Driver San Francisco: Review by KingreX32

Posted on September 30, 2011 at 7:45 PM

This review can also be viewed here

For years fans of The Driver Series have been waiting and speculating on the newest game in the series, although I felt that Driver Parallel Lines was a really great game others didn’t feel that way and when released got mediocre to average scores. Finally the news came at E3 2010, the newest game in the series Driver San Francisco would feature the return of series protagonist Detective John Tanner and would be a return to the series roots. I got excited because the Wii version looked decent enough to actually be a good game I used everything on my Edge Card to get this title. Was it worth it? Read on.

Driver San Francisco is the 5th game in the Driver Series is was developed by Ubisoft reflections and published by Ubisoft. It was released on September 6th 2011.

The plot of the Wii version is very different from its 360/PS3 counterparts (figures); it’s actually a prequel to the first driver game (the one on PS1). You play as Tanner while he is still a rookie undercover cop; one day while giving chase to the notorious Solomon Caine (a gangster trying to cause gang wars in San Francisco) your partner is shot and killed in the following car accident. Tanner eventually gets approval from the Chief to go undercover and find his partners killer.

Because this game is to be a return to series roots the out of car sections from Parallel Lines and Driver 2 have been removed the games focus is now only on driving. The game plays like an arcade title with some of the emphasis being on collecting XP. Collecting XP is not hard driving recklessly, dangerously and evading cops will earn you a bunch, successfully completing missions and side missions can also get you a little extra XP also. XP gains you rewards like new cars, concept art and character bios, but the good stuff comes when your XP bar fills. A filled XP bar will gain you upgrade points, these are great because they don’t just upgrade your car,  upgrades include City Upgrades (increase stunt jumps range) Shooting (increase magazine capacity) Abilities (Larger Nitrous Tank) and Co-op (increase player 2s magazine capacity). The XP bar isn’t the only bar you need to fill, on the right side of the screen is the Abilities bar; abilities include Shooting (self explanatory), Nitro (Nitrous Duh), Driving on two Wheels (I really don’t need to explain this) and Slo-mo (like the Speed breaker Feature from the NFS series this slows down time so you can pull off normally impossible moves), in order to use these your Ability bar need to be at least half-full.

Lastly the game features local-multiplayer for two to four players, (you guessed it there is no online) there are a variety of modes to choose like Cops and Robbers (players take turns being the robber and have to get away from the others) Pass the bomb (a player has a bomb and have to pass it to the other players before it blows up) Capture the Flag (Self-Explanatory) and a bunch of others. If all the Wiimotes are taken up no problem the game features connectivity with the DS version of the game, although this is limited to the Story mode of the game and is just as a support role like laying down road blocks against police or using the DS to find collectibles and short cuts.

Graphics Wise Driver San Francisco looks great, instead of the “realistic” look and feel of its HD counterparts the Wii version features cel-shaded visuals. Its not as good looking as the others but it is in its own play. Gameplay wise because this is a driver game you will spend all of your time in your car you’ll either be racing, running other cars off the road, tailing other cars, or just trying to get away from cops. The game is repetitive but with the wide variety of missions available it doesn’t feel that way. Control wise the controls are very similar to Parallel Lines so if you played that game you know what to expect.

Some points of criticism include, No support for the classic Controller (its 2011 come on), both the Police A.I. and pedestrian A.I. are extremely dumb, I know the game is based on the stylish action driving of 70s cop movies but seriously the cars all handled like garbage like the tires were made of soap or something and lastly this is the first game in the Driver series that features licensed cars but in the Wii version, only Three of the hundreds of cars in game were actual licensed cars (ironically all Dodge (Charger, Challenger, and Conquest) the rest were all recycled from Parallel lines. That being said at times the game can be a blast to play, especially with friends on the multiplayer, I really like that Starsky and Hutch 70s Buddy cop feel to the game from the music to the menus, and although the story wasn’t the same as the HD console I liked that fact that we learnt a bit more about Tanners background.

When it come down to it you either hate it or love it me I’m somewhere in between, but if you are a fan of the driver series I suggest you check out this game. Driver San Francisco gets 7.3 out of 10.

Official Website

Categories: Wii/WiiU Reviews

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