It’s hard to imagine that almost 12 years have passed since the first Driver was released. I can still vividly recall the levels, the missions, and most importantly, the driving on one of my favorite driving games of all time. I can still picture the underground parking garage where the tutorial section took place. I played so much Driver on my PC, back in the day, that I actually wore out the game disc, necessitating a second purchase. Last year, I discovered that Driver was returning in the form of Driver: San Francisco. This year, I got to play it. Life is good.
I thoroughly enjoyed the original Driver, and have every reason to expect an absolute improvement in Driver: San Francisco. I’ve had the pleasure of playing Driver: San Francisco twice now: once at E3, and once at an Ubisoft event a few weeks prior to E3. Both times, I also managed to have a chat with series creator, Martin Edmonson about the game. Everything I’ve played, and everything I’ve heard, lead me to call Driver: San Francisco one of my top 3 most anticipated games for the rest of 2011.
As Martin Edmonson would love to hear all Driver fans say…Driver is back. From the heavy muscle car physics to the great soundtrack and innovative gameplay. The muscle car physics are here. There will be more power in your vehicles than they can handle, and it feels absolutely divine. The great soundtrack is here, with over 80 unique music tracks. The innovative gameplay comes back with a new mechanic, called SHIFT, which allows you to instantly jump from one vehicle to another, even from across an entire city (don’t worry, it makes sense within the context of the story). With over 130 licensed vehicles to choose from in an open-world action driving game, Driver is back.
One way Driver innovates is with its multiplayer. Driver: San Francisco boasts 19 (yes, NINETEEN) different multiplayer modes. Eleven of these modes are online multiplayer, while eight of the modes are local split-screen multiplayer. With modes ranging from simple Tag to the more strategic Capture the Flag, Driver: San Francisco’s multiplayer is going to keep me entertained for more hours than I want to count. Sorry, honey. We’re going to need a second TV and a second 360 when August 30th comes around.