It has been around 5 years since the last Driver game released on the PlayStation 2 and so I was a bit in the dark on what to expect when I stepped behind the controller for Driver: San Francisco. Arcade racers are becoming as common as First Person Shooters so it was interesting to see what Driver brought new to the table.
First stop was the single player of the game which was your basic arcade racer but with a very cool twist. At any time during your drive you can pull back from the car and select any car you can find on the road. This comes in extremely handy for modes where you have to run from the cops ambush. It is very easy to pull off as you hit a single button, zoom around the map, and just select the car of your choice. If you don’t feel like any kind of special mode there is also a free ride type mode where you can just drive around, swapping cars and just driving as fast as you want. The last mode I tried with the single player was a race between 2 teams of two cars. Here you can use your ability to swap between the cars on your team to gain an advantage and try to knock out the other two cars racing with you. The demo did not provide much insight into the story outside of the three modes so I cannot commit on it.
The next part I moved to was the online portion of the game which was fun but not really that amazing. The mode that we were playing had players in a game of tag but in reverse. As the one who is “it” you are deemed with the task of trying to stay away from fellow players as long as possible. If you get bumped by a fellow player you will lose your “it” status and will then have to chase down the player who took it from you. Add in the fact that you can use your ability to quickly swap between cars makes this is pretty interesting online experience.
The cars are all over the place in the game as well. At one point I went from Michael J. Fox’s DeLorean to a fire truck, which didn’t drive as great as you might think. There were plenty of options here for all the gamers out there to choose from so you will have plenty of choices when you sit down behind the wheel. The environment and the city look good but not incredibly spectacular and the cars just look good, not great.
In the end, I can honestly say I am not a huge racing game fan and this game didn’t do much to change my mind. The ability to quickly switch between cars on the fly is a very cool feature but outside of that this is a fairly standard arcade racer from what I played.
Driver: San Francisco is set for release on the PlayStation 3 on August 30th of this year.