Driver: Parallel Lines Download
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
The Driver 3 debacle sullied the series so grievously that when Parallel Lines limped out on last-gen consoles over a year ago, it was greeted with almost universal indifference. In truth, it was a marked improvement, bolstered by an extensive period soundtrack (much of which is sadly missing from this belated PC port). That period is New York in 1978, a time of big hair, big trousers and big cars. It's the latter that mainly concerns you, as an up-and-coming getaway driver - adopt movie trailer voice -earning his stripes on the mean streets of The Big Apple.
You can pretty much guess the rest: a GTA-lite affair comprising a variety of automotive missions interspersed with mercifully brief gunplay. While the on-foot sections are a minor step-up from the previous game, hanging out of the car window to shoot your enemies is a fairly haphazard affair.
Driving is where developer Reflections specialise though, and the big-muscle cars handle appropriately, augmented by a selection of bikes, trucks and other vehicles. There's a lucrative racing scene, and an extensive vehicle customisation model, although most of the missions can be completed by nicking a car off the street.
Initially, it seems like you're largely going through the motions, but when you notice that you've clocked up 500 miles you must be doing something right, and it eventually begins to feel like you're playing a proper game. In fact, at its best it feels like you're starring in a 70s car chase movie, doffing its cap to such classics as The French Connection. If you fluff your lines it's fairly unforgiving though, often forcing you to repeat large swathes of a mission. Cruising round NYC listening to the likes of Blondie (from whose seminal album the title is lifted) gives it all a suitably chilled 70s vibe. However, in a significant plot twist, suddenly it's 2006 and you're in a Japanese hatchback being bombarded by angry rap, at which point it starts to feel a bit generic. Still, for 20 quid, it's a half-decent ride while it lasts.