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Driver: San Fransisco
PC, XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: PC
Ubisoft Reflections
Publisher: Ubisoft
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

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User Rating:        6
Presentation: 6

Driver's San Francisco is a large, detailed and polished city, and great fun to explore. The movie style presentation is slick and inviting, and everything has a great, glossy shine to it that makes everything look even more impressive.

Gameplay: 5

Okay, so the storyline, which finds John Tanner being able to shift and occupy the body of anyone driving a car is quite odd, but the game itself is remarkably fun. Over the top car chases and cool movie moments make Driver a blast to play through.

Lasting Appeal:

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Driver is just how fun the shift system really is, and it never opens up as many possibilities as it does in multiplayer. It's really a genius idea, and allows even the novice players to never be completely out of a match.

Overall: 6
For its wacky Sci-Fi channel movie storyline, Driver: San Francisco is wildly successful at being an over the top and fun driving game. If you're looking for a fast paced and fun action car title - you really can't go wrong here.
CHEATfactor: 6

Okay, stick with me here - in Driver: San Francisco, John Tanner, undercover cop and everyman has the ability to shift from one person to another and take over their body as they drive around the streets of San Francisco. For now, let's ignore the immediate questions that spring up at this idea (Only in cars? What happens to his own body when he does this?) and the fact that it sounds like the premise for a cheesy Sci-Fi channel movie and focus on one thing; somehow - the shifting mechanic works..and it works very well. The latest Driver installment is a wildly fun and over the top summer movie of a driving game that throws realism to the wind and allows you to enjoy the fun of car crashes, tight turns and yes - even shifting.

In all fairness, the story makes sense when you look at it in context. Tanner's longtime rival Jericho has broken out of jail again and sends our protagonist into a coma very early in the game. The rest of the events, shifting and all, take place in the comatose mind of Tanner, so it's a bit more believable in that sense. Regardless, it works well within the world of Driver: San Francisco. The majority of the game's missions require you to either chase, follow or beat someone to a location, and the shifting mechanic allows you to never really feel out of the mission until the very end. Take one of the missions where I was asked to take out another car before it gets to a meeting point on the other side of the city. The game's arcade controls aren't very tight and as such, I plowed right into the wall. In most games, this would be the time to curse the game out and restart the mission, but using the shift mechanic, I was able to pull up a map that goes far above the city and pick a car close to the target vehicle and continue the mission.

"Picking the wrong vehicle can make for some frustrating moments..."


Scoff if you want at how easy this all sounds, but it's not without its fair share of issues. It takes about a second and a half to shift into any vehicle, so you'll have to be very strategic about which vehicle you'll choose. Is it going the right way? How close is it to the target vehicle? How fast is it? Picking the wrong vehicle can make for some frustrating moments, but it can also make for some awesomely surprising ones as well. There were more than a few times when I chose what I thought was the right car, but it ended up just crashing into cars coming behind me, which caused the target car to wreck. Well, that works...

Driver: San Francisco is not a racing game and it's at its best when it clearly knows this. The best moments are found when the game embraces its quirky nature and goes completely over the top, but when the game introduces the racing missions, things slow down tremendously. The game also loses steam near the game's third act, as the missions start to blend together and become very repetitive. It's a bit disappointing to get two acts of amazing fun, and then the third is such a screaming halt.

"...the hills make for some awesome chase moments."


Luckily then, Driver's San Francisco is a large city that's great fun to explore. If you've ever been to the city, San Francisco is a spread out and bustling metropolis with a small town vibe you can't find anywhere else, complete with landmarks and tourist attractions, even areas filled with small mom and pop shops. The city may not be recreated exactly within the game, but the key points are there, and of course, the hills make for some awesome chase moments. I often found myself ditching missions just to look around the city of San Francisco, which by the way is rendered at a beautiful 60 frames per second.

Perhaps most surprising about Driver: San Francisco is just how fun the game's multiplayer suite is. The shift system works amazingly well in this realm as it gives even the most novice players a chance to stay in the game for longer. The multiplayer missions also tend to get away from the typical race and wreck type of missions that multiplayer racers like this usually use in favor of some lesser used types. One game mode for example finds you having to trail behind a target car to get points while another has you playing a game of tag with an ever changing target core to earn points.

It may not be the most realistic racer on the market, but Driver: San Francisco is a wonderfully fun arcade style driving game that shouldn't be missed. The San Francisco setting makes for a virtual playground of vehicular enjoyment, and the shifting mechanic works surprisingly well. If you're looking for a fast paced and fun action car title - you really can't go wrong here. Welcome back Driver, we've missed you. 



CHEATS USED: Super Jump, Unlimited Boost, Repair Damage

Driver: San Francisco is at its best when it feels less like a video game, and more like an interactive over the top action movie -- and nothing aids in that like the super jump cheat. With the cheat, you'll have the option to not only jump off flatbed trucks and ramps, but pretty much anything in the game. Of course, adding the unlimited boost cheat will make these jumps even better.

The most useful cheat in the trainer is the repair damage cheat, which gives you more time to use your favorite cars...or you could just shift into them...



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