinds in windows. Vehicles were now truly built, with everything from mirrors to windshields separately modelled then slotted together for maximum realism. Even Ridley Scott Associates was hired to make a short film introducing the public to the games stylised world of crime. Unfortunately high details and flash graphics mean little when a games enemy AI is downright brain-dead. It was soon discovered police could easily be fooled through a few simple tricks, with some methods being as easy as merely jumping into water. To try and make them compete with the player, enemies could suddenly move cars at twice their normal speed if they were falling behind. This minor tweak made the police effectively inescapable, ruining the classic tension of high speed pursuits by robbing them of any chance to lay low. For all its visual splendour, Driv3r played like something which had been pushed out the door early. Initial sales were solid, but word of mouth and poor reviews quickly harmed the game and it never reached the heights Atari had dreamed of.
A gamer who has played everything from Daikatana to Dwarf Fortress. An obsessive film fanatic valuing everything from The Third Man to Flash Gordon. An addict to tabletop titles, comics and the classics of science fiction, whatever media they are a part of.