Driver: San Francisco is an action–adventure racing video game and the fifth installment in the Driver series. Developed by Ubisoft Reflections and published by Ubisoft, it was released in September 2011 for the PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows, with an edition for Mac OS X in March 2012. The game sees players traversing a fictional version of San Francisco and the Bay area conducting missions through the use of licensed real-world cars, with the ability to shift into any car in the game’s setting in most platform editions.
Driver: San Francisco main story sees players controlling John Tanner, a police detective, who falls into a coma pursuing his nemesis Charles Jericho following a prison breakout after the events of Driver 3 (Driv3r), and finds himself piecing together his plan in a dream world while it is happening in real life.
The game received favorable reviews upon its release, with the exception of the Wii edition which received mixed reviews. A mini-comic series was released which provides plot details of the events between Driv3r and San Francisco, with the game receiving a collector’s edition that includes additional multiplayer vehicles and single-player events.
Gameplay of Driver: San Francisco
A new feature is Shift, which allows Tanner to teleport from one car to another without discontinuing the mission in Driver: San Francisco. One of the inspirations for Shift comes from Google Earth. The game was also described as a “return to the roots” of the series as the ability to get out of the car, which was introduced in Driver 2, was removed and replaced with the ability to Shift (teleport) into other cars, as the developers felt that too many games had this kind of feature already and “it wasn’t desirable [for us] to just copy that exact mechanic”.
With Shift, the player can also start missions. As well as the ability to use Shift, all cars are equipped with a ‘boost’ feature, requiring the player to push up on the left thumbstick to use it. Players can also push L1 on the PlayStation 3 or the left shoulder button on the Xbox 360 version of the game to perform a special ‘ram’ attack on cars. The film director mode, which was absent from Parallel Lines, also returns, and players can share their videos on the Driver Club website. The game runs at 60 frames per second.
Multiplayer of Driver: San Francisco
Split screen and online multiplayer are also available for the first time in the series with 19 different game modes including trailblazer, tag, sprint GT, cops and robbers, among others. In Trail Blazer, the players have to follow the trail of an AI-controlled car to accumulate points.
The player who accumulates more points will win the match. The Tag game mode is similar to regular tag, but in reverse. All the players are trying to “tag” or hit, one player. Once he is hit, the person who tagged him is now it. The multiplayer will also have experience points.
San Francisco is unique from other games in the series, in that the game features licensed real-life cars. The game includes 140 fully damageable licensed vehicles ranging from buggies, muscle cars, and sport cars including Chevrolet, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ruf Automobile, Dodge, Ford, McLaren, Hummer, Shelby, Volkswagen, Pagani, Lincoln, DeLorean, Lamborghini, and Cadillac.
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Driver: San Francisco on Ubisoft: https://www.ubisoft.com/en-gb/game/driver-san-francisco