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Driver San Francisco - Playstation 3
Platform: PlayStation 3|Edition: Standard|Change
Price:$17.23+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on April 1, 2013
Driver: San Francisco could just as easily be called Driver: Insane Fever Dream. We're talking about a driving game where you suddenly take over the body of any driver you want, in any car you want, because you're in a coma and dreaming the whole thing. When you add an open-world San Francisco setting filled with hundreds of miles of roads and the sort of eccentrics unique to the city--believe us, GameSpot is based there--you have a pretty good idea of what sort of craziness this game has in store. And now that we've seen what you can get up to in multiplayer, it somehow seems even crazier.

The central mechanic in Driver: San Francisco is called "shifting." Here's how it works: You tap a button to switch from your basic driving view to a much wider top-down view of the area around you, where suddenly everything is moving in extreme slow motion. It's in slow motion because you're no longer controlling that car. Instead, you're moving a cursor around the streets to select the next car you want to take over; it's sort of like jacking a car in Grand Theft Auto but without the tricky business of running around the street, yanking open a door, and shouting, "I need that s*** you drive!"

It's a weird system, but it's one that works oddly well in an open-world driving game where sometimes you just really want to be driving a different car. There's a whole thing going on in the tongue-in-cheek single-player storyline that explains how it works and how the main character begins to deal with things when he discovers that his reality might not be so real after all. But in multiplayer, it's just plain-and-simple insanity. There are more than 10 different game modes inspired just as much by online shooters as online racers that all use the shifting mechanic in some important way.

We had the chance to play a mode called Shift Tag. In this mode, one person starts out as the designated "it" person, and the rest of the cars try to smash their cars into him or her for one simple reason: The longer you remain "it," the more points you gather. So it becomes this whole chase where the person who's "it" is trying to outrun the other folks, who are desperately trying to smash into this person at full speed.

But here's the rub: The person who's "it" can't shift cars, but everyone else can. So while you're trying to flee from everyone pursuing you, you never know when suddenly a rival player might shift into an oncoming car and veer straight into your path. It's a fast and frantic game mode that breeds a sort of paranoia and tension we haven't seen in a lot of racing games. It breeds this partly because there are so many people after one target and partly because that one target has every reason to believe that every car in the city is out to get him or her.

Some of the other modes we didn't get a chance to play include Capture the Flag, Cops and Robbers, and more straightforward racing contests. We enjoyed the brief amount of time we spent with Driver: San Francisco's chaotic multiplayer, but naturally, the question remains whether it's the sort of thing that will get old quickly or keep your interest for extended periods of time. We can't confidently answer that question right now, but we do know that we're eager to check out some of those other multiplayer modes.
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on September 6, 2011
Just picked up my copy from GS today, Ubisoft did a great job, the city is great, physics are better than GTA but obviously not as good as GT5, graphics are very good. the city is alive, you can see cop chases and stuff while enjoying free drive, and finally a game where you can drive regular cars too, not just exotics, the game is perfect,with two major flaws, theres no manual transmission and no dynamic weather, its always sunny. In game music is very good, engine sounds and other effects are not bad too, multiplayer is very fun. Grab your copy and enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions or comments, I ll try to answer as quick as possible.

PS: If you loved Midtown Madness series, you ll be very happy with this game.
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on October 17, 2012
I bought this recently, and this is a GREAT free roam driving game. It replaced my old favorite (Burnout Paradise) Which has the same free roam open city experience. The main feature that is defiantly the main attraction of this game is the Shift feature. You can press "X" and you view the game map from above as if you were a bird flying around the city. You then press "X" again and be in a brand new car. The game also has a story line which continues the story line from the last "Driver" game i the series. The cars featured in this game are all licensed (except for some of the semi-trucks, and other commercial vehicles) and seem to actually handle mostly like the same car in real life would handle. Also, the civilians cars are licensed to which is rare for most driving games, but makes sense since you can shift into any of those cars and drive them. The amount of challenges in the game game is amazing, because once you complete story mode, you still can do other challenges in the city out side of the story line. There is also multiplayer which also has a huge set of completely new challenges. Now on to a list of pros and cons

-Great storyline
-Good car list
-Numerous challenges to keep you entertained
-In game map has lots of fun areas to do crazy car stunts

-Map can get old after a while
-No option to choose car color from the garage
-No setting or mode to turn traffic off


Driver: San Francisco is a great driving game, and will provide hours of fun for you and your friends.
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on September 13, 2012
in no way is this game a 'simulator' really. it's got more in common with GTA/NFS Underground or the like. nevertheless, the car selection is pretty good, the driving is entertaining, damage looks pretty darn good, and the missions are fun and not terribly repetitive. some of the challenges are HARD too. a perfect blend of difficulty and satisfaction. they are also structured so that you can't have a one-size-fits all car that will just tear through the events with ease. this gives you an opportunity to experience driving lots of different cars.

the one major thing that's kind of weird is also one of the cooler/more innovative features of the game. the premise is that you can jump from driver to driver at will. you push a button which puts you in a flyover camera that allows you to fly over the roads and find a car you want to drive. push the button again and boom, you're instantly driving the new car. you can use this to your advantage in races and things by ramming your opponents with oncoming traffic. it's really cool and keeps things interesting since you can drive any car you see, it's just hard to weave this bizarre power into a storyline that makes any kind of sense. then again we're talking about a video game so whatever.

more pros, there's very little load time between events, cutscenes and freeroam. so far there's been plenty to do and i've been playing it for 2-3 weeks. the engine sounds are at least believable. i haven't found major aspects of the game's mechanics i don't like yet. a small improvement would be to add the ability to set waypoints on the map so that you could drive with a destination in mind instead of just warping everywhere you want to go.

overall a good impulse buy on my part. i was a big fan of the original driver and this one is at least as fun as i remember the original being so good job driver people!
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on October 20, 2013
Great game for anyone who likes racing and cool cars. The driving physics in this game are actually really good and the gameplay will provide hours of entertainment. Plenty of room to free roam San Francisco and shift into whatever car you want. The shift ability is without a doubt one of the coolest things about the game. Being able to see a car and then s*** into the body of the driver to take control of the wheel really is a cool concept. I really hope Ubisoft comes out with another Driver because in my book this was a definite win. Anyway, if you want a game with great graphics and fast cars, definitely get this game. Oh by the way, check out the Co-op survival mode for some extra thrills.
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on January 23, 2012
Full disclosure: I bought this game because I live in San Francisco and thought it'd be neat to virtually drive around my city at breakneck speeds in exotic cars I can't afford.

My reaction:
1. The video game map of SF is not accurate to reality. So if you were planning on moving or visiting here, and were hoping to use this game as a way to help you learn how to get around the city...Well, I'd re-think that plan. The general locations of the neighborhoods are correct, but some prominent landmarks are in totally random spots or are missing all together. I guess I can't blame Ubisoft for doing this, otherwise it'd be an entire map of parallel and perpendicular streets in a grid (with lots of 4-way stops). Would be kind of boring. I was a bit disappointed at first, but I got over it because...

2. This game is extremely entertaining, packed with value. Now, It's probably weird using the word "value" to describe a video game. But hear me out. There are literally hundreds of missions, races, dares, activities, chases, etc. that have kept me busy for weeks. I guess I've gotten used to the standard game play lengths of a few days for video games nowadays, but it's insane how much there is to do in this game. I was disappointed after shelling out the money for this game and seeing that the map is barely like San Francisco, but I quickly changed my mind and felt I got a great deal with the entertainment factor.

3. Graphics are great, the variety of cars is plentiful, online multi-player is pretty fun, and the "Shift" feature is a time saver and brings a creative/unique dynamic to the gameplay. Traditional racing games like Gran Turismo have more cars, more realistic tracks, and true-to-life handling of the vehicles, but those traditional games tend to be cumbersome and boring after a short while. This car game is more like Grand Theft Auto due to the storyline you play along to and the ability to travel anywhere anytime free form. So it's more entertaining to play in my opinion (see #2).

Anyways, "Driver: SF" is totally worth the price. Get it.
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on September 10, 2013
I have been a big fan of the Driver series ever since it's debut on the PlayStaion. The quality of the series seemed to dip on the PS2, but this game restored my faith in the franchise and made me hopeful for more entries. This game does not take itself very seriously like some of the past titles and some of the voice acting is not great, but it's the games main mechanic, "shifting", that make Driver San Francisco such a blast. "Shifting" sets this game apart from most other open world car games. It adds a lot of fun and strategy to the game. But Driver San Francisco also has one of the most underrated split-screen modes on this generation of consoles, tag. Tag is where you and a friend go head to head to see who can hold the tag the longest. It sounds simple but it is great fun! The whole game is incredibly fun. If you like open-world car games, this is a must buy!
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on April 17, 2017
It was a gift and he loves it! Not a racing game, but not a long, involved story either. Always something new happening!
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on April 21, 2012
I miss old school ps2 games where you could deck out your car with spoilers, body kits, engine upgrades and all that fun stuff. Sadly it seems like all street racing or arcade racers are missing this key selling point in recent game releases and all they care about is graphics. Aside from that big miss, this games a great racer though it can seem stiff at times when trying to get through traffic but they have a catch up on where you the opponents won't get to far ahead. This makes it easier then some racers but I enjoy the relaxation of the game. Some games have you sitting up but with this one you can relax and just have fun. The new thing they did in this driver was eliminate the 3rd person part and make it totally weird and different. You are like in a coma and you have special abilities which is cool but I kind of felt like why am I doing this even though its a game. Again the racing makes up for the story, and the story is poop in my opinion but that's typical of racers. Lots of licensed cars, actually I think they are all licensed which is real cool. The environment is not accurate at all but there are a few landmarks SF is known for. Great game if you like racing.
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on January 30, 2016
It brings back some of the wild fun of the original PlayStation One "Driver", most of the driving challenges are enjoyable, the story motivates the in-car only game mechanics well, and unlocking a drivable McLaren F1 is a blast. But it doesn't present a convincing San Francisco Bay Area, and the lighting is terrible! Years earlier GTA: San Andreas nailed San Francisco's fog and sunlight, while this a poor recreation of smoggy Los Angeles basin in the 1970s.
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