The movie that this game was based on was not well received by critics. Unfortunately, the GBA game doesn’t look to do much better.
The arcade-racing genre is a very crowded place on any platform. I suppose there is something about making a racing game that is appealing to publishers. It probably has something to do with getting a higher return on their investment than usual. In the case of Driven they must have really been excited about the sales potential since the game is based on a movie that shares the name. However, neither the movie nor the game is very good.
Perhaps one of the only high points in Driven is that the game is a third person racer. In other words, you look at your car from a 45º angle (much like the perspective in Tony Hawk 2 for the GBA). This perspective worked pretty well in Rare’s classic NES title, R.C. Pro-AM. Even in that game the controls were a pain to adjust to. In Driven, they controls are not nearly as touchy, instead they are too loose.
If you do adjust to the controls, you’ll find that there isn’t much depth to the gameplay. Mostly, you’ll be required to simply drive as fast as possible while avoiding other cars and sometimes looking for items that are scattered on the track. If you drive well enough (improve consecutive lap times or take a lot of turns well) you will go into "the zone". This restores your cars damage, and gives you extra speed and the ability to plow through other cars as long as you continue to drive well. When you're not in the zone, crashing into other cars (or walls) is a great way to see the silly crash animation and get left in the dust by the other racers. Some races have creative obstacles, like giant truck trailers that you have to drive under (avoiding the wheels of course), but ultimately the game just didn't draw me in. In the story mode you’ll have different goals (simply beat a race in a certain time limit, or actually race other drivers, etc.). The story is told in pages of text between the races.
Driven’s graphics are probably the lowest point in the game. Aside from the fact that they don’t look very good, they also manage to cause framerate hits on certain courses. Similarly, the music isn’t worth talking about either. The sound effects aren’t anything special, but I can’t really say anything bad about them.
If you’re a big fan of racing games, third person racers in particular, then you may want to rent this game to see how you like it. Otherwise, steer clear of this one.