I never really got on with the Driver series. The handling of cars, the way they dealt with the “wanted level” and the world itself just never quite clicked with me. Driver: Parallel Lines (DPL) hooked me a little more than the others did, and I think that’s mostly down to the storyline – I was willing to put up with the downsides to find out what happened next.
The story is in two parts. The first follows your character, TK, in 1978 as he becomes a Driver in a crime syndicate, and is betrayed, ending up in prison. The second part is in 2006 as he’s released and plans to bring down those who betrayed him. In the end, I stopped playing a few missions into the second part.
Even though I doubt I’ll ever go back to DPL, there is one section that I will always remember as a “perfect moment” – though to be accurate, it’s not just one moment, but several.
During the first half of the game you drive through, learn and get used to the city as it was in the 1970’s. If you’re like me, and tend to explore a lot, the city becomes an old friend, with roads well worn in your mind.
Roughly 30 years later TK is released from prison, and into a city that’s had 30 years of change.
You walk and drive down streets which are almost hauntingly familiar, and yet have changed enough for cognitive dissonance to set in. Buildings that were mere framework, or less, are now skyscrapers. Buildings you knew have been replaced, or subtly changed.
And then, the old airport you knew, the one that was not much more than a couple of runways and a few sheds, is suddenly a huge International airport, covering more ground than it felt like it ever could have aspired to.
This is the perfect moment that hits again and again as the memories of the old city, and the reality of the current city clash with each corner you turn. It’s this kind of feeling, this kind of emotion that I wish more games could capture.
In the grand scheme of the game, it’s relatively minor, but for me it really was The Perfect Moment.