98Se was an updated released of Windows 98 operating system, similar to how Windows 95 received updated builds that introduced support for new technologies. (98SE extends it support for Plug and Play, especially with USB devices and shipped with a lot more USB drivers, allowing for these devices to be detected.
Other changes was an updated version of Internet Explorer, DirectX, NetMeeting and Windows Media Player.
For this build (and many others) First issue was actually getting the installer to start, as the DOS bootdisk was unable to see the win98 directory. Attempting to change directory would result in a directory not found error message
The solution was to modify the iso image and amend the win98 folder to WIN98 instead. Easiest way to do this was to use 7ip to extract the contents of the iso image, and then use Imgburn to recreate the iso file.
UltraHLE: An early Nintendo 64 emulator that was capable of high level emulation. This allowed for acceptable framerates of Nintendo 64 games. Whilst it starts up, it will crash the entire emulator when you try to start a game.
QuickTime: Apple’s video and internet streaming application, for streaming video over a network. Also used on multimedia software and is installed automatically with that software
Netscape Communicator: A popular web browser that ultimately lost the first browser war to Internet Explorer
RealPlayer 7: Works but the title bar is glitched out, might be more to do with the PCem emulator or its graphics card (3DFX Voodoo Banshee)
AOL Instant Messenger: Popular in the US, but did not take off in the UK as MSN messenger was more popular here, sadly both died in favor of Whatsapp and Facebook messenger
Winamp: Null soft’s legendary music player capable of playing MP3 files
McAfee: An anti-virus security software, typically found preinstalled on Dell computers and uninstalled after 30 days
Adobe Acrobat Reader: For viewing PDF documents, commonly distributed with other CD-ROM software. I really like the splash screen art from this era of Adobe software.
Nero Burning ROM: A Very popular CD-ROM burning application, sadly PCem does not emulate a CD-R drive.
WinZip 7.0: Popular compression software, its like WinRAR with its user interface but also offers a wizard like interface
Simcity 3000: Works well on this build on Windows, this was the original release that has a different opening movie compared to the later release (Unlimited), the background music has also been revised
Undercover – The main story mode of the game, you complete a set of missions which can range from driving from point A to B within a set amount of time, to escaping or pursuing another car
Take a Ride – Sandbox mode, only two cities are available with the other two being unlocked as you progress through the story.
Driving Games – A set of activities to choose from, Pursuit, Getaway, Cross Town Checkpoint, Trail Blazer, Survival and Dirt Track. Carnage is a mode exclusive to the PC version.
Training – Introduction to the came and the various mechanics and techniques to mastering Driver
There are no two player or multiplayer modes, Driver is a single player game.
The version that most people have played and are familiar with. This was the first version of the game to be released. Main attraction was the sandbox Take a Ride mode where you could drive freely until you caught the attention of the police, who would then proceed to ram you to death.
The game occupies on memory card block per story save, and two blocks for replay data, you can easily fill a memory card with this data, thankfully the game
Thankfully this game runs in full PAL resolution, no top/bottom bars, likely since the studio that developed the game was based in Europe. There is a difference in the logos, with the NTSC version having a altered blue version of the logo with the works ‘You are the wheelman’ which is also present in the games title. The PC version adapts this for both Europe and US markets (Makes sense since the PC isn’t regionalized compared to the PlayStation releases, PAL/NTSC does not exist on PC)
Despite this version running in a higher resolution and a capability of having a higher framerate there are a few drawbacks compared to the PlayStation version. there was also a Mac version, although I believe its very similar to the PC version.
Screenshots here are running on an emulated PC (PCem v17), running an Intel Advanced/ZP with a Overdrive MMX processor with a 3DFX Voodoo Graphics card. The operating system is Windows Me. The graphics here will depend on the 3D video card an API, as 3DFX cards used Glide, the Direct3D version may look different.
Differences between the two
One of the main differences is the background music which was changed in the PC version. Also unlike the PlayStation version, there are no separate themes for when you gain felony, in the PlayStation version the music would change when you attracted the attention of the cops, but the PC version remains the same throughout. As someone who grew up on the PS1 version, it was kind of jarring to play Miami without the familiar theme, and for the game to not change when catching the cops attention.
Comparison screenshots below, the PSX version is running in Duckstation at twice the native resolution (640×480) with bilinear filtering and 2x anti-aliasing enabled. With these enhancements we can try to bring the PSX version up to the PC version, which is running at 640X480 resolution with ultra graphics present.
One thing to mention with the PC version, as with all PC games of the era the game is reliant on using Redbook CD audio for the background music, where the games streams the music from the disc itself, like an audio CD. For this to work you had to have an audio cable connected from the CD drive to the motherboard or soundcard, in addition to the IDE cable. On modern systems (with SATA drive onwards) this is no longer supported, and modern Windows versions / soundcards its no longer possible to stream analogue audio from the CD drive, instead being delivered through the IDE or SATA interface, which this game won’t support. The game itself will still run and you can still hear sound effect like the car engine, but you wont hear any music.
The spawn points are also different for each of the maps/level, again not sure why these were changed
The map layouts were also changed, with some areas being remodelled completely, Dodge Island had a massive change, possibly since it was designed around the PlayStations limitations initially.
The cop radio voices were also changed, with some lines being completely different
A speedometer is present which gives the speed of the players car in miles per hour
The car models themselves had change and I cant say I prefer the PC version of the cards, which are lacking certain details from their textures, the back of the cards look like a blur compared to the PlayStation version.
Upgrading the PlayStation version
Modern emulators are capable of running the game in a higher resolution with additional smoothing effects. Unfortunately there is little we can do for the framerate, that’s stuck at 30fps, or 25 for Pal-land copies. Still at least there’s no boarder, and you can overclock the PlayStation CPU on some of these emulators, which helps with the slowdown when there’s a lot of cars and particle effects on screen.
The game can be upscaled to 640×480 or 800×600, which the PC version also natively supports. Depending on the emulator, higher resolutions can be used but I don’t recommend it unless the emulator supports perspective correction, otherwise those polygons will be jittering aggressively. This video will help explain further on why this occurred on PlayStation games.
Texture filtering can be hit or miss, whilst it helps smooth out the textures, due to the way the PlayStation handled 2D, it can affect the HUD display too, causing excessive blurring on the HUD, making it look like an N64 game.
Exploring the disc
In the NFMV folder there is a exe file called NFMV.EXE however this does not open even in older versions of Windows