Demitrius Berkley-Thomas On October 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Driver San Francisco / ScreenshotDriver: San Francisco is the 5th console installment of Ubisoft’s Driver series and putting players once again in the role of John Tanner. The game takes place in San Francisco and follows detective Tanner and his partner Tobias Jones while they look for Charles Jericho, Tanner’s arch-nemesis from past games, after he escapes from prison during transportation. While attempting to stop Jericho from escaping Tanner is in a car accident which gives him the ability to leave his body and take control of almost anyone else in the game driving a vehicle. That ability ends up being a core aspect of the gameplay and turns the game from a simple racing/driving game into something more strategic and tactical.

Driver: SF is an open world driving game with missions and challenges scattered throughout San Francisco. These missions include; City Missions, which are missions that advance the story and are needed to be finished to do the main story missions, Race Missions, where Tanner needs to get the driver or drivers into first or second place, Chase Missions, where Tanner helps the police capture and disable a driver trying to escape or shut down illegal street races and then Escort Missions where Tanner needs to protect a vehicle from attackers. Then there are challenges called Dares that have players doing things from drifting a certain distance to reaching and maintaining a high speed for a certain amount of time. The missions where you must escort and protect people or a vehicle can be very annoying and frustrating. For example, I was trying to get an 18-wheeler truck full of platinum to a police station but the criminals I stole it from weren’t happy so they were trying to stop me. How were they trying to stop me? By driving SUVs right into the truck and exploding causing large amounts of damage and causing the trailer in the back of the truck to spin out. On top of that every mission in the game has a time limit and a lot of the time I’d find myself running out of time 10 feet from the destination.

The actual gameplay in Driver: SF is pretty solid except the cars at times can be a little too slippery. There are other abilities Tanner has in game in addition to being able to switch bodies with other drivers which include being able to ram other cars to do increased damage and a turbo ability. Those two extra abilities use up an energy bar that automatically recharges over time. Tanner’s body switching ability is an essential part of gameplay that gives the player way more options than would normally be available. What you’ll mainly find yourself doing is using the ability to take control of a car ahead driving the opposite direction and use it like a missile to crash head on into opponents and targets. Players can also use this ability to take control of trucks to block intersections and stop pursuing enemies. This is actually incredibly fun and gives the game a unique feel.

Throughout the city of San Francisco there are garages where the player can purchase cars and upgrades with in-game currency called Will Power. Will Power is gained from doing almost anything in the game including missions and challenges. There is also a Will Power income that players get every 20 minutes or so that’s increased for every extra car and garage they own. The upgrades include an income multiplier that increases income from cars and garages and upgrades to player’s ability bars. Buying cars in a game where the player can take over any driver of any vehicle they want didn’t really make sense to me at first, even with the extra income it grants. After playing for a little while though I figured out that buying and equipping a car allows players to use it from the beginning of a challenge so you can choose the best car for the challenge.

Driver: SF also contains about 11 different modes to play online with 2-6 people. The first playlist is online competitive solo and it cycles between Tag Mode, a mode in which players must tag the golden car and hold it until they reach a point limit and Trailblazer, a mode in which players must follow an invincible Delorean and run over the fire trail the tires leave behind. There is also Capture the Flag, which both teams must protect their flag while trying to steal the other team’s flag, then Blitz Mode, where one team is attacking and must get to the other teams area without getting hit or tagged and then a bunch of different race type modes. I thoroughly enjoyed playing all of the online modes and it felt fresh enough with the abilities that it didn’t feel like a rehash of a past game.

Overall Driver: San Francisco is a solid game with fresh gameplay elements. I really enjoyed the buddy cop interaction between Tanner and his partner Jones, even if I didn’t really enjoy a good amount of the single player missions. I have to compliment the developers for how good San Francisco looks in the game and it really does feel like San Fran. Online multiplayer is what really makes this game fun though and gives it some longevity.


The gameplay is pretty solid and introduces some pretty cool ideas and my biggest issue is with some of the missions in the single player campaign.


The cars and environment in this game are actually pretty impressive for an open world game and it does a good job of feeling like San Francisco.


I enjoyed the voice acting, sound effects and music selection.


This is a really solid game and if you are a fan of the series or just driving games in general then you should definitely check this out.

Click here to buy Driver Sanfrancisco for the Xbox 360 Online from

Click here to buy Driver San Francisco Online New or Used for a great price from EBGames.comicon

Comments are closed.