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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 265 Ratings

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  • Summary: Driver: San Francisco marks the return of the established video game series that has sold 14 million copies worldwide. Gamers will play as Detective John Tanner on a relentless manhunt for crime lord Charles Jericho through the hills of the City by the Bay. Thanks to a groundbreaking gameplay feature, players can now seamlessly "shift" between well over a hundred licensed vehicles, keeping them constantly in the heart of the action. With its timeless setting, unique car handling and renewed playability, Driver: San Francisco will revitalize the classic free-roaming, cinematic car chase experience for the current generation of gaming platforms. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Sep 19, 2011
    90
    A true salvation for a nearly-dead franchise. [October 2011, p.68]
  2. Oct 7, 2011
    85
    The car's handling is great, San Francisco is nearly perfect and the progression system and on-line modes are great. There is so much to do in the new Driver.
  3. Oct 18, 2011
    85
    Despite the very unusual screenplay, Driver: San Francisco offers a lot of fun. It suprises the player until the last mission, and the "shift" system works very well. With this chapter, Driver won't be anymore perceived as a GTA-clone.
  4. 80
    The Shift ability is the element that makes Driver: San Francisco an interesting game. No matter how stupid the idea behind it is, the possibility to use any car (not just those affordable to you) gives huge freedom. And mixed with varied missions and a good multiplayer, but with a crippled AI and some control issues, Driver manages to revive not only the cop, but also a series that almost no one believed to be viable anymore.
  5. 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]
  6. Nov 9, 2011
    80
    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]
  7. Dec 4, 2011
    60
    Family-friendly smash-ups and a goofy concept. There's something refreshing in this game's profanity-free self-confidence. [Christmas 2011, p.64]

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 55
  2. Negative: 16 out of 55
  1. Oct 8, 2011
    10
    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! Expand
  2. Aug 4, 2013
    10
    I love this game, it is in that heavenly area between arcade racers and racing simulators, a bit closer to arcade though. i love simulators but do not have the skill to show for it, and this game compliments you by allowing you to pull off drifts with ease, unlike a sim, but makes sure you have control over the car, unlike a arcade racer, an arcade racer will be stupidly easier to drive compared to this game. if you hear racing/ driving game, you think of mariokart, this game is not for you, if you think of power-ups when you hear racing game, from speedups to nitro boosts, from turtle shells to guns, from banana peels to oil slicks, odds are this game is not for you. it is very forgiving but has a lot of rubber banding which is especially visible in cop chases,it can and will range from fun to rage inducing if you live in the world of arcade racers, and you can play it like a sim, but do not think you will win easily, the best way of winning
    is to have has your fair share if racing sims and arcade racers, you have to drift in tight corners and normally, like sims, brake and turn in larger ones. and the mechanic of shifting into any car you want is the most fun i have had yet,it makes the game fun and even challenging in events. and most events actually encourage you to shift into a different car and smash into the target. if only the deluxe had no DRM...
    Expand
  3. Sep 28, 2011
    9
    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.
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  4. Dec 23, 2011
    8
    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.
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  5. Sep 27, 2011
    7
    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
  6. Nov 14, 2011
    6
    Was not expecting much from this, But its all right driving is okish until you get the turbo witch is up on the analog stick but it can probably be changed . its arcadey and fast story a cop with the ability to switch body's ...sure you know what ever its a game makes normal car chances and races interesting . The selection of cars is good more then i was expecting vista cruiser to a maclaran mp4
    pc performance its locked at 60 even when recording looks ok nothing outstanding 30$ its a buy
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  7. Jun 1, 2013
    0
    Driving in this game is a joke. I can live with both simulation or arcade but this is not even sure how to name it. Cars on ice come close but its still worse in reality. Car is dancing from one side of the street to another like drunken sailor(and I tried it with both, keyboard and xbox controller). I admit story seemed decent but i bought racing game not interactive movie with broken driving events. Game isn't even worth 5$, simply STAY AWAY. Expand

See all 55 User Reviews