Driver San Francisco
Speedy detective work
Review Defusing bombs, rounding up drug runners and saving damsels in distress, just a sample of the heroic acts possible while behind the wheel of a high performance vehicle – who knew? Driver San Francisco is a game that rather lacks any semblance of plausibility, yet holds such a penchant for the ridiculous that you'll be amused enough to not particularly care.
In this latest outing, the role of Detective John Tanner is revived – last seen taking a bullet in the clumsily named Driv3r. We discover that Jericho – Tanner’s arch-nemesis – is finally in custody and about to have his sentence passed. Cue the bad guys, springing him using a predictably over-the-top and explosive manner, culminating in the unfortunate Tanner being on the painful side of a car versus human collision.
Playing fast and loose
One cutscene later and we’re presented with the gaming version of the BBC’s Life on Mars, or perhaps Iain Banks’ The Bridge. For those of you not au fait with either, we’re ostensibly left to play in a driving sandbox of San Francisco taking place within Tanner’s coma-induced subconscious. Here, actions may, or may not, have any bearing on the real world and our hero’s chances of waking up from said coma.
Warning: a coma may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery
The beauty of this elaborate setup soon becomes apparent when Tanner ‘shifts’ into the body of the ambulance driver currently ferrying his critically impacted body to the local hospital. After some initial and understandable confusion, he dutifully gets down to what he knows best: driving. And thus transports himself to the hospital in record time to boost his chances of recovery.
Next page: Streetwise
In one police chase I just sat still and the police drove right past.
Sounds realistic to me.
I've been playing this and it's… odd, but great fun
Now, I've been with the Driver series since its PlayStation debut, spending many a happy hour thrashing around its various cities, and the one thing that immediately comes across is that the handling model is identical to all the earlier games, with the emphasis on generous cinematic power slides over the pig-boring understeer that Gran Turismo specialises in. I'm not sure how far in I am, but the ability to mucking about on side missions so far seems to be making the story mode more disjointed than previously, but there's a wit and charm to the voice-acting once you return to the story, and very recognisable style to the cut-scene animation (although LA Noire has now kicked the bar for that so high that you can't help but be disappointed by anything else).
I would take issue with the representation of San Francisco: I've driven around the actual city a lot, and this digital replica loses the sense of narrowness of the downtown streets in favour of giving you space to do those power slides. But there isn't actually a road running round the coast past Fort Point, I haven't managed to find Union Square let alone Market Street, and where the hell are the trolley buses? Still, I suppose that's all explained away by Tanner's dream-state recreation of the city. ..
The Shift mechanic really takes a bit of getting your head around, but it opens up so many different mechanics to completing various missions, and it's enormously rewarding when you find some obtuse way of solving a problem using some other vehicle. Far superior to the clumsy on-foot shoot-outs that peppered the last two instalments. A game that doesn't take itself too seriously and is all the better for it, and there's a rumour that the last level sticks to the traditional Driver policy of being virtually impossible.
Any mention of
the DRM on this title? Is it always on connection like other UBI titles?
Streets of SF
Ok so ware is the crazy drivers? the cabbies that dont give damn? The folks running lights? The cops driving the wrong way and not giving a damn ? Ooh and were is the critical mass holes? Can I get extra points for running them down ?
Or £24.99 on Amazon and you get a free box and coaster. Steams prices are a joke.