Next, Jones, Tanner’s crime-fighting partner, must be convinced of these newfound shifting powers. It’s around this point that Driver’s all-new mechanics become fully apparent, as we’re introduced to Tanner’s ability to survey the famous streets of San Francisco from vertigo-inducing heights.
No satnav required
In a move said to be inspired by Google Earth, the action can be zoomed out to god-like heights while life continues as usual on street level – Tanner’s current vehicle even continuing to be driven on auto pilot by a remnant of his personality. Though cool at first, this power gets even better as the game progresses, the zoom-level getting expanded to take in the ever growing areas of San Fran that you have access to (certain regions being locked down to begin with).
It’s a system with obvious connotations when it comes to novel gameplay. For instance, in high speed chases where, not only can you pursue a criminal through the streets, but actively zoom into cars, buses and trucks further down the road to set up roadblocks, or else brazenly drive them headfirst into your oncoming prey. This is especially cool in chases where multiple cops might be pursuing one perp; Tanner rapidly shifting from one cop car to another, as the situation demands.
Another barrier to progress
Multiplayer is similarly bolstered by the shift effect, with modes such as Capture the Flag, Tag and Checkpoint Rush all enhanced by the ability to plan for your opponents downfall, like stacking so many dominos. These thrillingly frantic high speed hijinks are made all the sweeter by the familiar backdrop of San Francisco. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the city will surely get a kick out of skidding through the famous Lombard Street twists, or flooring it on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Take it to the bridge...
Despite being a universe entirely of his own design, Tanner has seen fit to include not only low-level hoodlums in his delusion, but also the big kahuna himself: Jericho. Locating him provides the bulk of the game’s ‘straight out of 24’ plot and Jones and Tanner’s following leads soon suggests Jericho’s prison break was just the first step of a larger scheme.
Next page: Cruise control
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.