Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
  1. If you've ever wanted to drive through a chain link fence. If you've ever accelerated towards a speedhump instead of slowing down for it. If you've ever thought going through a corner sideways would look a hell of a lot cooler than bumbling through it like a normal schmuck. If you've ever thought any of those things, play this game without delay. [October 2011 p69]
  2. Sep 25, 2011
    90
    Slick and entertaining driving game with real innovation put to effective use. [Nov 2011, p.82]
  3. Sep 2, 2011
    88
    The spirit of the original Driver returns in a great and very complete game, with a very long campaign that offers plenty of hours of fun, and a multiplayer mode full of variety.
  4. Oct 4, 2011
    87
    A joyful, successful new entry, thanks largely to its fearless approach to the medium. [Nov 2011, p.96]
  5. 87
    The Shift-Feature is maybe a bit weird but it fits perfectly into the game. The racing speed of Driver: San Francisco is really high and the missions offer a lot of fun.
  6. Sep 11, 2011
    86
    This is a big game, both on- and offline. A memorable and challenging singleplayer campaign is made even greater by its engaging story, while the shifting mechanic makes for some truly unforgettable moments. Here's one purchase you won't regret!
  7. Aug 31, 2011
    86
    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.
  8. Oct 24, 2011
    85
    Driver is a well made game and even though I sometimes got bored of doing side missions, overall it was better than I expected. It's a good addition to the series and shifting is a pretty cool feature that maybe not all people will like, but you'll just have to see for yourself.
  9. Sep 19, 2011
    85
    Ubisoft Reflections successfully returns the Driver franchise back to its roots by putting the action behind the wheel.
  10. Sep 12, 2011
    85
    All in All, Driver: San Francisco is a successful rebirth for the series.
  11. Sep 8, 2011
    85
    After the mediocre predecessors, Driver: San Francisco is a really good game, which offers a gripping story and lots of multiplayer modes.
  12. Sep 4, 2011
    85
    Driver: San Francisco is a brand new start for the franchise. The Shift mechanic works well, creating compelling, strange and challenging missions. It's definitively a great game, but some flaws keep the Reflections title away from being a masterpiece.
  13. Sep 12, 2011
    84
    Driver: San Francisco continues a great series in a worthy manner.
  14. 84
    The short of it: I don't like racers, and I rarely like driving games, but Driver: San Francisco hit a sweet spot with its gameplay that had me continually coming back for more.
  15. Sep 8, 2011
    84
    This is what arcade racing/driving is all about.
  16. Sep 7, 2011
    83
    Visual quibbles aside, Driver SF is a remarkable game that rescues the 12-year-old franchise from the scrap heap. The new shift ability adds impressive mechanics that are unique to a game about high speed chases and driving. Overall, it's a fun challenge too that doesn't go overboard as far as difficulty is concerned.
  17. Sep 21, 2011
    82
    Driver focuses on what any game called Driver should, and that is driving, and it does this well and anyone use to arcade racers will feel right at home.
  18. Sep 20, 2011
    82
    Ultimately, I like this game because of the open world driving, and because of the strong focus on the actual driving more than anything else. The shift mechanic is really cool in multiplayer and offers an experience you're not going to find elsewhere. Even the single player is ok; it's just very disappointing that they couldn't tie the main plot into all the other activities. Still, Driver: San Francisco is a solid and very enjoyable racing experience, and the scenery is unmatched in the racing genre.
  19. Sep 30, 2011
    80
    There are some big problems in the gamedesign, but if you can bear with them this is a great action packed racer in a fun town.
  20. Sep 23, 2011
    80
    Driver: San Francisco puts the franchise back on the map. It's fun, innovative, expansive, exhilarating and has a lot of things to do. The single player is great, aside from the simple and sloppy storyline. But the innovative Shifting mechanics, the cars and the city itself will keep you on the couch for quite some time.
  21. Sep 19, 2011
    80
    The jump to the supernatural realm may seem puzzling at first, but it makes for an exciting new way to play. Couple that with some wonderful multiplayer offerings and you have one of the most pleasant surprises of the year.
  22. Sep 15, 2011
    80
    Easily the most surprising game I've played this year. I've been a fan of arcade racing games for as long as they've been around, and Ubisoft Reflections shows that there's still plenty of life in the genre – even if it means remotely controlling the action in a hospital gown somewhere.
  23. 80
    The driving mechanics which at first seem like they will be incredibly annoying turn out to be fun and thrilling. The shift ability plays a bigger role in strategy than initially thought and multiplayer contains old-fashioned game modes with a new twist.
  24. Sep 6, 2011
    80
    It's short and light, but that doesn't mean that Driver: San Francisco is insubstantial. It has a good open world with a lot of options, and its supernatural cop tale builds to an effective climax that gives you a super-crazy ability that's absolutely worth experiencing for yourself... even if it only lasts for one mission.
  25. Sep 6, 2011
    80
    It's a funny new take on arcade driving, filled with content. Fans of the original will find the gameplay completely transformed, as the map offers a more strategic point of view, but it's still an enetertaining and long lasting arcade experience.
  26. Sep 6, 2011
    80
    The one-player game is a lot of fun, if perhaps a little on the short side, but at least there are plenty of side missions and things to do after you've completed the main game to help round out its lasting appeal. But I do think it's the multiplayer mode where most people will get their kicks.
  27. Exhilarating, cinematic and dripping in Steve McQueen cool. [Oct 2011, p.106]
  28. Sep 1, 2011
    80
    It's not perfect – the storyline is a bit perfunctory, its free-form style can be illusory when it forces you to perform certain missions and it gets a bit repetitious in the latter stages. But it's a joyous sandbox in which you can drive like a lunatic, in exotic machinery that you might never even clap your eyes on in real life, without hurting anyone.
  29. Sep 1, 2011
    80
    Despite the somewhat repetitive missions, Driver San Francisco is packed with qualities. It's gotten back to its roots, but with an all new feature: the "shift" ability, which is wonderfully used in solo or multiplayer gameplay. The driving is really cool, the car chases are thrilling and spectacular...and the multiplayer is really good fun. A nearly perfect come-back!
  30. Aug 31, 2011
    80
    Drive: San Francisco is a nice game with many interesting ideas. The Shift mechanics are good enough to offer a great experience, though they transform even the harder mission in something too easy for a skilled player. The massive multiplayer experience can offer many hours of genuine fun, online or simply on the same console with split-screen.
  31. Aug 31, 2011
    80
    With Driver San Francisco, Reflections Interactive made a game that can match the strong sense of immediate accomplishment left by the original.
  32. 80
    Cool cars, an interesting new 'Shift' mechanic and impressive multiplayer makes the streets of San Francisco worthy of a visit.
  33. Aug 30, 2011
    80
    Driver: San Francisco's inspired shift mechanic and wealth of action-packed content make it an absolute blast that revives the franchise.
  34. Aug 30, 2011
    80
    It sends traditional multiplayer mores into a dizzying spin and, bolstered by a cheery script and amicable tone, creates ever-evolving thrills across the course of the singleplayer campaign.
  35. Aug 26, 2011
    80
    Undoubtedly the most complete, polished offering in the series to date. Tearing through the streets of San Francisco, forcing your car into manoeuvres that it probably shouldn't be able to do with the knowledge that you can hit X and take control of another car at any time is just as fun as it sounds.
  36. Aug 26, 2011
    80
    Driver: San Francisco has one game-changing, eyebrow-raising idea and it pulls it off with aplomb, infusing the OTT arcade racing with unparalleled variety and a ridiculous supernatural twist whilst staying true to its Seventies chase-movie roots.
  37. Aug 26, 2011
    80
    Driver San Francisco could have been a one-trick pony, but it has managed to use that trick in a variety of clever and interesting ways, ensuring the driving gameplay never becomes tiresome or generic.
  38. Aug 26, 2011
    80
    Driver: San Francisco isn't quite the jolt that the arcade driving genre needs to stir it from its own particular coma, then, but it's an endearing and eccentric experience in itself. In Reflection's best work since the Driver series began, it's managed to tame the ridiculous and conjure something quite sublime.
  39. Sep 8, 2011
    77
    Aside from some minor issues, Driver: San Francisco is a good game with the potential to become even better thanks to what looks to be a solid offering of online game modes. The actual story in the game is a tad far-fetched but interesting enough to warrant attention. While there's more to do in single player than just the story, the extra events aren't all entirely unique.
  40. Sep 5, 2011
    76
    It can be immensely frustrating, the story is insane, and the Shift feature really does feel overused in the campaign. At the same time, the inherent diversity and versatility is excellent, the graphics are pretty and presents great detail, the soundtrack is awesome, and the control is reliable (if a little weird).
  41. Sep 11, 2011
    75
    Given the franchise history, Driver: San Francisco is a surprisingly fresh take on a series that many thought dead and buried. It may not be perfect, but Driver: San Francisco offers up a solid amount of content along with a good variety of gameplay to keep you busy. What it loses in polish, it more than makes up for in value.
  42. Sep 7, 2011
    75
    Tanner returns, and with him the persecutions and gameplay running in the city. This San Francisco is big, with lots to do and different game modes. The Shift and the speed will not let you breathe. Pure adrenaline pretty well exposed. A splendid return.
  43. Sep 19, 2011
    72
    Driver: San Francisco is a successful revival of the Driver series. The new approach might be a little odd and silly compared to the core subject matter, but it works.
  44. Still, minor annoyances keep Driver from being stellar: some areas of the city must be unlocked via story progression, fishtailing is occasionally over-the-top and loathsome during races and chases, and Shift is inexplicably limited during certain missions. [Nov 2011, p.81]
  45. Sep 16, 2011
    70
    There's a danger that you'll become bored with this game, but overall Driver: San Francisco is a pretty fun game with a really cool feature called 'shift'.
  46. Sep 1, 2011
    70
    The shift mechanic is the real star here, and transforms even the most ordinary sequences into thrilling race experiences. But there are flaws, such as logical mis-steps in the storyline and generic presentation. They don't matter too much though, especially in the multiplayer mode.
  47. Aug 31, 2011
    70
    Quotation forthcoming.
  48. Aug 31, 2011
    70
    Sometimes it was hard for me to shake the feeling that I'm playing a new rendition of the Destruction Derby series. Driving experience is good, but most of the story missions are boring and require you to crash into other cars after using the Shift feature to 'possess' some unfortunate random driver. Additional challenges that the city offers (e.g. races) also quickly become tiring. Music is good though and multiplayer is well designed. [Sept 2011, p.62]
  49. Sep 16, 2011
    68
    A weird action hybrid, this will go down as a grand experiment that lost its way. [Issue#209, p.90]
  50. Sep 9, 2011
    65
    Driver: San Francisco is not like the previous Driver games. A lot has changed since the beginning of the series, and not all for the better. We take for granted that the premise of the story is ludicrous, but we can't escape the feeling that the racing itself is also being pushed to the background.
  51. Sep 13, 2011
    60
    Every now and then it just hits that level of cool we all want from a Driver game. [Issue#113, p.112]
  52. Aug 26, 2011
    60
    Clever ideas are interspersed with components that fail miserably, making this the definition of 'mixed bag'.
  53. Aug 26, 2011
    60
    Driver: San Francisco would be an easy game to recommend if the mission design of the single player campaign were on a par with the quality of its technical elements. As things stands though, it seems that some good gameplay ideas have been wasted on level designers that simply didn't know how to make best use of them.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Sep 7, 2011
    8
    The game is a lot of fun. Besides doing just the story there are plenty of side missions which help you get "will power" to buy more power ups and vehicles. You can do stunts, races, play cops & robbers basically.

    There is plenty to do, the game is entertaining, the music is pretty good. The controls are tight, I had no problems drifting around the city. The graphics are very good as well. The game reminds me a bit of Burnout. Overall it's a lot of fun, if you like Burnout, or really enjoyed the previous Driver games, I'd say go pick this one up.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 22, 2012
    10
    Lets keep this simple...... ITS A LOT OF FUN!!!!! The gameplay and being able to truly drive through the streets of San Francisco is awesome. Really accurate map and the realism of the car you drive is so much fun. Jumping from a sportscar to a bus to a taxi to an 18-wheeler. Its cool how the cars give different drag. Its just fun smashing all those cars! Full Review »
  3. Jan 7, 2012
    9
    Don't be fooled by the troubled past of this franchise. Driver:San Francisco should be considered the premier online racing experience. The story is mostly over-the-top but there is plenty to enjoy. The dialogue is very funny, the missions are pretty unique and I never once felt confined to the car. This game is polished beyond anything you would expect from this franchise or Ubisoft for that matter. The online action is intense and fun. There are many different types of matches that will be sure to give you something you enjoy. The online community is not as robust as it was at launch but you can hardly blame the developers for that. Don't overlook this game. Gran Turismo, Need For Speed, Forza and the lot could learn a few things from this game. Full Review »