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Driver 2: Back on the Streets (named Driver 2: The Wheelman is Back in North America, not be confused with The Wheelman is Back - Codename: Sailor V (1993) made by Caroline Software Inc.) is the sequel to the 1st Driver game in the series.

Driver 2 PAL Logo

Overview[]

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 in their 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 two-player split-screen play, the Game Boy Advance version introduced a four-player link option.

Cities[]

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.

Driver 2 - EU Box Art

Plot[]

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 character known as Jericho walks in and shoots everyone in the bar, while Lenny hides by the pool table. Lenny decides or make a run for the back door and Jericho tries to shoot him as he escapes but misses him.

Lenny is a former money man for a gang leader named Solomon Caine, but has now sided with Caine's rival, a Brazilian gangster named Alvaro Vasquez.

Chicago[]

Tanner, his partner Tobias Jones and a police chief are then towering over the body of the Brazilian that was talking to Lenny that was shot by Jericho, on a medical table, noting the tattoos are that of the gang belonging to Alvaro Vasquez but mentioning that they aren’t even sure that there is any such person and that he could be just a name. The other detective mentioned that there was a witness to the shooting who seen Lenny talking to the Brazilian. The witness escapes, the police chief thinks he knows much than what he said about “Pink Lenny” the police chief orders Tanner and Jones to go undercover to find the witness.

Tanner receives a call from Jones saying that he’s found the witness and for Tanner to get there before he escapes. Tanner then jumps in Jones‘ car to chase the witness across Chicago but the witness escapes onto the train, Tanner and Jones then rush to stay with the train and catch the witness when the train gets to the platform.

Tanner and Jones interrogate the witness, Jones punches him in the stomach as the witness doesn’t want to talk. Tanner and Jones then learn that Lenny worked for Solomon Caine in Chicago and in Las Vegas and that the dead guy is confirmed Brazilian. The witness then goes on to tell Tanner how Lenny let slip the Brazilians are making a drop of “something hot” at 10am the next day.

Lenny is then taken by a figure in the shadow at his apartment as he’s trying to leave, Tanner and Jones then has to tail the Brazilian to a nearby Warehouse, where the drop off is made. Tanner and Jones open the wood crates where they find Passports and legal documents shipped over from Cuba. The police turn up and Jones and Tanner split up to escape the police.

Tanner arrives at a flat and gets the keys from the unnamed woman at front desk, he goes to the room that he finds the door already open, approaches with a gun to find a seemingly empty room, Jericho was hiding and attacks Tanner from behind. Tanner after coming around to a punch in the face, he chases Jericho to Solomon Caine’s compound.

Caine introduces himself ”I’m Solomon Caine, you’ll wish you never met me.” He wants Tanner to tell him what they found out about Lenny but he stays silent and calls Jericho to get rid of him. Jericho walks Tanner away with a gun in his back, Tanner risks it and elbows Jericho in the face to escape the compound.

Tanner reunites with Jones and they race across Chicago on a stormy night, chased by Brazilian gang members as they attempt to get to the train out of the city.

On the train they talk about word on the street about Lenny ditching Caine and making a deal with Vasquez. Jones says if they don’t find Lenny, Caine and Vasquez are going to square up. Tanner says Lenny needs protection from Caine and Vasquez is the only one to do that. Tanner should follow the Cuba lead and go to Havana.

Havana[]

Tanner and Jones arrive in Havana and get a lead after asking around. They tail the lead and enter the building and hide behind the vent where they find Lenny shredding papers. Lenny was saying that all trucks have to leave in 48 hours but his associate says there’s not enough time. Lenny gets angry and mentioned that the associate can be replaced and tells the associate to leave with his men with Rosanna Soto - a boat. The vent where Tanner and Jones are hiding falls forward making a noise but Lenny couldn’t see Tanner and Jones so goes on to say that Vasquez said he was getting him out.

Jones goes to find out leads whereas Tanner chases the first truck while being chased himself by as escort car to the truck. Tanner steals the truck and takes it to the lockup, again being chased by gang members. Jones tells Tanner of another truck that’s full of explosives that needs to be captured. Tanner has to capture this truck avoiding being hit by the bombs being dropped from the back.

Jones gets another lead where he finds out there are 4 cars where 1 has a file that explains what Rosanna Soto is. Tanner has to destroy all 4 to find the file where he now sees a picture of a woman and finds out that Rosanna Soto is a boat. The police are now looking for Tanner and he has to jump to the ferry to avoid the police. Tanner arrives at another port of Havana where he now drives to the docks to follow up the clue found in the 4 cars about Rosanna Soto but it has now left the docks. He heads to try and get information about the boat where he is met by hostility but tells Tanner it’s headed for San Diego - meaning Vegas.

Tanner gets to Jones where he has found Jericho. They tail him to a big building where Jericho kills some gang members in the building and then leaves, Tanner then chases after him to bring him to a halt.

After stopping Jericho, Tanner binds his hands interrogates him on what he knows. Tanner then says they’re going to pay Caine a visit, warning Brazilians are coming and that they’ll want to deal with Jericho so Tanner drives Jericho away to escape from them by getting to Tanners lock up.

Las Vegas[]

Tanner and Jones along with Jericho meet up with Caine and says they want to join and find Lenny in exchange for Jericho back with Jones coming up with the story that Lenny stole 100,000 from them. Tanner is now working for Caine and picks up his gang from a casino to take them to a safe house.

Vasquez has put a member of Caine’s gang in the truck/boot of a car on a bridge on the train tracks.Tanner saves him by beating the train to the bridge and driving the other car to safety. Vasquez sends a car bomb to Caine but Tanner drives it back to Vasquez and into the entrance of Vasquez’s Casio. Tanner escapes back to the safe house.

Jericho and his driver are surrounded by police at a bank after their car overturned, Tanner rushes to their aid to get Jericho out to the safe house.

One of Caine’s men is in the back of an ambulance followed by the police, he wants Tanner to steal the ambulance to get Caine’s driver.

Tanner and Jones enjoy a game of snooker, Jones says that his cover is solid as Vegas police think that Jones is working for Vasquez, Jones is then taken to the airport by Tanner but they are staked out by the Vegas police so they have a chase on the way. Tanner then attempts to get keys for Vasquez's yard where all Vasquez’s gas, guns and ammo are stored by chasing and destroying a vehicle which had the keys. Tanner then goes and makes a deal for some C4 explosives but the police knew and where outside the parking lot the deal was being made at but Tanner escaped.

Tanner then goes to the yard with the obtained C4 in order to destroy all of Vasquez's materials and trucks. Caine, Jericho and one of their men captured a member of Vasquez’s gang to find out where Vasquez and gang member tells Caine that Vasquez and Lenny are in Rio.

Rio De Janeiro[]

Caine and Jericho pay Jones a visit in Rio with patience wearing thin, asks where Lenny is but Jones says they are moving Lenny around. Caine says Jones better not be wasting his time. Jones responds with information that Vasquez is watching the docks and the airport everyday until Caine arrives which Jones says that he wants Caine to explain that to him.

Tanner takes an armoured bus to Vasquez’s yard to destroy a number of his cars. Vasquez moves his cash and Caine instructs Tanner to steal a cop car in order to stop the limo and steal the cash from the mansion. Tanner is then chased away by Brazilians. Tanner has to destroy a green car in order to save Jones from a hitman that was assigned to get rid of Jones. Tanner then meets with Jones and they now agree there is something more than just Lenny between Caine and Vasquez. Tanner is now worried that Jones‘ cover is now very thin and wants Jones out before the cover is blown, Jones thinks the he will get the details of where Vasquez is moving Lenny, Tanner says to Jones that his face is tripping too many wires and tells Jones that they can get someone new in to keep him safe so he can come out. Jones isn’t happy with this and asks Tanner for more time. Tanner gives Jones 48 hours.

Caine instructs Tanner to destroy a boat with Vazquez’s hardware on it before it leaves. Tanner does this with more of the C4 from the earlier deal. He then jumps back to the docks in the car as the boat had began to depart. Escaping back to land, the boat explodes.

Jones, in haste, calls Tanner from the water tower exclaiming that there is a chopper coming for Lenny at the forte and asks Tanner to act quick as if they lose Lenny now, they may lose him for good.

Vasquez is now onto Jones, Tanner goes to save him but on arrival he finds a wrecked office with Jones laying face down on the floor and what looks like vomit from a bin on the table. Shots are then fired at Tanner through the window.

Tanner returns fire but the gun man escapes, Jones isn’t dead but tells Tanner to go after the gun man who try’s to escape. Tanner brings him to a stop.

Tanner calls Caine to tell them that they are moving Lenny by helicopter from the forte. Caine tells Tanner to take backup but Tanner is reluctant but is then told again to take backup In the form of Jericho. Tanner collects Jericho and with speed, they race to where the helicopter is departing.

As Tanner and Jericho arrive the helicopter has already began to take off, they both shoot at it, causing damage to the helicopter. Tanner turns on Jericho, turning the gun to him, telling him to put his sawn-offs down. Jericho does so and Tanner steals his car, saying he needs Lenny more than Caine does and takes off to chase the helicopter that’s about to go down, while being chased by Brazilian gang members.

The helicopter goes down and Lenny somehow survives, crawling out from the wreckage. Tanner arrived and kicks the gun away from Lenny and punches him after explaining to Lenny that he is wanted by a lot of people.

Tanner takes him and flies with him back to Chicago and hands him over to the police chief. The chief asks about whats happened with Caine and Vasquez, but Tanner replies that it took him a long time to figure out. Back in Rio, Caine and Vasquez are seen shaking hands, they were working together to deal with Lenny.

Tanner leaves the airport in his car where he drives through Chicago, he is followed by an unknown car and the credits roll.

Missions[]

Chicago[]

  • Surveillance Tip Off
  • Chase the Witness
  • Train Pursuit
  • Tailing the Drop
  • Escape to the Safe House
  • Chase the Intruder
  • Caine's Compound
  • Leaving Chicago

Havana[]

  • 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

Las Vegas[]

  • 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

Rio de Janeiro[]

  • 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

The GameBoy Advance port only had missions from Chicago and Rio de Janeiro due to the limitations compared to the PlayStation.

List of GameBoy Advance Missions

Chicago[]

  • Surveillance Tip-off
  • Chase the Witness
  • Stop the Witness
  • Tailing the Drop
  • Escape to the Safe House
  • Chase the Intruder
  • Chauffeur the Wise Guys
  • Return to Sender
  • Stop the Van
  • Take out the Escort
  • Damage Control
  • Find the Clue
  • Escape from the Cops
  • Caine's Cash
  • To the Docks

Rio de Janeiro

  • Van Crash
  • Locate the Stash
  • C4 Deal
  • Destroy the Weapons
  • Botched Hit
  • Steal the Ambulance
  • Save Jones
  • Steal a Cop Car
  • Car Bomb
  • Jones in Trouble
  • Chase the Gunman
  • Get Jones to the Hospital
  • Tail the Limo
  • Apprehend Lenny
  • Get out of Town

Development & port[]

The game was first released on the PlayStation video game console and was later ported to Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, branded as Driver 2: Advance. Because the game was so long and the cutscenes animations were somewhat advanced for that of the PlayStation era, the game was released on two discs. Each of the discs contain data such as game-cutscenes, maps and vehicles for two of the cities (Chicago and Havana, and Las Vegas and Rio, respectively). An Sega Dreamcast version was announced, according to the official Sega Dreamcast magazine Issue 16, but nothing ever materialized after the announcement.

Improvements[]

Driver 2 contains various similarities to its predecessor, with the major difference being that the player is now able to exit their vehicle. The player must be at a complete stop to do so, and cannot leave the current vehicle while taking part in a police pursuit. Once on-foot, the player can navigate the city or commandeer other civilian vehicles and parked cop cars (it is not possible to enter police cruisers driving around the cities) if they feel their current vehicle is too damaged, or want to reset the felony bar.

Handling was also revised. The player no longer has the option to turn off/on the auto-handbrake feature, and cars no longer take continuous damage by being constantly rammed, now each individual hit counts towards the damage bar (there are some exceptions).

The maps in Driver 2 were greatly improved in comparison to the first game: not only are they substantially larger, but the design of the cities' grids are more realistic, with more changes in elevation, curved roads and complex highway layouts. For the first time in the series, two of the maps available take place outside the United States: Havana, and Rio de Janeiro. As its predecessor, there are various landmarks around each of the four cities, most of which are accessible to the player either by foot or in a vehicle.

Driver 2 expands on Driver's 3-D free roam structure both technically (allowing more cars to be generated at a certain time) and gameplay-related features, such as points of interest and collectables in the form of vehicles and cheat codes.

Background music[]

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 has a striking similarity to that of Tekken 3's Paul Phoenix theme, but that's mostly due to the fact both songs use samples from the same source (for instance, the guitar sample comes from the Zero-G - Funk Guitar library).

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[]

PlayStation Reception[]

Reviewer Score Comment
GameSpot 8.2 / 10 Driver 2 is a great sequel
IGN 5.0 / 10 Go get the first one, it's a better game
Official UK PlayStation Magazine 10.0 / 10 One of the best games ever
PSX Extreme 5.2 / 10 Driver 2 is just a plain disgrace

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.

Gallery[]

Video[]

Games Driver  · Driver 2  · Driv3r  · Parallel Lines  · San Francisco  · 76  · Renegade 3D  · Speedboat Paradise  · Vegas  · L.A. Undercover
Characters Bishop  · Jericho  · Tanner  · Pink Lenny  · Solomon Caine  · The Kid  · Tobias Jones
Other Media Driver: Nemesis novel
Driver: You Are the Wheelman
Driver 2
Driv3r
Driver: Parallel Lines
Characters Bishop  · Candy  · Corrigan  · Maria  · Ray Davies  · Slink  · The Mexican  · The Kid  · Roost
Driver: San Francisco
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