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Just finished Driver: San Francisco - My Thoughts

post #1 of 12
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Okay, I just finished watching the credits roll on Driver: San Francisco - and that dragged on for awhile! It had a few top people in a credits sequence created with in-game assets, and everyone else was in your standard text credits. By the time it finished listing licensed music and vehicles, the text credits alone ran for over 20 minutes.

Onto the game itself - I really liked it. I've been a fan of the Driver series since the beginning, and it was one of the few games that I could talk my dad into playing. I've played all of the games in the series with the exception of the PSP release (Driver '76).

Driver: San Francisco reminds me (in a very good way) of Driver 1 and Driver 2. Driver 1 for the SF setting and enjoyable gameplay, and Driver 2 for being able to switch vehicles. On-foot gameplay has always been the weakest point of the Driver series, and the Shift mechanic is brilliant because it lets you switch vehicles while eliminating having to be on foot.

Driver: SF handles its vehicles very well. They grip when you expect them to, and slide when you push them - just like you'd expect from a real car. The game features 140 licensed and fully-damageable vehicles - though you'll have to make do with RUF instead of Porsche, due to EA's licensing agreement with the German manufacturer. The cars represented are supposed to be geared toward the car enthusiast, as evidenced by the selection. Instead of regular Fiat 500s, they're the Abarth performance package. Instead of the Toyota/Scion iQ, we have the Aston-Martin Cygnet (mildly humorous, since the Scion iQ launches in the States this month, and the Cygnet is EU-only). In fact, Toyota isn't in the game at all.

The plot is a bit ridiculous, which you should expect coming in due to the Shift mechanic, but it's handled well and has good pacing. The cutscenes are a mix of in-game assets and pre-rended video, which works well with the graphics level this game has.

The graphics are really quite good, considering I'm only playing on a 32" CRT with standard RCA cables. Those playing on PC will benefit from stronger hardware to push up the visuals well beyond what a 360 is capable of.

Online play is through Ubisoft's Uplay software, which is intended to make users have a pass to play online, so that Ubisoft can sell these passes to used game buyers. However, Ubisoft mis-printed the passcodes that were included in the game, so the online play doesn't need their pass to use. I have not played multiplayer outside of the demo, so I can't comment further. Updates will be posted.

The difficulty is pretty reasonable. Many missions have alternate win paths - i.e. You can win a race by finishing first, or by Shifting into oncoming traffic and eliminating your competition. The most difficult missions were the vs. Jericho ones at the end where you have to dodge traffic, but the final mission itself wasn't hard at all.

The game does continue after the credits, so you can explore the city, finish up all the side missions, and finish unlocking all the cars and power-ups for your two skills (Boost and Ram).

All in all, if you enjoy playing racing or driving games in any amount, I would recommend this game to you. One of the better games I've played this year, an opinion seconded by Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation.
 
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post #2 of 12
Nice review! thumb.gif
post #3 of 12
I like your review and now I might end up renting D:SF tonight. biggrin.gif
post #4 of 12
I'm looking to get this on PC, should be a nice game. I was hoping it was more like Driver and Driver 2, always loved them. Driver 3 was fun... but not perfected enough so it was frustrating...
post #5 of 12
If you want it on pc get it from key websites. Beats blowing 60 bucks on such a short game.
post #6 of 12
I never played the Driver series games before but I am REALLY enjoying this one. There is something called "shifting" that makes the game unlike all the arcade-y driving games out there (NFS, Burnout). I am sure the OP discussed it, but it is like what Agent Smith does in Matrix, when he becomes the helicopter pilot.

So last night I was in a rally race, but my Mclaren LP460 did not handle well on the dirt. Instead of racing I took to shifting into oncoming traffic and gunning for the opponents. There was one corvette-like car in the race that kept evading me though. So finally, after numerous tries, I got my driver ahead in the race and started shifting.

There was a perfect moment when they were coming down a dirt path and a fire engine was out on the street. I shifted into the fire engine took it 90MPH up the dirt path, which was too narrow for the corvette to evade me, and they were blind to my fire engine because a big dirt jump was in the way.

Well, we both crested that jump at the same time, the corvette and my fire engine, and he was immediately disabled in a crash of twisted metal and debris, and a sound to match. But directly behind the corvette were the other two cars, who both met similar fates. God, that was such a moment of triumph.

I always felt when racing in GT4 that I wished I could somehow take revenge on the other faster cars, not by besting them with driving talent, but with sheer force. Yesterday I was able to see that dream realized, and it was so sweet!
Edited by jadawgis732 - 10/5/11 at 12:11pm
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post #7 of 12
The game is really fun. Some of the traffic is really stupid though. Ie blocking your path after you hit them. In my experience most drivers sit stunned for a few minutes after a major crash not try to drive off right through you.

Some of the car handling is frustrating too. I'm using my PS3 controller with motionjoy though so I need to go through and reconfigure it. I hate using the triggers for gas/brake but it was being glitchy trying to move them. Looking back seemed to be hard coded to the right analog so every time I would brake it looked back. And forward on the left was boost which made the car boost anytime I'd turn hard.

It's fun though. Right now I'm just going around collecting/unlocking cars. And now that I know it's a short game I'll make sure to have lots more fun before moving on with the story.
post #8 of 12
This games trash compared to the old driver games, absolutely horrible. You might as well go play crazy taxi or something. Transporting from car to car is just kiddish.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rduffy123;15191121 
This games trash compared to the old driver games, absolutely horrible. You might as well go play crazy taxi or something. Transporting from car to car is just kiddish.

that's precisely where THIS game differentiates itself from the rest

I was pleasantly surprised by this game (on PC of course)
I thought character models would be cheap, but to my surprise, the very first cutscene blew me away with the amount of detail in the texture!!

then came the whole gameplay... drifting around is fun, although highly unrealistic, it has an authentic feel to it and the car selection is pretty good! although I'm kind of disapopinted in having no Honda, Mazda, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari nor Koenigsegg in the game (as well as many others I can't think of on top of my head)... my favorite so far is the Lambo Murcielago LP670-4 SV, but I'm still not done with the game yet

I haven't been a fan of Ubisoft games as of late, but this game really blew me away... however if I'll keep playing after I finish the story? probably not
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tohru Rokuno;15169633 
The most difficult missions were the vs. Jericho ones at the end where you have to dodge traffic, but the final mission itself wasn't hard at all.

Spoiler alert would be appropriate here, I think. Some people really don't want to know what happens.
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