The Story mode is light on interesting exposition, and the incredibly hammy dialogue and voice acting are executed with absolutely no subtlety whatsoever. Brief motion comics highlight the paper-thin narrative, and its justifications for throwing you into missions are poorly conceived. Tanner himself, who has been relatively stoic in the past, is inexplicably transformed into an archetypal tough guy who shamefully spouts a small selection of bad one-liners and puns ad nauseam. The game desperately tries to appear edgy with gratuitous swearing; and there are embarrassing attempts at titillation via the introduction of a sultry female character, but all of its efforts are awkwardly juvenile. It also takes no more than three hours to get through the story's 20 missions, although the game actually runs out of tricks by about half that length. There's a separate Career mode as well, which allows you to compete in specific events pulled from the main game, including time trials and eliminator races. However, it's essentially the same content without the shoddy narrative in between, so you won't feel much desire to carry on playing past the fleeting Story mode. While you can use StreetPass to exchange scores and records, multiplayer of any kind is a no-show--not even local play is included.
While they're nice to look at, the motion comics illustrate a poorly conceived story.
The polygonal city you ride and smash around in is a hollow and vaguely open-world map with a noticeable lack of life on the surrounding streets. Every inch of the city feels empty on a drastic scale: Traffic is extremely light and the absence of everyday citizens galloping from the path of your speeding car seems strangely at odds with the conventions of the series. It also doesn't help that everything looks so washed out and jagged. Plus, the shoddy use of stereoscopic 3D adds nothing to the visuals--it's much more comfortable to play with the slider turned all the way down. On the plus side, the soundtrack is tolerable and the menus are generally well produced; in fact, they are arguably the most impressive aspect of the entire game.
From its overwhelming repetition to its tepid attempts to be cool and irreverent, Driver: Renegade 3D is a game that fails to create an action-driving hybrid that is even remotely engaging. Its solid driving mechanics have been squandered on a game that is far too boring, and the end result is a product that feels consistently rough and flawed in every way.