If you took the best aspects of Burnout and Grand Theft Auto and amalgamated them, you’d get something like Driver: San Francisco.
The title allows players to explore an impressively recreated San Francisco in various cars as they hunt down a mob boss. It’s the latest in the 14m-selling Driver franchise which began life in 1999 on the PSone.
However, it wouldn’t be fair to label Driver as Ubisoft’s GTA – it doesn’t have any shooting or walking sections – but then it doesn’t need them. Instead, San Francisco uses a one-of-a-kind ‘shift’ feature, where players can zoom out high above the city at the touch of a button and immediately take control of a different car.
For example, if the gamer is being chased by the police, they can quickly take control of a lorry and move it to block the road, then jump into a sports car to progress.
Ubisoft’s brand manager Jan Sanghera tells MCV: “The broad appeal of the franchise and the driving games genre has provided us with an opportunity to capture a wider audience of mainstream buyers. We’re treating Driver as a blockbuster title.”
TAKING THE LONG ROAD
Driver is a huge game – there are more than 200 miles of road and over 120 licensed cars to drive. Even landmarks have been replicated such as the Golden Gate Bridge.
There are 19 multiplayer modes, a Film Director replay mode and user-created videos can be uploaded online. This is on top of 80 in-game challenges and 12 inspired by famous car chases from films and TV programmes.
With its impressive visuals, huge world and exhilarating gameplay, Driver has the potential to be one of this year’s biggest car games.
DRIVER SPECIAL EDITION
This limited edition SKU includes a replica 1970 Dodge Challenger car, a map of San Francisco, two extra in-game vehicles, a Mass Chase challenge mode and more. It’s priced at £69.99.
LOST THE PLOT
The storyline in Driver: San Francisco explains the players’ ability to switch from car-to-car. Gamers control ex-detective John Tanner who is unaware he is in a coma and believes he’s chasing criminals.
The original Driver on PSone was very well received, picking up a score of 9.7 on IGN at the time of release. Today the game is available to download and play on the Apple App Store for £1.99.
SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND
Driver: San Francisco’s audio has been mixed at Pinewood Studios, giving the soundtrack an extra touch of quality. There are over 60 music tracks with songs from popular artists.