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Mixed or average reviews- based on 283 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 283

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  1. Oct 8, 2011
    Excellent production values and an enormous fun factor. The city, music, cars and story create a 'Starsky and Hutch' style. Humor in various dialogues is genuinely funny. Driving/shifting mechanics are perfect. The handling, feel, response, and sound of each vehicle feels very right. This is a brilliant driving game!
  2. Sep 28, 2011
    two big problems:
    1) keyboard driving is TERRIBLE. the smallest touch to turn left or right swings you 45 degrees. it's very hard to just go straight after a turn. there is no way to make small corrections. this is likely due to it being a bad console port
    2) zero parity with real san francisco. i live in SF and wanted to drive around the city but other than a few gimmicky landmarks
    (transamerica pyramid, golden gate bridge) the map has NOTHING to do with SF. it might as well be anywhere. no market street, no embarcadero, no golden gate park. it sucks.

    lots of small problems:
    - limited resolution options - i can't play at native 2560x1600
    - lots of small graphics bugs like stuff clipping in and out, even in cutscenes
    - single player mission triggers are screwed up. E.g. i followed enemy into an alley and he disappeared, then my partner said to go into the alley i was already in.

    it just seems like they rushed a console-to-PC port and didn't bother with QA. wish i could get my money back :(

    i would say if you aren't using the keyboard (you have a steering wheel or analog controller) and you don't care at all about the setting being completely fictional (not in San Francisco), and you don't care about small bugs then you might like the game. but i think most people will find it nearly unplayable.
  3. Jun 20, 2012
    The absence of gamepad support for Mac owners is a critical flaw. Why TF am I driving around trying to negotiate space (handbrake) c (turbo) z (rapid shift) and alt (ram charge) with my left hand, whilst my darned 360 controller is sitting in front of my keyboard doing the square root of naff all? I ploughed through Assassin's Creed Brotherhood using keyboard only. And, tbh, it kinda worked. But driving games without gamepad support? It's a total mess, and borderline unforgivable. Expand
  4. Oct 8, 2011
    This is truly a great game. The story, game mechanics, graphics, multiplayer, sound - everything is superb. The singleplayer, which set me back for about 15 hours, is packed with lost of action. You have a variety of events all available for you to choose, which you want to complete, because you have to complete some to progress the story. I personally completed all the events, cause I enjoyed the gameplay very much! :)
    The graphics are top-notch. Of course you see some lazy-cheezy designed work, but only if you stop to look at it. It's not a problem since you'll be driving at huge speeds all the time :D
    The mechanics are just mind-boggling! I mean load a portion of a city in half a second, and then suddenly SHIFT and load the whole other part of the city in half a second as well? Whoah, LOVE IT!
    Music is made specifically to resemble the 70s era, and there's a variety of songs for everyone to choose from, since you can always change the song.
    The cutscenes are a mix of CGI / In-game material. How did they were able to implement such a technology, I don't know, that's why the cut scenes always look great.

    Great game, go buy it, play it now! Bravo Ubisoft!
  5. Sep 30, 2011
    I didn't think this game would be so much fun. The shifting means non stop action, all the time.
    You'll need a 360 controller to get the most out of it though.
  6. Oct 18, 2011
    Basically this game is quite good, but there are some problems. the MI is infernal. The civilians know nothing about the rules of the road(they can't even let the police or ambulance with its siren screaming go), they are blind, deaf and their intelligence is a void function. The Team race is a nightmare, because the partner of the player simply lets the enemy overtake him. The graphics of the cars are good, but the city isn't too detailed.
    The car selection is good, and there are some fun game modes.
  7. Sep 28, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Was I surprised when they introduced "shifting" ability early on. Great, innovative idea. First thing I though about is whether I would be able to shift into a truck (from opposite direction) while chasing a suspect. xD And it worked! That was refreshing. Plenty of diverse challenges and dares. After some remapping, controls and general mechanics are intuitive and well though out. It got out much better than I expected.
    Car models are solid, graphics a bit dated and rough but ok, music and sound are brilliant.
  8. Sep 28, 2011
    I am a fan of racing games, I've been enjoying GT5, Forza 3 (waiting on 4) and Dirt 3, the last one being the one I like most. I messed around with Driver back in the day, but never spent too much time on it, later I tried the horrible Driv3r and hated it with a passion. My cousins and I would take turns during the missions and apparently beating them was a matter of luck more so than skill. Needless to say, we didn't beat that game and probably didn't get too far either. Now Driver SF is out and I find that it has what many contemporary games lack: FUN! Sure, you may complain that the keyboard input sucks, but then it usually does when you mix cars and a keyboard; it may have limited graphical options, but that should not matter as much as actual gameplay; it may not be the best looking game, but then again we're talking about Driver, a game that clearly knows its limits. Driver SF is also limited to vehicles only (no walking) and also has the craziest plot device ever: the Shift mechanism. But with all these flaws, the game delivers. The Shift idea may be insane but it works, its fun and it adds a whole new dimension to what would be a boring linear gameplay experience. I played Deus Ex HR, I completed it, and I immediately removed it from my computer; I don't think I'll ever play it again because at some point I just finished it for the sake of doing so, not because I was having fun. Duke Nukem Forever, well, I didn't last more than 30 minutes playing it. Warhammer Space Marine? Tried the demo and couldn't see myself playing it for too long either. Driver SF, on the other hand, has already swallowed 4 hours of my life (I had a hard time putting the game down) and not a single minute was dull. The game itself works, the story works, the cars work, the shift mechanism works, missions are no longer im-freaking-possible. The game mechanics are few, but they are simple, sweet, easy to learn and fun to use. Now, it is true that you cannot customize your cars, which is a bummer since it would've added a lot to gameplay, but you're going to spend a lot of time driving other people's cars so the use of mods would've been limited. It's also nice that every car (that I have encountered) is a real-life car. Also, I've never been to San Francisco and perhaps it would have been neat if the game was more true-to-life, but when designing a level, gamemakers have to be very careful and plan every single aspect so that the gameplay is fluid, this and technology limitations are probably the reason why it's not the real life SF.
    In conclusion, if you want an in-depth driving simulator, a shooter, a super epic triple A title, then Driver SF is not for you; however if you want to sit back, have tons of fun and enjoy hilarious conversations that occur when you jump into a stranger's car, then Driver SF is a delightful little title that will turn sunrise into sundown without you taking notice.
  9. Sep 27, 2011
    After spending mere 15 hours with the game, it seems more clear than not that the makers wanted to go for GTA4 meets San Francisco, but their laziness got in the way. So we have great graphics, nice choice of cars and a big, stunning map plus a lot of challenges and all sorts of diversions. And the idiotic storyline, which makes even 10 year old ask, WTF? The map is big, but the world is not opened. I'm far from telling you why - you'll have to judge that by yourself. Driver SF is a fun game, but it's not a game changer, and withing a couple of months, gamers will forget about it. It offers what most gamers take for granted - the SHIFT gameplay is definitely a great invention, but it can't carry the title to the gold. The game gets boring after 2 days of playing, and in today's reality, you really expect more. Expand
  10. Oct 1, 2011
    Best game about reckless driving in the city, and only one with licensed cars. Missions are pretty varied and shift feature adds several new tricks. Story and dialogues are surprisingly interesting for the series.
  11. Vic
    Dec 9, 2011
    This is the worst game I've played this year! It has the worst driving mechanics, stupid and short story, ridiculous side quests, no manual gearbox, it's almost impossible to drive without hitting anything in this game and I guess the developers knew that and that's why almost all missions in the game are concentrating on destroying something! It's pain in my heart when you have to crush your SLR into other vehicles. I thought they would make something more realistic and serious than this "destroy-everything-in-your-way" game! Expand
  12. Oct 15, 2011
    Driver San Francisco will fly well under the radar on the PC platform, but it really shouldn't. The shift mechanic takes a decent game and makes it great. Imagine having an open city full of stunts and challenges but you don't have to drive to any of them? You can flick a few buttons and you are half way across the city. Combine that with hilarious dialogue, a rather interesting and well crafted narrative and this game is really one of the best racing games. The PC port seems fine, using the 360 controller and it runs well. Expand
  13. Apr 24, 2013
    I suppose I haven't really given this game a fair chance, but then again I see no reason to either. First of all, only Xbox 360 controller will work (and keyboard controls are simply horrible in this game). Second, if you have an AMD graphics card you will get a lock of 24Hz in full screen so you have to use Fake Fullscreen software to combat this. Third, the in-game graphics are the most pathetic I've seen even on max. Fourth, the driving mechanics are amongst the most ancient and lifeless I've ever come across. Fifth, various problems with starting the game. Sixth, it doesn't do what a driving game should. Eight, too many cutscenes for a racing game. Need I go on? The only thing I can possibly give credit to is the facial detail in cutscenes and that it's actually trying to do a 'Starsky and Hutch' style story, something you don't see in newer racing games. But seriously, if you want a decent game like this either play Starsky and Hutch or Midtown Madness 2 SE. At least with Midtown Madness 2, you know the game has been made by professionals (Rockstar San Diego, published by Microsoft). Driver San Fransisco not only has horrible controls, laughable graphics and driving physics, but also poorly optimised for PC. Unless you have zero experience with racing games you can't possibly think these driving mechanics are acceptable. Sure, you get interior view but what's the use if you can't have manual transmission and the animations and graphics are shockingly bad? Expand
  14. Oct 17, 2011
    This game realy cool.
    Total-9.5!!! I almost do it. The story is fresh and original (like in movie or serial)! Ubisoft make almost perfect game1 =D
  15. Oct 30, 2011
    this is simply the best driving game ever, it was a little bit hard to drive only on the first 15 minutes but it's easy to master and enjoy hours of fun driving as the game is very long with different cameras, and a lot of cars, missions, chases. Also great graphics.
    shifting is a brilliant idea to avoid walking with the character or shooting because it is just like the first driver game
    it's all about driving only and this is the beauty of it. Expand
  16. Dec 14, 2012
    Does not have wheel support worth mentioning. Did not know this when I bought the game. Waste of money, as playing a driving game without a wheel is a no go for me.
  17. Dec 21, 2011
    Driver San Francisco tries to emulate a swanky 70s detective movie atmosphere in modern times and, in contrast to recent games of the series, puts the focus back on cars and cars only. For most parts the execution is quite well. The map is huge and fun to bash across, the car park features over 100 various models from a last few decades, including lots of classics and muscle cars, and the soundtrack makes for a brilliant mood with a superb choice of over 70 songs ranging from funk and soul to alternative rock and light electronic music, shining with names such as Aretha Franklin, the Beastie Boys, DJ Shadow, Jamiroquai, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Black Keys. Other outstanding features are 70s style car chase special missions and a variety of stunt challenges. Some things however put a few dirty spots on the otherwise great picture. The career missions are often bland chases or escapes and the story, full of generic characters, seems to go nowhere, making the side missions more interesting than the main ones; many of the cars handle exactly alike, and the AI traffic can be quite stupid at times. The game is still good for one or two complete playthroughs and fans of the open world racing genre might find themselves addicted to simply racing through the city. Overall a pretty solid title and a turn for the good for the Driver series after multiple rather disappointing titles. Expand
  18. Oct 9, 2011
    Overall i have always liked the Driver range this one reminds me of the earlier versions.
    The cars are easy to control and drive which makes life little easier, shifting from car to car is new thing at first i disliked this but i have gotten used to it and find it to be quite a handy feature.
    The graphics are great nice car details but still feel they could be improved with more video
    settings the sounds match the cars and gives driving experience good feel.
    The story line is little hard to follow at first but you soon pick it up and feel like you are tanner but i think the game needs a new fresh story line which would bring this game to new level.
    With plenty of things to do and great game play its game worth having because you will always find something to do.
    Only bad points with the game i found is that it does not seem to be compatible with dual action gamepad and prefers the use of Xbox controller.
    I feel it could be improved with allowing car upgrades like one of the earlier versions had Overall its a game i will keep playing with good game play and good experience overall i give it 8/10
  19. Nov 4, 2011
    I thought that the driver series itself wasn't that good. But with "San Francisco" I think they've reclaimed some of that pride. Graphics are good, story is funny, good missions and massive area to play in.
  20. Nov 27, 2011
    This game was a disappointment. Other Driver series were pretty good. You have freedom. Do what you want. The last driver had cars you can customize to the extreme. This driver you are stuck in a car, or different cars you "shift" to. You cant walk on the streets or anything. The AI drivers are more like back to Driver 1, The cars are brand named, but are limited. Once you bet the game, you have new cars, but the old cars you drove at the beginning are GONE! Basically just take away all freedom and put me back in Driver 1. Good side of it is the police are fun to play. Cars look good inside and out, and are detailed. Overall, not worth paying for. Expand
  21. Dec 29, 2011
    I think it's only fair I revise my 0/10 rating after my initial fury at not being able to use my Logitech Driving Force EX steering wheel with this game and then finding it completely unplayable using the keyboard and mouse. Since then, I found a fix on YouTube which involved copying, pasting and renaming one of the 'Input' subfolders for Logitech devices within the install directories. It takes seconds to do and Ubisoft, frankly, should really be doing this sort of thing themselves. My initial response from Ubisoft helpdesk was equally lazy, "...nowhere in the game's specification does it say anything about steering wheels or pedals..." Eh??!!!!
    All this is a real shame, since now that I am able to play the game with my steering wheel, several solid days of tearing around the city, dipping in and out the storyline for some manic freeplay, I actually love it. I think the graphics are beautiful, driving physics have a pleasing feel to them, sound is spot on... Sitting inside a car, tearing down a narrow street, demolishing roadside objects, pedestrians diving out of the way, police trying to ram you off the road... well, it's thrilling to say the least. Gameplay gets a bit samey if you expect to do other stuff apart from drive... basically it's all about driving. It reminds me of a more driving-focused GTA. That's fine with me as I am a driving game enthusiast and I definitely think this is one of the best if you can get the controls to work properly. Come on Ubisoft, more PC users deserve to get the best out of this fantastic piece of work. Would have been 9/10 if not for the hassle with the controls. Even now, I have to reassign all the wheel axis/buttons every time I start the game.
  22. Dec 23, 2011
    If you're anything like me, you probably already have each installment of Driver ranging from 1 to Parallel Lines somewhere in your Big Drawer of Games. And if you're anything like me, you, too, should have been shaken and appalled by just how horrible a game Parallel Lines truly was. And thus, if you're anything like me, you should be wondering: Does D:SF live up to the series name?

    Sadly, most of you are not like me. So here's a quick recap of the Driver series: Driver is a franchise revolved around one core element - that which TV Tropes notes to be "Badass Driver". Sure, over time there have been some side-elements like a GTA-style gunplay mechanic, but in conclusion, if a Driver game cannot be described as "Protagonist Drives An Assortment Of Cars At High Speed In A City", it's not worthy to be called Driver.

    And with that little description, Driver: San Francisco falls into our lap. And at the second intro movie, where we're treated to the angelic sound of an old-school V8 revving its engine in aplomb, it's already faintly obvious: This. Is. Driver.

    And right from the get-go, the fun starts. You are John Tanner, a cop with an awesome haircut and an even more awesome 1970 Dodge Challenger. Wait, don't cringe just yet! Yes, it is an old car. And yes, it still steers similar to a ship, BUT! The developers have kept one thing in mind: The super-effective tool of the deities knows as the E-Brake. And with this.... Old School becomes Very Cool indeed.

    And Old School is not the only option you have, either. While loving your E-Brake like a pedophile loves little children on your keyboard (Yes, this game DOES play decently on a keyboard), you'll be spinning, drifting, ramping and overtaking with cars ranging from the Hudson Hornet to the '67 Mustang Fastback to the Audi S5 to the Alfa 8C, all the way to the McLaren MP4-12C. And each of these cars is brilliantly portrayed in this dream re-enactment of San Francisco. The Bentley Arnage requires you mash your directional arrows through your desk, while the McLaren will pull away with such speed that you will push yourself back into your chair. Each of the cars is painstakingly detailed and reacts much like their real-life counterparts - and each of them does so without the need of a rich boy's toys like an Xbox controller or wireless wheel.

    Most of the sounds are exquisite. The aforementioned Challenger makes one turn off the in-game music just to hear that sweet V8 roar as you storm off, and the other screechers like the McLaren are just as lovely on the ear. The music stations are a refreshing add-on to the game, eschewing the bizarre antics of GTA's more ludicrous stations in return for some genuinely nice tunes. The tires sound exactly as they do in real life when they spin, especially when varying horses are pushed through with each car. The voices, for the most part, are very well portrayed - Jericho sounds exactly like a smug villain should, and Tobias Jones' voice actor delivers a performance of pure gold in this game. My only objection is Tanner's voice - during the in-car conversations he's okay, mediocre at best. But in cutscenes... He has this swagger, this exaggeration to his voice that just doesn't fit a protagonist - something that hinders me each time he opens his mouth.

    Of course, as brilliant as this game is, it is far from flawless - Most of the missions are repetitive later in the game, and certain Stunt Dares are downright ludicrous - overtaking 40 cars in 60 seconds becomes VERY difficult later on. The storyline is also a tad stale - its basically a long, drawn out version of a predictable GTA mission, and Tanner's voice actor doesn't lighten that load one bit.

    Other than the tedious side-missions later in the game, Driver: San Francisco offers what appears to be one of the most solid driving experiences of the year. Brilliant driving, great engine notes, beautiful environments and lovingly detailed cars makes this one a game for any racing gamer - period.
  23. Jul 21, 2012
    I just picked this up on Steam for sale and I'm glad I did.. This game is amazing. I thought the game would be boring because you can't leave your car, but I was totally wrong. The driving experience is amazing and you can shift to another car quickly while driving. The graphics and sound are great. The main storyline is pretty good as well. The missions are also done pretty well. The one gripe I have is you have to do some kind of work around to get ti to work with a dual action logitech controller, but I haven't done that yet. The control keys are pretty easy to use. The arrow keys, space bar, and sometimes the mouse (for looking around). The open driving experience I havent found elsewhere and I've been gaming for 25+ years. Expand
  24. Aug 8, 2012
    I don't usually give out ratings but after finishing this game tonight, I must say I enjoyed the whole time I was playing it. I give it a 10 for the FUN factor. All the cons are outweighed by the humor of this game, story and plot is good. Graphics is an 8 for me but it does not matter, lots of cars available although it feels a lil bit of a kid's game, there's nothing wrong enjoying your self while smashing everything on your path and just killing time riding trucks and making them jump on San Francisco's crazy highways. 10/10 for the crazy humor, I was laughing out loud the whole time I was playing this. A must play! Expand
  25. Jul 22, 2012
    This game is filled with bugs and has a black border around it. Cant even play the game because it puts a black border around the whole game making the viewing window very small on a big screen. For anyone who enjoys gaming I would avoid this game. it also has DRM from ubisoft on it which is known to ruin computers.
  26. Jun 18, 2012
    A very nice game, maybe it's not the same PS1 Driver feeling but it deserves a try. Personally i think this is how TDU2 should have been playing like. Sometimes i didn't even used the Shift to get to some event marker, just drive to it. Played with an XBOX controller.
  27. Oct 20, 2011
    driver 5 is the worst series of all games of drivers in the world. I regret having bought it, although fairly good graphics but gameplaynya very bad and boring.
  28. Dec 31, 2011
    I had great expectations but I had greater disappointments. From the start you are spoon fed where and how you drive. The best part about previous Drivers was that you had the freedom to go wherever you wanted. Red zones within 15 minutes of driving. C'mon! Then when you are flying above cars looking for one to take, you have to fly along roads, you can't even fly over buildings! Very poor. The graphics are amazing and driving along a straight road without other traffic is fun, just don't hit another car. Expand
  29. Nov 8, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I began this game, expecting the Driver Franchise to be ruined because I heard that you can't get out of your car, and it was just driving. I expected it to be like the last two. I didn't watch trailers or reviews I just went straight to playing the game. So, here's me thinking this game is going to suck really bad.
    I began playing and already felt like the handling sucked. Driving around, feeling like the game is seriously limited. The voice acting so bad, it made me cringe.
    I stuck to it for a little longer when the game began to change. I was shocked. Completely stunned by what was happening. I was overwhelmed and got goosebumps it was so different.
    I did not expect to be able to jump from your car into another, in such a quick space of time. Control the cars on the road as you race, blocking other racers and opening clear paths for yourself just made this game something else. No other game is like this. It's fantastic. Incredibly unique. The more I played, the more fun I had. I began to get used to the driving and figured out that it was the handling you had to get used to. The voice acting began to make sense. Cheesyness was the best way to play it. The game all began to fit together and make sense to me.
    So yes, I completely changed my view on this game after playing, and it was awesome.
    I would highly advise people to play this game! No matter what you think of it before playing, just do it, it's worth it.
  30. Nov 9, 2011
    A brilliant game. the game brilliantly lives up to it´s name - you have a blast driving and doing a great variety of things with whatever vehicle you jump into: timed racing (sometimes jumping between vehicles, having to come in 1st AND 2nd in a race), running down obstacles for points, chasing bad guys, being the bad guy being chased.... get the picture? A lot of variety. Great city streets and atmosphere (and you can NEVER hit anybody, all pedestrians are 2 fast 4 U!). Great feeling in the cars (150 of them). Very different characteristics. Actually, far too many, so that you dont really need or have time to do anything with most of them unless you merely drive around, Oh, and by the way, you ALWAYS get some points for driving around and doing whatever stunts you like, even when not on any specific missions. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 4, 2011
    Family-friendly smash-ups and a goofy concept. There's something refreshing in this game's profanity-free self-confidence. [Christmas 2011, p.64]
  2. 80
    We were worried that the new Driver would be just "good one" but expectations were exceeded by far. Great story, driving physics and a top soundtrack made new Driver a game to remember. [Nov 2011]
  3. Nov 9, 2011
    Hardly the drive of your life, but easily one of the most memorable--and a great one-time gimmick done well. [Holiday 2011, p.78]