"Driv3rgate" saga rumbles on.
Absolutely the hottest topic of
discussion among videogames magazine readers over the last couple of
weeks has been the story of "Driv3rgate", in which two UK games mags
published by The Future Network (PSM2 and Xbox World) stand accused
of giving undeserved high review scores to Atari's abysmal,
half-finished atrocity of a game
Driv3r, in order to secure exclusive
reviews and/or advertising spend from Atari. Literally dozens of
news and gaming sites have picked up on the story, and Future,
Atari, and marketing company Babel Media have all been trying to
suppress it with increasing desperation.
Babel, for example, have hurriedly
removed the references on their corporate website to their
previously openly-admitted tactic (local
copy, highlighting added by WoS) of infiltrating gaming forums with
"shills" promoting particular games while pretending to be ordinary
members of the public. A thread on Future's "GamesRadar" forum
revealing two Babel employees caught in the act of doing that very
thing was deleted by the forum's staff on groundless allegations of
"libel" which was supposedly contained in the thread. And now the
thread on the same forum about the offending reviews themselves,
which spanned over 60 pages and had hundreds of replies and tens of
thousands of views, has gone the same way, as have all subsequent
Driv3r threads and any raising the issue of the deletion.
What is it that Future, Atari and
Babel don't want people to know? Hmmm.
Fortunately, most of the thread,
including the posts where PSM2 staff freely admitted to reviewing
the game in an unfinished state in order to obtain the exclusive,
was saved by your reporter in case of just this eventuality. (Only
the first 42 pages, sadly, because your reporter's forum account was
banned without warning or explanation by Future, leaving the forum
inaccessible even for viewing, before he could complete the task. However, everything
of any major significance in the thread had already been said by
then - the comments from XBW's Deputy Editor, for example, are on
Page 8.) It can be found below.
The pages of the thread are saved in
MHT format, which is inconveniently large, but was the only way the
pages could be retrieved in a readable state. MHT pages should
display automatically in your browser if you're using Internet
Explorer - other browsers will require some sort of viewing prog. You'll have to either click
the links below individually, or manually change the page name in
your browser's address bar, in order to move from page to page -
obviously, the links on the pages themselves refer to the address of
the pages on the Future server, which no longer exist.
World Of Stuart invokes public interest against any claims of
THE LOST POSTS
All other threads
on the GamesRadar forums connected in any way to Driv3rgate have
been, and continue to be, deleted by the forum administrators, and
unfortunately were not saved beforehand by anyone (as far as is
currently known). However, below is the rescued text of the first
post in a deleted thread from the forum entitled:
ATARI PEOPLE INFILTRATE
GAMESRADAR!!! This is an absolute outrage!!!
The thread was posted by "Eighthours",
a moderator on the forum who is not an employee of The Future
Network and who had been vocally critical of Driv3r. The posters
called "kingchopper" and "billywigs" are two members of the
GamesRadar forum who had joined shortly before, and had made posts
exclusively concerned with and in support of Driv3r - their
quoted comments are their responses to earlier posters in a
different Driv3r thread, who had criticised the game strongly. As a
moderator of the forum, "Eighthours" was able to trace the IP
addresses of the two posters and identify them as originating from
This is an absolute outrage!!!
Babel Media website:
Babel is one of the world's leading providers of
specialist services to the games and interactive
entertainment industries. These include localisation, QA,
porting and creative services. Clients include many of
the largest international games publishers such as
Microsoft, Nintendo, Atari, Activision, Sony, THQ,
Codemasters, BBC, Eidos, Acclaim, Empire and Konami and
interactive television companies such as BSkyB.
This is where the IP
addresses of billywigs and Kingchopper originate from.
You complete and utter disgraces!!!
By the way, for those people who don't understand what has
taken place, here are the 2 members' valuable contributions to
GR since joining......surprisingly they're all about Driv3r.
Got me my copy on release day!
Still going strong for me, I'm quite suprised that some
people find the controls hard or the out of car stuff
awkward, for me, I find it all quite well balanced.
And there is nothing quite like diving out of a car
while still moving then quickly dragging another guy out
Superfast car switching lol
I just need to stay sat in one car long enough to finish
the missions hehe
hey shellshock, think you are being a bit harsh?
deserves more than 5/10 surely? How far through the game
have you played? I haven't actually come accross any
major glitches, just the odd graphics screw up! IMHO it
should be more like 8/10. Purely cos its so much fun..
don't think it's slightly wrong to keep comparing gta
and driv3r? driv3r is a different game. imho it's more
fun. Also a couple of people have complained about the
controls. I've only played the ps2 version and on that
the controls are almost the same as every other
driving/fps game, where you move the camera around to
change direction with one analog stick and then have
forward/back/strafe on the other stick...
yeah right, it is too tempting to keep swapping cars all
the time.. still haven't driven the forklift everyone's
going on about..sounds cool
eighthour-. I have to reply to your completely negative
review. What type of gamer are you really? Cos I think
that some of your comments are unfounded. I saw this cos
I am really enjoying the game and the moment, I've been
playing it every day for hours since I got it (four days
You are saying that this is Atari's AAA release but it
doesn't live up to expectations.. I say this does live
up to expectations. Cars handling is fun, missions are
definately not poorly designed, I think they are pretty
inventive... this is just for starters.
What exactly were you expecting? A Virtual Reality style
Atari headset optimised specially for the game, bundled
with it? Photo-realistic graphics? (not yet possible)
Smell-generator as an add-on?(for realistic burning
rubber smell when you screech away!) I think maybe you
are expecting too much of the current generation of
consoles. In my opinion this game ROCKS!
The thread continued for several
pages, with "kingchopper" and "billywigs" first denying all
allegations, then finally admitting that they were employees of
Babel Media, but denying that they had any connection to Driv3r or
were promoting it as part of their employment - they claimed
instead that they worked in a separate part of the company and were
merely posting innocently to the thread because they enjoyed the
game. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the forum readership was
unconvinced, and the two posters soon disappeared from view. Along
with the entire thread, and all other mentions of Driv3r on the
GamesRadar forums. Should WoS manage to retrieve any of the other
content, it will be posted here.